Agile

The power of Agile

Creating value is central to Agile working. Agile enables the project team to respond quickly and flexibly to the needs and wishes of the customer. Nimble uses Agile methods to optimize, digitize, automate and map work processes in an efficient and effective way.

What is Agile?

Agile working is a catch-all term for all kinds of work forms that have one goal: optimal customer value. The working methods vary from simplistic models to very complex technical models. There are working methods such as: Scrum, SAFe, SNAP, Kanban and the Spotify model. All Agile working methods have one thing in common and that is the use of buzz terms such as: sprints, daily stand-ups, user stories, product owners and UATs. Nice, but what does it actually mean? More importantly, how do we create value with this?

In order to properly understand Agile working, 12 principles have been described in the Agile Manifesto. These principles describe the purpose of Agile working. All working methods that lead to the achievement of these principles can be called Agile. In particular, four themes help achieve the principles: strategy, teams, cycles and overview.

Strategy

First of all, having a flexible strategy is important. A multi-year plan that is clung to without any deviation is no longer feasible nowadays. The world is changing far too fast for that, a flexible strategy is therefore essential. Setting up multidisciplinary teams forms the basis for this.

Teams

The team works together to achieve one goal with clear added value for the customer. All knowledge and skills required to achieve this goal are added to the team. This means that different disciplines are added to the team; such as production, marketing, IT and Finance. We have now arrived at the first buzz word: the product owner, he / she is the protagonist in the team and keeps an overview of the end product and guarantees the provision of customer value. In order to cooperate, the progress is closely monitored and results are preferably also displayed visually. A daily stand-up can be very useful here (buzz-word translation: daily short meeting). Three questions are answered in “the daily” and may take a maximum of 15 minutes.

Daily stand-up
Three questions

Userstory

"As a [user role] I want the ability to ... [activity] so that I ... [customer value]."

Cycles

Now everyone is aware of each other’s progress again and it is even better to display this visually so that the entire team is continuously informed of each other’s progress. The last but certainly not the least important theme is the length of the cycles. In general, the shorter the better. Buzz word alert! The length often depends on the size of a sprint (defined period) and that size is determined on the basis of the number of user stories. A user story is simply a customer story: “As a user of… [user’s role] I want the ability to… [activity] so that I… [customer value].” These stories are collected in the backlog (overview of user stories) and can be handled in a sprint. The strength lies in short sprints with clear user stories. By working in short periods, results can be seen quickly and there is full focus on the right tasks. This ensures efficiency and effectiveness in accelerating customer value.

The Nimble work method

At Nimble we also work in an Agile way within our projects. In the weeks prior to the sprint, we determine together with the customer what the ultimate goal is and which elements must be realized in order to achieve this. These elements are added to the backlog after validation and estimation. All user stories for the sprint are collected here. Within the 3-weekly sprint, user stories are selected that are relevant to the phase of the project. After this selection, the kick-off of the developments will take place. The developments are the first to experience a FAT (Functional Acceptance Test), this test checks whether everything that has been developed functions properly. If this test is successful, we will perform a NAT (Nimble Acceptance Test), if this test is successful, a UAT (User Acceptance Test) will be performed by the customer to ensure that everything works for the benefit of the customer. If certain elements do not yet function, they are re-analyzed, tested and developed, this process is repeated until everything functions as desired.

Intensive collaboration, being open to change and being able to respond flexibly to this is perfectly in line with our Nimblicity concept. In this way we combine the power of people, processes and technology.

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