A basic mobile app costs $140,000, on average.
And that doesn’t include the thousands of development hours.
If you’re developing more complex software or a physical product, the costs and stakes are higher. The timeline for going to market can be several years.
Time enough for your head of product to go gray and your devs to go bald.
Implementing Agile strategy can help you massively speed up your timeline and push your new app or product to market better, faster, and cheaper.
Sounds good right? Of course, making the transition from old approaches isn’t always easy.
But we’re here to help.
This article will give you exactly what you need to use Agile strategic planning to boost the productivity of your teams, finish early, and save big on essential projects.
What is the most popular Agile strategy?
According to the 2020 State of Agile report, Scrum is still the most popular Agile method, by far.
It’s not even close. Over 76% of Agile teams use Scrum or its variants in 2020.
And with good reason. It’s an easy framework to internalize and start using. Many of our internal teams use it to improve monday.com every day.
By relying more on the concept of a feedback loop (with live feedback from actual users of your product), it’s fundamentally different from old-school standardized frameworks.
Within a day of choosing it, your team could be sprinting through your project, rather than crawling. (And yes, that’s a sprint planning pun).
What are the 4 core principles of an Agile strategy?
The bible of the Agile method, The Agile Manifesto, highlights 4 core values that should guide any Scrum sprint.
Although they seem simple on the surface, implementing them is often a challenge for teams used to another methodology.
Let’s break them down…
#1. People first: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Don’t get bogged down with the newest, shiniest tool or strategy. Focus on active collaboration and communication to get things done.
Following outdated processes for the sake of it will have everyone banging their heads against the not-so-metaphorical wall.
A single intuitive platform that simplifies communication and project management (like monday.com) makes a better foundation than a mishmash of tools and apps.
#2. Focus: Working software over comprehensive documentation
Don’t spend too much time in the planning process of development. Over-documenting every requirement, action, and feature will only delay your team actually working on your software.
#3. Collaboration: Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Rather than a drawn-out negotiation period, work with the customer on an ongoing basis. If you’re doing custom development, agree on an MVP (minimum viable product) and start moving forward.
Include the client in regular progress and planning meetings. That way, your clients get what they need from the software without slowing it down.
#4. Adaptability: Responding to change over following a planMike Tyson famously said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.” And it’s just as true in project management as it is in the ring. Your sprint might seem perfectly planned, but you can’t foresee every problem.
For example, a crucial feature that your team depends on could get delayed, affecting the whole project. In that case, following the plan is a terrible idea.
Instead, you should reassign talent to solve the critical issue ASAP.
To read more about the 12 Agile principles, read our dedicated blog post on Agile project management.
How do you implement an Agile strategy?
Strategic planning can be an easy way to waste time and money if you do it wrong.
It all comes down to the strategy execution, whether it’s a realistic plan, and whether it’s actually possible to follow through.
Choosing the right platform is a great place to start.
Not to toot our own horn, but using monday.com is one of the easiest ways to start implementing Agile strategy.
Our Agile planning template is plug and play. You can copy and paste it into your dashboard, edit the workflows, estimate timelines, assign users, and get to work.
It’s a lot easier than trying to retrofit Agile planning on the platforms you’re already using.
Here are the steps to implementing an Agile strategy with monday:
#1. Pre-planning: Create a list of all the tasks in your project
Just like with any other project planning methodology, you need a basic roadmap of what to do.
Write out all the requirements related to your project or strategy. With a bug tracker, these can range from bug fixes to testing, to developing new features.
According to the Scrum method, this is your backlog (and yes we have a template for that).
Even if the list seems overwhelming at this point, don’t get discouraged. You won’t tackle them all at once.
#2. Planning: Split your project into manageable chunks
Work backward from your strategic goals. For a development project, focus on the features you need in a minimum viable product (MVP).
At later stages, evaluate and plan based on the potential impact on customers and the usability of your product. Use iterations to make tangible improvements at a fast pace.
If it’s a physical product, break it down into manageable chunks like design, 3D modeling, prototyping, market testing, and more.
#3. Set ambitious deadlines and focus on the short term
The whole point of a sprint is to speed up the process. If you split an app into iterations, but give yourself months for each one, it doesn’t matter.
Set an ambitious, but realistic goal for each iteration; we always use 2-week intervals for our sprints. Then figure out how much work you can realistically assign to each sprint. A general estimation of task length based on previous experience helps move things along.
#4. Prioritize work and features with dependencies
Prioritize features and tasks that other team members depend on to do their work. We use a color-coded system to draw attention where it’s needed.
For example, in marketing, no campaigns can start moving until the new landing pages are live. Good prioritization will remove potential bottlenecks before they appear.
#5. Seek direct feedback from key stakeholders
The feedback loop is one of the most important aspects of agile development. Bring your customer into the loop and get their input through development, not just at the end.
To implement it into your corporate strategy, assemble a team of managers who work directly in areas you want to overhaul.
A stakeholder on the front lines, like a marketing manager, can single-handedly transform your business strategy. Asking the right questions is often more important to leadership than giving orders.
#6. Communicate daily
Our Agile team doesn’t sit around and wait for their main bi-weekly meetings. They communicate every day, covering yesterday’s completed tasks, overall progress, and asking if other team members are stuck or need help.
85% of Agile companies rely on the “daily standup”, daily progress meetings to help everyone prioritize and collaborate on goals. Our internal teams also find them incredibly useful.
Talk to each other every morning. It’s the best medicine for a bad plan or a delayed project.
Agile strategy example: How our R&D team uses scrum
Learn how our very own R&D team uses monday.com’s Agile project management software.
Once every two weeks, they have a planning meeting to decide on which tests to develop and execute. They select them from a backlog of bugs that the whole company contributes to.
Then, they decide who is the owner of each task and assign it to a specific person. They set the priorities, single out must-haves, and move on.
With a battle-plan set up, the team jumps in and starts working.
Then, daily meetings and ongoing communication in the monday.com board helps adjust the course.
Agile strategy should be in the toolbox of every project manager, regardless of industry. By collaborating better and adapting to changes in real time, you can go to market much faster.
If you have never worked with it before, it might seem overwhelming to make the switch.
But our Agile planning template makes the transition easy. You can easily assign task owners, edit priorities, and set deadlines or estimations.
Give it a try. Set up a test sprint in minutes, and see how much faster your team can work. An Agile mindset and approach can transform your output.