As a recent blog post detailed, agile testing is just as beneficial for web development teams as it is for software teams. In fact, a recent report from the Harvard Business Review shows that agile is “the” advantage for businesses in the digital age.
Of course, knowing that is one thing; applying that knowledge can be slightly trickier.
At Clearvision, we specialise in tools and processes that help companies go agile. In building Spectrum – a scalable, customisable platform designed to bring together the best tools and processes for collaboration – and through our close work with enterprise companies around the globe, we’ve picked up more than a few tips along the way.
It’s all about communication and collaboration. Here’s our guide to breaking it down and making it manageable. Go agile by considering the following 3 stages.
1. Identify your challenges
Maybe your teams are in different locations or working in different timezones. Perhaps you’re struggling with complex processes, or there’s too much “red tape”. Are you waiting on decisions instead of working? Are you ready to adapt to changes?
The ability to be “agile” and adapt to issues is perhaps more relevant to web teams than to any other – we at Clearvision have first hand experience on this, having recently relaunched our website with a brand new look! When you’re building your organisation’s website, you’re developing the customer-facing front end.Your website is your shop front.
But disparate teams, complex processes and unforeseen bugs are the unfortunate reality for all developers. We’ve witnessed this in enterprise organisations and smaller businesses alike.
Once you’ve identified and fleshed out the way these challenges affect your organisation, it’s much easier to tackle them.
2. Go all in
It’s not just the web devs you need on your side. If you don’t have a collective buy-in across teams, your collaboration will suffer, which means your work will as well.
Similarly, if you aren’t being agile across the entire lifecycle of your work, your team won’t be working to its full potential.
Testing obviously plays a major role in web development, but the beauty of agile is that it’s about the mentality behind work processes more than the work itself.
Agile practices are built around a specific set of values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
This is why agile isn’t just a change in working processes – when it’s effective, it’s a shift in culture.
Collaboration and continuous improvement will improve efficiency across a whole organisation. It means you can bring different teams together (think web development, marketing, sales, the end user – you should be looking at your customers as another team to work with!).
3. Take a look at your tools
Are you using the best tools for the job? Are you using the same tools across departments?
A lot of the businesses Clearvision works with fall into the trap of using tools because they’re used to them or because of vendor lock-in, not because they’re the best. Departments often use different tools that just don’t work together, and it becomes inefficient and costly.
In web development, you have specific, unique requirements, but the best tools can be adapted to be used across all teams so cross-departmental work is as easy as work within a team.
Organisations can now choose between JIRA Software for development teams, JIRA Service Desk for IT, and JIRA Core, which can be configured for any team in any business. It’s a boost for collaboration with smoother processes and no more incompatibilities. Atlassian built JIRA with agile in mind: JIRA Software is now the #1 development tool used by agile dev teams.
Better collaboration makes it easier to track projects across different teams. If your marketing team has feedback, your sales team needs to update pricing, or a customer encounters an error, effective collaboration is the key to avoiding delays.
Because agile is all about continuous improvement, the process of “going agile” can sometimes seem overwhelming. There’s no definitive end.
In my extensive experience, breaking it down into these three stages not only makes it more manageable – it suddenly becomes a lot easier to track the progress you and your teams are making as well.
About the author:
Chelsey is a Marketing and Social Media Executive for Clearvision. She writes about agile methodologies, software development, and collaboration and culture in the tech industry. Chelsey is passionate about literature, the intersection of fashion and tech, and the Oxford comma.
Thankfully, Chelsey writes better blog posts than she does bios.