Adapting to change in your agile strategies

Here are some tips to adapt to change in your agile strategies:

In the fast-paced enterprise world, business success or failure is largely dependent on the ability to adapt to changes and effectively leverage trends for competitive advantages. For this reason, many development teams have pursued agile testing methodologies and agile software testing in order to create higher quality projects and achieve predictable delivery across the board.

However, agile requires that organizations be prepared to make adjustments at any time and that type of flexibility has traditionally been a challenge to achieve. Luckily, there are a few tricks businesses can use to get the most out of their efforts without struggling under their overall plans. Here are some tips to adapt to change in your agile strategies:

1. Abandon old biases
Hanging onto traditional, familiar practices makes it significantly harder to adapt to changes and pursue agile development. MindTools contributor Bruna Martinuzzi noted that behavioral and mental scripts often influence decisions, meaning that because teams may be familiar with one process, they may begrudgingly accept the realities of a new situation. In order to counteract this, developers should ask themselves what factors are influencing their choices, and actively attempt to push the envelope. Teams can also consider what their successor would do to improve things and create strategies around these ideas.

Martinuzzi also noted that by becoming adapters, teams prefer a more methodical, organized approach to problem-solving, while innovators are more likely to seek solutions by thinking outside the box. Having both aspects will mitigate old biases and better adapt to changes in agile strategies.

"One looks to do things better, the other looks to do things differently," Martinuzzi wrote. "Consider that a team that is composed of extreme adapters or extreme innovators is less successful than a team that is balanced."

2. Expecting adjustments enhances preparation
As stated earlier, agile practices inherently mean that changes are likely, and that teams must be prepared for to execute at any time. Agile Connection contributor Len Whitmore noted that many businesses fail to think about the potential for adjustments to agile strategy, which could significantly affect how they perform and the success of agile projects.

"Often, teams simply dive into agile projects, allowing for agility to guide the project," Whitmore wrote. "At times, this works. At other times, without an agile strategy, the teams are short sighted in their solution, which can diminish overall value. In these instances, the team actually generates greater risk for the project, and shows a lack of discipline and due diligence, which results in more rework, lesser-quality code, technical debt or outright failure."

However, by understanding that the strategy as well as project elements will change, QA teams can better prepare themselves to take on these challenges and adjust accordingly. This will increase chances for successful applications and facilitate more effective development groups.

3. Outperform traditional strategies
By now, it's well-known that agile operations can provide significant advantages, but how does the ability to change fit into these benefits? According to Web Republic, agile strategies are lean and fast, meaning that organizations will be able to use their resources more effectively and get results quickly. These capabilities will give businesses the startup-like innovation that will enable them to outperform their competitors in the market.

"The faster we can go through the iterations loops, the quicker we learn and the quicker we can adapt to change," Web Republic stated. "So instead of trying to predict the future five years from now we create assumptions, build the project, release it, test it and iterate the original assumption. This whole process can happen very fast, within a month or even a week."

These performance boosts will enable companies to keep stride in the industry and be ready to act when changes arise. The performance edge offered by agile strategies could be enough to reap significant benefits and lead the business to success.

Organizations have long histories of being against change and slow to adapt to any new trends. However, with agile permeating the development space, this slow-paced mindset is no longer viable. QA can even make use of agile test management strategy to better prepare for potential changes in that area and ensure that they are able to react quickly if a defect appears.

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