Let’s be Agile! Get to know more about the Agile methodology and how to use it to reach your goals.

You won’t be the only one, you’ll find out about entrepreneurs’ successful stories that, like you, dared to try it.

  • “Being agile refers to the ability of creating and responding to change with the purpose of achieving success in an uncertain and turbulent environment.”

It consists of a set of techniques to develop projects that require to be executed in a quick and flexible manner in order to adapt to changing conditions, and uses this as a competitive advantage.  It involves dividing the project into small parts that must be completed and delivered to the client in a few weeks and so guaranteeing fast and continuous deliveries.

It also involves the utilization of multidisciplinary groups, known as scrums, which work together in an integrated way throughout the process. In consequence, each member of the group can give feedback on the advancement of the project towards the final product, allowing them to make corrections and ensuring that the delivered result is in accordance with what has been requested.

Now, you’ll get to know the principles of Agile through the real examples of entrepreneurs who reached their objectives.

1.     “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”.

Airbnb – De “Air Bed & Breakfast” tourism empire.

This platform allows people to rent their places of residence to others at more economical prices than hotels, facilitating the meeting between parties in exchange for a commission for each transaction.

Its founders: Nathan Blecharczyk, Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia currently report over 1.700 million euros each as personal assets. But, in 2018 the company was born during the economic crisis that Chesky and Gebbia were enduring, they ideated renting portable beds installed in their own houses and also offering breakfast to their guests.

They asked Blecharczyk to join them as co-founder of the first website they launched, and in 2009 they received their first financing from the business incubator Y Combinator led by Paul Graham.

Their profits were barely $200 a week, so they studied the behavior of their advertisement in New York and noticed that the pictures were of poor quality and didn’t allow users to see what they were paying for. They decided to visit clients at their homes and take good photos. This creative solution allowed them to understand what they needed.

After this, Airbnb’s profits started to double each weak and they understood that the process of small but effective deliveries plus website enhances were working.

Later, one of its designers was commissioned to study the function of the stars to rate facilities which resulted in changing the star for a heart since it gave a sense of closeness. This increased their participation over 30%.

Airbnb revolutionized tourism and has more than 1,500,000 ads in 192 countries and 34,000 cities, and its valuation surpasses $ 31 billion figures.

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2.     “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage”.

Nespresso, the agility of innovation.

Nespresso reached success by innovating its business model. Its initiate was based on a coffeemaker and exclusive brand capsules, and after much resistance, Nestlé decided to turn it into an independent company.

Without a launch date, they included Yannick Lang in the project who created a strategy of different and exclusive distribution through their own luxurious points of sale which was key to the success of the company.

They redefined coffee as an accessible luxurious item, from the comfort of home, and by adding successful advertisement campaigns the result was noticeable.

They provided a unique experience and sought partners for distribution, found opinion leaders to maximize their image by attending the customer’s needs and by being at the right point of sale. They got more than 4 million business partners and reported an annual 25% growth.

3.     “Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale”.

   Rodrigo Morgado, Product Manager.

Agile was born as the pill for software project management failures. It’s hard to visualize the product from ideas when your only tool is effective communication. In this real case, Rodrigo Morgado, Co-Founder of Zooft Company Inc. is responsible for leading a software development product for the regional team of Cencosud, one of the biggest retail companies in Chile & Latam.

One of the challenges is finding the best process flow that fits better with the business ensuring at the same time, the product-user-fit. Yes, we don’t want a new white elephant that people don’t use. In this project, there is a thin line between agile and extreme methodologies. Zooft Company Inc. accepted to work for 2 months with no money upfront to release a minimum viable product that covers the main business and user requirements. If the company fails to deliver, there is no money. Simple.

How to success using these methodologies? here we have a recipe to do it (remember, projects are always different and there is no silver bullet to complete them all successfully, but here you have some guidelines after analyzing the environment of the project).

  • The customer has high motivated and young people available. They are open to using informal tool for communication and project control.
  • A Product Owner with transformational leadership spirit.
  • No law owners. This a message for Scrum lovers. Don’t use the entire system if it doesn’t apply!
  • Pair programming. Only 2 developers to reduce the number of communication channels and coordination complexity. The 2 developers are highly skilled and full stack to cover the backend and frontend independently.
  • Reduce the interaction field of the product manager and foster communication between the product owner and developers.
  • Weekly meetings to see “Working Software”. Yes. we love it!

Here you have a real example of applying parts of Lean, Agile and XP at the same time.

4.     “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”

Mark Zuckerberg, un líder que hace equipo

Mark Zuckerberg, leader of the Facebook Empire has provided substantial lessons about productivity, working dynamics and how improvements along the way guarantee success.

Working in open spaces without divisions, in spaces where everyone involved knows where the company is headed to, using the mind in things that truly add value and not so much in basic subjects such as dress code, working from 50 to 60 hours weekly but focusing on the business 24/7, encouraging debate in teams and sharing horizontal information are the fundamental aspects for this leader.

Despite the obstacles and recent scandals in which Facebook has been involved, the reinvention and continuous improvement of the platform have been key to its success. He constantly listens to what his audience wants and needs, incorporates new features progressively, tests functionalities and remains at the forefront in terms of technology and new ways of bringing people together.

Very much in line with this remain the Genchi Genbutsu principles. Go and see for yourself, understand that everything that happens in the management area is just a sample of what actually happens in the place of origin, allows you to create solutions in the less time possible for each situation that occurs. First-hand observing allows adding value to the projects, having the information first hand and sharing it with the team in order to work on it immediately.

Wait for the next installments of Let’s be Agile! and get to know more details that will surely add value to tour business initiative.

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