“Agile” is a word that frequently makes an appearance when discussing subjects around IT and business operations. From agile project management and agile software development to agile environments and agile habits the term is used to describe the optimum state of so many different concepts that it can sometimes lose its meaning.
But the COVID-19 pandemic brought the importance of understanding the definition of agile and applying it to business to light.
Years prior, adopting an agile approach meant streamlining processes by avoiding inefficient practices. For example, strict regulations, overly-long meetings, and excessive documentation. Following the effects of the pandemic and people around the world working from home whenever possible, being agile can be the difference between filing for bankruptcy and keeping your business afloat.
Although it’s often overused, agile has always been much more than a catchy buzzword. The concept is a real approach to project management. While the term has several similar interpretations, the purest definition of agile can be found within the Agile Manifesto. It includes these four general values:
These important points define agile as an iterative development methodology. It prioritizes communication, feedback, working results, and adapting to changes.
One example of an agile method is Scrum. Originating from software engineering, this framework for product and project management helps teams to plan iteratively and incrementally. It allows you to quickly remove initial ambiguities on the basis of intermediate results. Additionally, you can seamlessly adapt the overall plan and develop it as you receive new information.
A Scrum team comprises the product owner, scrum master, and the rest of the team developing the product. The product owner is responsible for prioritizing business requirements. They most often have Scrum Master Certification. However, the scrum master manages processes and removes hurdles.
Before we get onto how an MSP (Managed Staffing Provider) can help you develop more agile teams for increased productivity, it’s important to understand what one actually is.
A managed staffing provider acts as your in-house recruitment team, hiring individuals (such as a senior web developer) or complete groups (such as a marketing team) to work on behalf of your business. They have access to a pool of industry experts and have a thorough understanding of the skills, experience, and strengths each worker has. This important information enables them to pair the best expert with the right business.
MSPs provide temporary staff for increasing demand or one-off projects, as well as permanent members of staff for ongoing needs. Workers can complete their tasks remotely or work in-house on your premises, whichever is best for your business.
It’s important to note that although a management staffing provider and management service provider are both MSPs, they’re two very distinct entities.
A managed service provider can take over single tasks (such as designing one website) or ongoing projects (such as niche marketing) for your business. A managed staffing provider hires individuals or teams for your business. In short, a managed service provider focuses on tasks, while a managed staffing provider focuses on staff.
MSPs can help you follow the four main values listed in the Agile Manifesto. They do this by providing you with additional staff to adopt agile methods or by freeing up your current workers to perform in a more agile way.
You can use an MSP to hire individuals to complete low-value tasks which can easily be automated. This allows you to reallocate sources to more important tasks which require a personal approach. For example, customer interaction and feedback monitoring. The information you gain from customers will help you adapt your product to your customers’ latest needs.
Encourage your staff to be more creative and innovative by using an MSP to lessen their workload. By outsourcing a single task from each of your business’ departments to external groups and individuals, this frees up time. Teams will now be able to discuss problems together and discover effective solutions. This is part of the Agile Alliance’s Open Fridays strategy.
You can take a DevOps approach to product development by hiring a DevOps engineer, software development team, and IT operations through an MSP. Following DevOps’ CI/CD approach, they monitor the software consistently and changes are quickly made whenever they spot bugs. This will ensure your product is properly functioning at all times.
The DevOps methodology also comes into play to help you follow this agile value. Through DevOps, the first software rollout doesn’t have to be perfect across all devices. The main goal is often to get a basic working version out at launch. Then you can improve along the way while learning at the same time. There are also Devops Certification options that can help.
An MSP can either help you free up staff members and/or time so you can focus on maintaining working software. Or. the MSP can take over the entire project and optimize it through a DevOps approach.
MSPs can do much more than lower your staffing costs and streamline your processes. They can help your entire business become more agile. Thereby helping you build superior products and provide your customers with a better experience.
In the midst of the pandemic and all the uncertainty which comes with it, people want businesses they can rely on. The companies which have been taking an agile approach to project management and product development for years are still standing today.
The Agile Manifesto isn’t going to become redundant anytime soon, but the outlook of your business could. Help future-proof your operations by developing a reputation as a business people can rely on. Strive to value customer feedback and act on it accordingly by using a MSP to become more agile in your daily operations.