Getting stuff done … Are you AGILE enough to do it?

Recently I’ve been discussing project methodology with clients and talking to others about getting ‘stuff done’ with quick and sustainable wins. And out of curiosity I researched AGILE project management and it occurred to me that it can be adapted very successfully to any business environment (it was originally developed for software development) and is a great way to deliver quick wins that could also make up part of longer/larger project.

You see when people start to work on a project they can get disheartened by the length of the project, the stages that have to be worked through and that there may not be anything to see in the initial stages… so yes, the end point is going to be something to celebrate but quick wins along the way can make all the difference to people’s motivation.

So how can you turn a project methodology into quick and satisfying wins?

  • Most businesses have a number of projects either in progress or on the business plan for the year. We know the overall goal for each project so what about breaking the projects down into the discrete stages and thinking about the individual road maps for each stage? Even the ones that are yet to be started.
  • Breaking things down into the discrete packages of work will invariably identify a ‘work stream’ that can be almost standalone and so to deliver it will be a benefit to the business/client as well as a great motivator for the team.
  • Hold a daily review every day – standing up is always better for this – where everyone says what they did the day before, what they are going to do that day, and highlight any roadblocks that may/will impact on progress. It’s a great way for everyone to share, it keeps everyone accountable, and people learn more quickly about what they can commit to in a day and start to think ahead more. This works even if there is a number of different projects, pieces of work etc. on the go at the same time as well as considering business as usual.
  • When a piece of work is completed then show it to the rest of the team, get their feedback, get them to road test it. Again it keeps everyone up to date, it helps to get different perspectives, and it also helps other projects and work streams.
  • After the quick win has gone live hold a review within a short time, this can be used to learn from how it landed and how its being used and if there are any tweaks needed to the next stage/iteration and of course to measure the success.
Simple ways to achieve quick wins which not only have an overall benefit to a project or but also help the team(s) and the people to work more collaboratively and more openly.