The secret of a successful digital project

Agile working method has proven highly effective for implementing digital change processes. In recent years, the method has become the preferred form of work for the development of digital products and services.

“We have several years of experience with agile methodology, certified project managers and we have a proven project management tool that ensures that you reach your goals in a safe and efficient way,” says Morten Wikstrøm, general manager and advisor at digital consultancy Increo.

Increo uses the working method in all projects they work on on behalf of their clients.

“We started working smoothly early on, and we have several years of experience with the method. It elevates our deliveries at every stage of the digital projects we deliver,” says Wikstrøm.

What is an agile way of working?

At the core of an agile approach, is a step-by-step delivery of value to the customer. Instead of planning a comprehensive project in detail from the start, it is broken down into smaller parts.

These are delivered as quickly as possible to create value for end users. Along the way, we continuously collect feedback from customers and users.

“Often we start with a workshop or a design sprint, where we create and test a prototype early in the project,” explains Wikstrøm.

In the development phase, it is worked for short periods, usually of two to four weeks. This provides a number of benefits and continuity of the project.

— Before each sprint, the most important tasks are selected from a priority task list. These are then completed during the sprint before moving on to the next.

This provides early verification of concepts and ideas. Along the way, daily status meetings are held where the team coordinates the work and resolves any issues. After each sprint, the work is demonstrated for the customer.

Many benefits

Wikstrøm highlights the main advantages of using an agile working method:

  • Faster to market with your service: Breaking down the project and delivering into smaller parts achieves faster launch and time-to-market.
  • Lower cost: It avoids extensive pre-planning and functionality the customer does not need, which saves resources.
  • Closer dialogue with the customer: Frequent involvement of the customer provides a better understanding of actual needs and priorities.
  • Higher quality: Continuous testing and customer feedback leads to better user experience.
  • Increased flexibility: The working method facilitates easily changing courses and priorities along the way.
  • Higher Motivation: Frequent deliveries and involvement increase commitment and sense of ownership.

“With agile methodology, we simply deliver better projects at the agreed time and price,” Wikstrøm summarizes.

Close monitoring throughout the process

When working smoothly with customers, it is important that the principles of the method are explained to the client.

“Agility requires a change from long-term detailed planning to step-by-step delivery and continuous adaptation. This can be demanding for both clients and the development team, but with a project manager who knows what it takes, this usually goes well.

Agility often challenges established ways of working and requires a greater degree of interdisciplinary collaboration and autonomy within teams. Team members must have the ability to communicate and be able to collaborate across the board.

But the gains often outweigh the challenges, Wikstrøm stresses.

“With some training and getting used to, an agile way of working works very well for most teams and projects.

Smooth transformation in practice

Agile methodology is well suited to drive digital transformation in enterprises. By breaking down the initiative into smaller pieces, the changes become more manageable.

Wikstrøm recommends starting with a pilot project to gain experience.

'Pick out a limited project where it's low risk to try out a new working method, 'he advises.

Then it's about getting the right people involved. Ensure that the key stakeholders from the business are actively participating along with the development team. The customer should be represented with a product owner who is mandated to make decisions.

Multidisciplinary teams

The development team should be assembled so that all relevant disciplines are represented; such as business understanding, design and testing. Interdisciplinarity is a key in agile teams.

“In the beginning, it may be a good idea to have an experienced process supervisor who can help the team and the product owner get started with agile working methods,” says Wikstrøm.

Once initial delivery is ready, the working method is scaled out to new teams and projects. Experiences about what works best are shared across the organization.

The most important thing is to start small and then build from there.

Continuous improvement

Agile method emphasizes thorough evaluations, in which one looks back on what worked well and what can be improved in the next sprint. In this way, deliveries and the work process are constantly improved.

Once the first version of the solution is developed, it is important to continue collecting insights and user feedback. This is then used to further develop and improve the solution.

“Through agile processes and close follow-up, continuous improvement can be driven without requiring large resources,” says Wikstrøm and states:

“With an agile way of working, you can transform businesses faster and cheaper, while delivering what customers and users really value.

What can we help you with?

Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017
Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306

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