In today's challenging economic climate, organizations faced with limited budgets and frozen staffing levels need proven, common-sense approaches to maximize their productivity. Agile approaches are business practices with a proven track record for helping organizations achieve greater efficiency, higher-quality outputs and increased customer satisfaction. They enable organizations to avoid the trappings of extensive up-front planning and up-front budget commitments by encouraging staff to regularly produce high-value business outputs; and by basing ongoing financial and resource commitments on the delivered outcomes. This focus on responsive planning based on tangible outputs is why Agile approaches have been successfully used in selected industries for over two decades.
Agile Productivity Unleashed: Proven approaches for achieving real productivity gains in any organization introduces every industry sector to the Agile approaches that have dramatically improved the IT, product development and manufacturing sectors over the past two decades. The book clearly explains how the key principles of Agile approaches can be used to significantly increase productivity, quality and customer satisfaction in every business activity at your organization. Written in non-technical language specifically for business professionals, this book is an essential tool for anyone whose job it is to deliver high-quality results on time and on budget.
Benefits of introducing Agile...
- Meet deadlines. Agile is designed to avoid the business risks involved in 'all-at-once' delivery, where a glitch during one stage of a project can throw the entire effort out of kilter, and result in serious delays in completion. This book shows how your organization can accommodate inevitable internal and external changes through responsive planning. By using Agile approaches, staff members no longer have to wait several weeks or months for an updated plan to be agreed, but can quickly adjust their work in line with new business requirements and priorities. In this way, Agile will help you to avoid project overrun and deliver on your commitments.
- Minimize waste. Agile approaches continually focus staff on the value stream, i.e. those activities that directly result in the highest business value generation for the organization. This book shows you how to use business process optimization, fixed deadlines and imminent timeframes to insure that delivery teams do not fall into the common traps of overproduction, excess movement or under-utilized people.
- Reduce costs. If a project is heavily planned in advance, but its results are only available after the work has been completed, then flaws can be very expensive to correct. Instead, Agile approaches promote initial and ongoing stakeholder engagement, and take deliberate steps to encourage this feedback throughout the project. This means that business requirements can be confirmed (and problems detected) earlier on, and corrected at a much lower cost to the organization.
- Improve communication. No matter how precise the blueprint, it is never going to be a substitute for the close co-operation between people of different skills that is required to deliver successful outcomes. This book shows you how to achieve results that are aligned with business needs by keeping the delivery team in close contact with each other — and with the business areas — as the project progresses.
- Empower the team. Agile approaches allow each delivery team to determine the volume of high-priority work that they are capable of delivering within the individual phases of a project. In this way, delivery teams are given a sense of responsibility for completing the work required within the timeframe they have set for themselves, and feel motivated to deliver work of a quality that will continue to satisfy the stakeholders.
Over the past two decades, Agile approaches have had a revolutionary impact on software development in many small- and medium-sized IT companies, as well as big corporations like Microsoft, Yahoo! and Google. Thanks to their focus on responsive planning, tangible outputs and waste management, Agile approaches have also led to equally dramatic improvements in the product development and manufacturing sectors.
Agile Productivity Unleashed shows how organizations in every industry sector can benefit by using proven, common-sense Agile approaches to deliver successful outcomes across a full range of business activities.
Table of contents
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
- SECTION 1: A CASE STUDY
- A CASE STUDY: TRADITIONAL VERSUS AGILE APPROACHES
- SECTION 2: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT AGILE
- CHAPTER 1: AGILE IN A NUTSHELL
- CHAPTER 2: WHY IS AGILE SO EFFECTIVE?
- CHAPTER 3: WHY DON’T MORE ORGANIZATIONS USE AGILE?
- CHAPTER 4: AGILE SOUNDS GOOD, BUT …
- SECTION 3: 12 AGILE PRINCIPLES THAT WILL REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR ORGANIZATION
- CHAPTER 5: RESPONSIVE PLANNING
- CHAPTER 6: BUSINESS-VALUE-DRIVEN WORK
- CHAPTER 7: HANDS-ON BUSINESS OUTPUTS
- CHAPTER 8: REAL-TIME CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
- CHAPTER 9: IMMOVABLE DEADLINES
- CHAPTER 10: MANAGEMENT BY SELF-MOTIVATION
- CHAPTER 11: “JUST-IN-TIME” COMMUNICATION
CHAPTER 12: IMMEDIATE STATUS TRACKING
- The end of the monthly report
- The requirements backlog
- The delivery backlog
- The executive dashboard
- Burndown charts
- Measuring productivity by outputs
- Tracking overall progress in the requirements backlog
- Tracking day-to-day work in the delivery backlog
- The power of the “burndown” chart
- The real-time executive dashboard
- Early and continuous delivery tracking
- Redefining risk management
- CHAPTER 13: WASTE MANAGEMENT
- CHAPTER 14: CONSTANTLY MEASURABLE QUALITY
- CHAPTER 15: REARVIEW MIRROR CHECKING
- CHAPTER 16: CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT
- SECTION 4: MAKING AGILE WORK IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
CHAPTER 17: SELECTING AGILE APPROACHES THAT BEST MEET YOUR NEEDS
- The five fundamental questions
- Question 1: What are the biggest issues that my organization is currently facing?
- Question 2: Are the people in my organization ready for a significant change in the way they currently work?
- Question 3: To what extent can I influence the decision to use Agile approaches in the organization?
- Question 4: Are the intended participants in the Agile approaches sufficiently aware of both the processes and their roles?
- Question 5: Which Agile approaches are best suited to my organization?
- The Agile approaches selection tool
- Using Agile approaches for future activities
- Using Agile approaches for current activities
- CHAPTER 18: INTRODUCING AGILE WITHIN YOUR ORGANIZATION
- CHAPTER 19: USING AGILE TOOLS
- CHAPTER 20: EXPANDING THE USE OF AGILE IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
- AUTHOR’S NOTE ON AGILE RESOURCES
- ITG RESOURCES
- Title: Agile Productivity Unleashed
- Release date: September 2010
- Publisher(s): IT Governance Publishing
- ISBN: 9781849281386
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