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Working Towards Making a Non-IT Team Agile? 4 Tips

By now everyone knows that Agile is not exclusive to IT teams. In recent years, you have seen it being used in manufacturing, marketing, and even education. And now, you want to apply that to your non-IT team as well. How to do it? In this article at Targetprocess, Nicholas Malahosky shares 4 tips to help you guide your non-IT team to be agile.

Walking the Miles for Agile

Several organizations have opted for the method because of the speed of delivery and agility. Though the methodology is quite commonplace now, your non-IT team members may object to it initially. Following are the 4 ways you can work towards making a non-IT team agile:

  1. Infuse It in the Culture Rather Than Enforcing: Though Agile is a framework, organizations are enforcing standard processes in the name of the methodology. It works better if you infuse the methodology in your work culture to create that agile mindset. The approach might not align well with the way your non-IT team was working till date. Instead of following the approach blindly, make some adjustments can lead the team to adapt to the approach soon.
  2. Implement Incrementally: A lot of transformations fail because organizations shift to new procedures without giving the employees the time to react. Decide which approach work for you—Scrum or Kanban. While Kanban uses a board to display work status, Scrum uses retrospectives. XSCALE Alliance founder Peter Merel suggests that you initiate ‘steel-thread squads,’e., a small number of individuals that practice the methodology. Later, you shift them into different departments. The message spreads and so does the culture.
  3. Explain the Actual Purpose: Explain to the team that Agile does not abandon quality to increase delivery speed. Also, avoid using technical terms like ‘working software’ or ‘end user.’ Use a language that they understand. The non-IT team must know that the approach provides clients with the highest quality without being burdened with long-winding processes.
  4. Be Flexible but Have a Common Link: If you are implementing Agile in more than one team, you might create ‘Agile silos.’ Though all of them are following the approach, none of them have any similarity or cross-functional activities. The methodology is about collaboration, so use frameworks like SAFe, DaD, LeSS, and LeadingAgile to keep a tab on all the teams. Remember that the manifesto stressed on people over procedures. The varied opinions and unique personalities of your team bring in diversity, so do not bind those ideas in rules.

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