Agility: don’t confuse speed with haste


It is not the presence of a Kanban board in the office that identifies an agile team. It is the accelerated production of innovative, relevant and good quality solutions; this within the constraints imposed.

The digital revolution is a challenge
challenge for our Information Systems Departments. We are on the front line. It is therefore urgent to
to have agile teams to meet the demands of differentiation of our
companies. But, the transformation
of a “traditional” IT team into an “agile” team
is not an easy task. It’s not just about doing
It’s not just a matter of micro-planning, posting tasks in a kanban

or getting rid of
tasks as quickly as possible at the expense of quality. An in-depth change is needed to be able to work differently, in a different way.
to work differently, at a different pace and with different tools.
tools. The
transformation to agile requires parallel work on three aspects

In the hierarchical organization there

are

In the hierarchical organization there are managers and subordinates. This organization offers many operating facilities.
This organization offers many operating facilities. Each person is precisely situated in relation to the others, and knows his or her field of activity.
and knows his field of action. Large-scale projects are carried out
by dividing them into tasks, or sub-sets, distributed among the actors of the
the organization. The efficiency of
hierarchical organization is real.
Its main disadvantage is the weight represented by the superior who
who alone has the vision of the whole and who concentrates the decisional power.

In the case of agile work, it is
is to create, in an accelerated time, an operational result responding to the various
the various problems posed. The disadvantage of the hierarchical organization
organization becomes a major obstacle to the achievement of objectives, because it appears too heavy, too slow, too rigid.
too slow, too rigid. The horizontal organization
organization, on the other hand, allows for
exchanges, less formal, richer between the different parties,
thus favouring the dynamic capitalisation of the team’s knowledge.

If the egalitarianism of a
organization can lead to a certain “disorder”, let us not be mistaken: in the
let us not be mistaken: in the term “horizontal organization” there is indeed the word
organization

. Like any team, the agile team
team, the agile team must be structured in order to function well.
to function well. It is not difficult to
imagine the chaos that would result if everyone did what they wanted, when they wanted
they wanted, as they wanted.

A leader with the gifts of
A leader with organizational skills is well placed to lead an agile team. Unlike the manager who controls, decides and
and manages problems, the leader
inspires, coordinates and gathers around a vision. His role will be to maintain the course on
the objective by promoting the best contributions of everyone.

There is a lot of talk about the iterations of the agile method. But, before
the work of short iterations, it is necessary to define the global framework
framework within which the team must produce. It is necessary to make a general study of the
as well as specify the expected service levels, major deadlines and
service levels, major milestones and performance requirements. It is also necessary to define the architecture
and technical architecture, development tools as well as the norms and standards to be
standards to be respected. Not to mention the
the budget amount.

Often, new agile teams, not having knowledge of the global framework
framework, they go off to explore solutions that are later considered too “fancy” or
too “fancy” or too expensive by the sponsors.

One point not to be neglected is usability. Sometimes, even on the eve of deployment, it is discovered that
that operability constraints have not been respected because they have not been
explicitly stated. Keep in mind that the deliverables of the
agile team will also be part of the information system. As such, you must plan for
integration into the existing system as well as the rules to ensure their
maintenance after the project phase.

Define the functional and technical framework within which
the agile team will have to work, will allow it to propose more relevant solutions.
solutions.

What if the framework is too narrow for the objective? The fact that it has been documented will allow
the need to reframe, at the right level and with the right decision makers.
decision-makers.

Quality is at the center of

an agile team’s

concerns of an agile team. A short cycle between the definition of the need
and the deployment in production can only be maintained if the developments
are of high quality. Imagine that after
every release there are many major incidents, or that,
during the acceptance phase, users constantly find
anomalies. It wouldn’t be long before we decided to
to lengthen the test periods, to introduce design reviews, to propose additional
design reviews, additional qualification steps, etc. All of this is to the detriment of the dynamics of the cycle.

Quality must be ensured by tried and tested processes:

You must not

neglect the implementation of tools

for

The implementation of tools for the industrialization of non-regression tests must not be neglected. New development techniques such as object-oriented programming
such as object-oriented programming, the production of micro-services or web
services are part of a bottom-up design process that allows applications to be built
applications progressively through the reuse of objects. It is still necessary to ensure that new calls to existing
calls to existing objects do not generate exceptions or malfunctions.

And why not move, progressively, towards the
integration factory? With each new
version of the code, we automatically chain the compilation, the non-regression tests
regression tests and performance validation.
Anomalies are highlighted and corrected by the developers before
before delivering the realizations to the next phase.
We also automate the distribution of the various components of the
components in order to accelerate and secure the installations in the
and production environments.

A team that is efficiently organized around a leader and
leader and objectives, knows the technical and functional framework in which it
framework in which it operates and has tools and processes to ensure the quality of its
quality of its deliverables, has every chance of becoming a successful
agile team. It is up to us to implement the conditions that will allow their emergence.
It’s up to us to implement the conditions that will allow them to emerge.


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