The agile manifesto gives us a decision making framework for how to approach and solve problems but it doesn’t give us an obvious way to start applying agile within our teams and organisation.
That’s where frameworks and practices come in.
Frameworks are like a recipe, they have a series of steps to follow to achieve a desired result.
Some frameworks are more prescriptive than others. Some frameworks are more proven and widely adopted than others.
As with a good recipe, everyone does it a little differently. There are certainly thousands of slightly different recipes to make carrot cake, where different people have their own individual preferences and tastes. The best thing to do is choose one and then experiment until you make it your own.
Some popular frameworks include:
- Extreme Programming
- The Spotify Model
- Agile Marketing
To stick to a baking analogy practices are individual ingredients. They can be shared across the various frameworks.
There are infinite amounts of practices you can learn about and try. Talk to experts and people with previous experience working in agile environments.
Experiment and keep what works for you.
The most popular agile practices:
- Daily standup
- Sprint/iteration planning
- Sprint/iteration review
- Short iterations
- Planning poker/team estimation
- Kanban Release planning
- Dedicated customer/Product owner
- Single team (integrated dev and test)
- Frequent releases
- Common work area
- Product roadmapping
- Story mapping
- Agile portfolio planning
- Agile/Lean UX
Selecting the right Agile Framework
Nothing can replace finding someone with experience and asking them for help.
The vast majority of organisations start their agile journey with either Kanban, Scrum or some combination of the two. This makes Kanban or Scrum as good a place as any to start.
Why you might start with Kanban
- You need to be highly responsive to change (e.g. work changes daily or you are working from a cue).
- Your team has highly specialised skills
- Your team has multiple objectives
- When tasks are highly complex and are hard to break down
Why you might choose Scrum
- When you are building a product or something large, incrementally
- When your team is highly cross-functional
- When the team is focused on achieving a single or limited number of goals
- When getting started with adopting agile
Some more resources discussing the difference between Scrum and Kanban:
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