Small and Medium-Sized Companies: how to scale Agile, to scale your results?

The Agile Methodology has been applied by more and more companies, including small and medium ones.

With the digital transformation, technological resources became part of absolutely all business models, and this also changed management.

In this scenario, the Agile Methodology emerged, an efficient solution for companies to eliminate flaws in their processes and carry out more and better deliveries, adding value to the final result and increasing customer satisfaction.

In this post, you will figure out how your small or medium company can use and scale Scrum methodology and keep increasing productivity.

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Focus on Scrum for Small and Medium Companies

For those who don’t know yet, Scrum is an agile methodology for managing and planning software projects, in short.

Thinking that software development is a complex job, Scrum works as a framework to organize and manage it.

Unlike what people think, with no standardized processes, it is possible to add tools and resources to be adapted and functional for your company.

It is a challenge to start implementing the methodology, since, from that point onwards, speed and presentation of results according to needs is required.

The focus is to keep the entire team that participates in the project motivated and to have a more refined result, by prioritizing quality deliveries, and not just a shorter execution period.

The methodology, however, is not only applied in software development, and several companies already use it for project delivery in general.

What are the benefits of applying it?

Agile methodologies improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, as they are involved and engaged throughout the process, following the projects’ growth step by step.
Another benefit is an increase in team motivation and involvement, as it allows all members to monitor the project’s evolution, creating dialogues and opportunities for negotiation and improvement of members.

A great advantage of implementing this method for small companies is the great savings in time and costs, since all the practices of agile methodologies involve the company’s operation quickly and efficiently, ensuring that the budget and agreed deadlines are strictly adhered to, reducing waste.

Agile methodologies also allow an improvement in the quality of the product to be delivered, as the interaction between developers and customers allows the final product to have all the necessary qualities.

In addition, with constant communication and planning, the project becomes more cohesive, avoiding errors and allowing faster observation and correction if they happen.

Most used agile methodologies

Now that you know how these methodologies work and what their benefits are, it’s important to know the differences between the most commonly used methods.

It is worth remembering that there is no single and ideal methodology for all occasions, it is necessary to observe the functioning and profile of your company and choose the one that best suits existing conditions.

1. Extreme Programming (XP)

Useful tool for startups and companies in the process of consolidation, as its main objective is to optimize communication between employees and customers, strengthening personal relationships. Its phases are divided into

  • Project planning;
  • Project design;
  • Coding (programmers work in pairs to get efficient results);
  • Tests to verify that implemented codes work as expected.In addition, this method is based on 4 main concepts:
  1. communication (avoiding gaps and errors),
  2. simplicity (applied throughout the process, ensuring speed and efficiency),
  3. feedback (essential for communication, it consists of feedback between team members)
  4. courage (knowing how to take risks and say no when necessary).

2. Scrum

In this method, projects are divided into smaller steps called splints. Each splint lasts between 2 and 4 weeks and encompasses a series of tasks to be performed.

Who determines the characteristics of the product/service to be delivered is the Project Owner, that is, the person or company that requested the project.

This team is led by a person specialized in this agile methodology, known as the Scrum Master, who organizes and facilitates the teams’ work.

During the execution of a sprint, daily meetings are held, called Daily Scrum. In these meetings, the team discusses which tasks will be carried out, taking into account the priority of deliveries and presents what was completed the day before.

At the end of each sprint, a meeting is held, the Sprint Review Meeting, where a report is made about the last sprint and what to change or prioritize for the next is discussed.

3. Kanban

The Kanban methodology has the main focus on project managers. It consists of creating tables or three-column diagrams, which divide activities into pending, in-process, or completed.

This table must be made available to all team members, preventing tasks from being repeated or forgotten, optimizing time and resources.

Thus, this methodology allows for better planning of tasks, an improvement in team performance, the creation of visual metrics, and continuous delivery deadlines.

4. Feature Driven Development (FDD)

Feature Driven Development or FDD is an agile methodology based on the COAD method and interactive Lean processes. It aims to make development based on functionality, making functional deliverables in regular time frames.

FDD has five basic steps. The first three are executed only once, at the beginning of the process, and the other two are executed at each interaction:

  1. Entry: where you specify the entry criteria for the steps
  2. Task: defines a list of tasks that must be performed
  3. Verification: specifies the types of project or code assessments and inspections
  4. Exit: specifies the exit criteria, defining the products.
  5. Another feature of FDD is that the people involved in the project are not limited by their roles, as one person can play more than one role, and a role can be played by more than one person.

How to apply the Agile Methodology in Small, Medium Companies
To apply Kanban or Scrum in your Small or Medium Company, you need to ensure some essential points of the Agile Methodology:

  • Reduced teams: perform more focused deliveries;
  • Multidisciplinary teams: prefer proactive to specialists;
  • Self-organized professionals: have problem solvers;
  • Motivated employees: worry about your human capital;
  • Adequate environment: take care of the quality of life and well-being of everyone;
  • Constant feedback: be present. Nothing replaces eye to eye;
  • Streamlined processes: automate processes and improve your deliveries.

You will notice that by guaranteeing the above points, your company will already gain a lot in productivity. All of this, added to the application of agile methods, can bring several benefits to your business.

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Leonardo Salles

Copywriter for GitScrum.