How agile are you?

A quick explanation of the New Work buzzword

Everyone’s talking about the concept of agility. It originated in software development and since the beginning of the new millennium it is becoming an increasingly successful recipe in project management. We also take agility into consideration as a dimension for the analysis of work culture using our WORK.CULTURE.MAP.

Nowadays we distinguish between agile values, principles and techniques from which in turn agile methods can be derived. But what benefit do agile methods even bring? In short – they are a useful tool that enables us to face rapidly changing situations and requirements, and react more flexibly. With agile methods, even vaguely defined tasks can be tackled successfully – keeping costs low and managing time effectively.

Agile values

This refers to an attitude that focuses more on individuals and their interactions than processes and tools. For instance, in projects the idea is to concentrate more on cooperation with the customers than negotiating contracts. There is a rapid response to change, and plans are abandoned more readily.

Agile processes


Agile techniques

Once the framework for a project is in place, the agile techniques can be applied. Here are a few examples:

  • Task Board: overview of current tasks

  • Use Cases: requirements described from a customer perspective

  • Daily Stand-up Meetings: efficient status meetings held daily, standing up

  • Work-in-Progress Limits (WIP Limits): limitation of parallel tasks to preserve productivity

  • Burn-Down Charts: visualisation of work status

  • Timeboxing: (real-time) fixed timings

  • Planning Poker: dynamic process for estimating effort

  • Business Value: generation of customer benefit as early as possible

  • Definition of Done: clear definition of the point at which a task is considered complete

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