How Important Is It For A Startup To Understand Agile Method?
Last Updated on: July 10, 2020
Entrepreneur, CEO, Co-Founder, Founder, Director etc. aren’t these words interesting and dominating ?
10-15 years of technical experience and countable managerial position, handling many projects and peers ….again sounds interesting, isn’t it!
But, being at any such position or having the said experience in a startup and starting a project without being aware of Agile is a threat.
As it is, startups have quite a few challenges to deal with ranging from new entrepreneurs, fresh products, unknown future and the fast changing consumer behaviour. No matter what your speed is, the market keeps evolving requiring proper tactics, strategies and fundings to grow in this competitive world. So, here’s a suggestion for all you startup guys out there – adopt Agile.
What is Agile?
A quick short development approach with iterative output and reach to the market is the shortest definition of Agile Software Development.
It is basically a process of developing continuous iterations of development and testing through the entire software development life cycle of the project. But these iterations are small in nature.
The Agile Method is an approach to project management used during software development. This method works well when we need to take some actions in case of any unpredictability during software development. It drives with incremental, iterative work sequences that are generally called Sprints. These are the short cycles consisting of a set of tasks to be completed within small intervals of time frames, generally 2 to 4 weeks. These sprints lead to addition of some small feature sets as an output for the product and can be quickly delivered to the market to utilize/test.
What is Startup?
A Startup is to Start investing self in a new or similar type of business to grow it Up. However, investing yourself includes a lot of factors like ideation, establishment, learning, funding, resourcing, developing, testing, taking surveys, failing, correcting, accepting and then reaching success.
A startup company (startup or start-up) is an entrepreneurial venture which is typically a newly emerged business that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing a viable business model around a product, service, process or platform. A start-up is usually a company designed to effectively develop and validate a scalable business model. (By Wiki)
A startup is a young company that is just beginning to develop. Startups are usually small and initially financed and operated by a handful of founders or one individual. These companies offer a product or service that is not currently being offered elsewhere in the market, or that the founders believe is being offered in an inferior manner. (By investopedia)
I guess, we have now established what is agile and what a startup is. Now let’s take a look at how the two can be merged.
How can a Startup Benefit from Being Agile?
Because of how fast and iterative Agile method is, here are a few benefits that a startup can enjoy by using agile not only for product development but also in its processes and methodologies:
Adaptation of business change
Whenever business needs any quick change or if we need to integrate customer feedback into the product, this can be easily achievable, since it runs in small sprints and therefore can be adaptable quickly and easily.
By providing quick changes to the market, existing issues and immature requirements can be terminated leading to a quality product.
Agile methodology ensures the optimal use of resources and continuously increases value of product by maintaining integrity of constraints. Iterative feedbacks from customer can be obtained timely and the coming sprints / releases will have that incorporated already which saves time and energy.
Small Team and harmony
In agile format, the sprints and teams are of small size and therefore their regular interactions are in harmony. During their daily scrum meetings, team members meet and discuss their feature implementations impediments and its mitigations which create a bond between members with features and they combine work for the betterment and quality of product. For startups better teamwork translates into lesser wastage of resources, which is important.
Motivation and Independence
Motivation plays a very big role because first of all, startups are not always rich in funding and have limited budget and scope of monetization. Agile method is based on internal meetings and discussions, where every team member has to come prepared with their opinions and answers. The agenda is regarding few things like how much task is achieved from the last meeting?, What is the current situation of work?, and other topics related to the project completion, next task, other testing work, etc. In a big organization with big teams, formal structures – this process might not work effectively, but in start-ups it works magnificently and involvement of team members motivate them in grounding and completion of featured tasks.
Quick learning and quick to Market
In start-ups, management don’t have enough time to spare a resource’s time on exploration, troubleshooting, POC and additional involvement since they are focused on less investment more result, having limited asset availability, the key factors of agile methodology help them to learn quickly and in turn the team can produce a quick to market product. Agile process is not actually very lengthy and hard to understand, therefore, learning curve is very small and one can learn in a period of 1-2 days and start implementing it.
How to get-in
To start adopting Agile in any Start-up, the very basic requirement is to understand its keywords / terminology and get the team members acquainted with what are scrum meetings, sprint, backlog items, impediments, daily stand ups etc. and involve the product manager too so that the team will be in sync with the vision of the product. Then the team can start with small feature set to pick from backlog in 1 sprint of 2 weeks and get matured in it.
Is it good only for Startups?
Huge conglomerates like Tesla, Google, Spotify have embedded Agile in their working. So we know agile is not just for startups, it’s also for established companies and big entrepreneurs. The only difference is that they have multiple such products working in parallel with a large no. of team members and may adopt a bigger sprint of 4-6 weeks handled by dedicated scrum master for monitoring and reporting to help in concluding product manager’s believes and targets.
Important for Startups (Dos and Don’ts for Agile)
- Work on quality delivery.
- Refresh your task list with discussions in daily scrum.
- Product Vision should be intact.
- Plan small sprints.
- Update backlog with improvement features received as feedback.
- Keep picking few improvement tickets from backlog in current sprint if time permits.
- Try to integrate CI/CD for better delivery performance.
- Involve Product Manager frequently in discussions.
- Don’t lose focus from feature end to end integration.
- Don’t deviate from sprint goals.
- Don’t treat it as waterfall.
At Systango, we are strictly agile, helping our clients see a better and fuller product at the end of each sprint cycle. We have helped a lot of our clients go agile as especially the ones in the startup space, helping them deliver quality products to their client base.
Well, I hope you gained some information about Agile method and how important it is for a Startup. So keep growing and get your hands dirty trying to implement it. If you need help let us know and we would love to answer your questions!