Pro Tips: Agile Revelations

The use of agile keeps evolving—and the pandemic caused even more organizations to shift their approach. PMI asked project professionals around the world: Over the past two years, how has your team changed the way it uses agile approaches? And what has been the main benefit?

Maria Virtudes Briz headshot for digital exclusives article

A head start—through collaboration and data
Our use of agile has evolved in two main ways. First, using agile values of collaboration and communication, we work with simpler, low-definition prototypes to validate the product before the construction phase, allowing for a fail-safe and fast achievement of the agreement between teams on the scope for minimum viable product. We’re also using more data to understand our customers’ behaviors and how they changed during and after the pandemic. Anonymized and aggregated data about our customers’ usage lets us improve their journey in our service. The benefits of these shifts are significant. Now the teams are involved in earlier stages of the product life cycle, such as conceptualization and detailed design, allowing them to identify opportunities, risks and/or propose efficient ways to solve business needs. We better understand the market and how it is changing to give fast and targeted responses, which focus more on value creation instead of the construction process.
Maria Virtudes Briz, head of product development, Telefonica, Madrid

Lenka Pincot headshot for digital exclusives article

A wider embrace—and comprehension—of agile
Over the past two years, I’ve seen increased understanding across management that agile is not just about scrum or software development. There is an articulated need to transform toward agile in human resources or having transparent backlogs in cloud-based tools that are integrated with continuous integration/continuous development tools for DevOps enablement. A holistic agile approach is very beneficial for agile teams themselves because it highlights systemic impediments on the company level and, at the same time, provides tools how to address them. When we asked our agile teams what they like most about an agile way of working, they appreciated improved collaboration, transparency and flexibility in case of change of priorities.
Lenka Pincot, PMI-ACP, PMI-PBA, PMP, chief of staff, PMI

Venkatraman Lakshminarayanan headshot for digital exclusives article

A motivation to flex with impact
Agile had a huge payoff during the pandemic. It has not only reemphasized high-value delivery but also reaffirmed our engagement model with some of our partners. For one of our key airline customers, it immensely helped them to reprioritize their COVID-related, high-value, high-priority features. A non-fixed-bid engagement model with flexible scope, in the true spirit of agile, has helped them to scale up and down their teams, leading to a win-win.
Venkatraman Lakshminarayanan, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP, associate director of projects, Cognizant, Dubai