Hari Prasad, MCA, MBA (Operations), PGDFM, PMP, MCITP, PMI-ACP, Prince2 Practitioner and CSM, with 2 decades of experience in IT Delivery, Training Consulting, Agile/Scrum. 16+ years in various IT delivery positions, 6 years as Project Management Trainer/Coach/Mentor and trained 2500+ leaders in India & abroad.
Hari shared his thoughts on Agile and its wide applicability. You can also read a very popular & inspiring Q&A Interview with Hari “My life is “A journey of freedom”
How will you describe Agile and Agile Manifesto?
Agile is about quickly responding to changing to address the need of stakeholders. Processes or no process, documentation or no documentation, who should pay for change or who raised the change all these are secondary details. Agile manifesto address defines this philosophy beautifully in four lines.
Agile is to do with Software Development only or Agile has its wide application? Can you describe it with some examples?
Agility is the nature of everything existing around us including business, process, culture, competition etc. You name it and agility is there. So agility is nothing to do with business verticals like IT, Banking, Pharma, Government, Education etc. Agile manifesto and various agile methods gives us the practices and philosophy to handle the changes.
Apart from IT which other sectors or Industries are using Agile?
Agile concept applies to operations and project management both. Whichever sector manufactures, need project management to address the improvement, wherever urgency to address the change is high otherwise stakes are very high need to adopt agile values and principles. It may be construction, BPO, IT, banking, NGO, pharma or anything.
What are the standard, Advanced Agile practices?
There are around 15 methods and around 200 agile practices. We do not categories them as standard or advance. Every methodology advocates certain set of practices.
Can Agile help in running a business (small, medium or big) and which of the agile practices can be applied for it?
Definitely yes. Methods like Scrum, ScrumBan, Kanban are good to run day to day business. They have practices like daily stand up, scrum planning, restrospective, scrum board, burn down charts and these are very useful practices or documentation.
Can Agile be of some value to the functional organizations? If so, how such organizations can transform themselves in to an Agile Organizations? Which agile practice(s) can be helpful for them?
Yes, agile is also very useful for functional organizations. Follow the methods and practices as mentioned earlier.
Can Agile Concept be of some help to the Students to be better self-organized with effective speed and can it help them in efficient/continuous scaling up in their studies & career? Which agile practice(s) would be suitable for them?
Oh yes. Even house wives, retired people can use agile practices. For example there are lot of activities which a house wife do on day to day basis because she deals with many stakeholders like bank, clothing, various vendors, relatives etc. If she can plan and track the work using scrum board she will reduce lot of headache by putting things on wall, delegating and creating high visibility. Similarly when she organizes the party she can do practices of product backlog, sprint planning, daily scrum, retrospectives etc.
What are the best advantages of Agile that make Agile most suited and adaptable in scenarios mentioned in some of the questions above?
Value of money and time spent. You are highly focused and at any point of time you do NOT work on producing those which are of less value or NOT required immediately or in near future.
How students & beginners can learn Agile in a practical manner and What tools would you suggest for them?
Agile is not about tool. It is about philosophy. So it has lot to do with values and principles. Go on agilemenifesto.org understand and imbibe 4 values and 12 principles of agile in your thought process. It takes time because it is cultural shift. But it worth spending that time and learning.
What would be your advice to the readers on “leaning, adapting and continuously scaling in Agile”?
Do not go in trap of agile methodologies, practices and tools. Understand the philosophy as is. Then see the problems around where you can apply these principles. Change your life first rather then seeking an agile project and applying mini-waterfall on that and saying it is agile!