Agile development is a huge buzz word among forward thinking companies today. Many of our customers have probably heard Regis use weird terms such as Scrum Master or Product Owner to describe different roles within the company. And, more than most traditional companies, project managers frequently reference the “I’ll need to check with my team” approach when it comes to setting expectations and deadlines.
However, for companies interested in effective leadership training, Agile development is much more than a buzz word. It’s an assurance that we continually place your best interests at the forefront of our daily decisions.
First, a quick description of what Agile is. Agile is a project management methodology that focuses on iteratively creating value for customers. In a business simulation that has many different activities, features, and objectives, a project team can deliver small ‘chunks’ at a time. Each chunk, possibly a tricky activity or feature, can then be reviewed and tested by any and all stakeholders.
This feedback is used in the next iteration, thus improving the product. This is in stark contrast to the more traditional approach of scoping out the entire project, creating a plan and budget, and then setting out to execute the plan over a period of months (or even years).
When I think about how Agile development benefits our customers, it really boils down to three main points.
- There are established opportunities for adjusting to change. This approach means that after every iteration we can evaluate whether our previous assumptions still hold true. Especially when it comes to the custom learning designs that Regis specializes in, expect that new ideas, information, and requirements surface on nearly every project. Agile development allows Regis to adapt quickly to these changes, resulting in a better product for more effective leadership training.
- There are frequent feedback cycles. Part of the Regis culture is a heavy emphasis on collaboration. At Regis, we are all passionate learning and development consultants, and that means we recognize the need for feedback and collaboration. Between each iteration of a developing project, there is an intentional feedback cycle that takes place. This feedback is carefully considered. Sometimes it is retroactively implemented, and is always used moving forward in future iterations.
- There is a greater amount of transparency. We have all been a part of projects that employ a more traditional project management methodology. Using this approach, a lot of work is done up front to scope and estimate the work, resulting in nice, pretty numbers for a budget and a deadline that supposedly helps with the peace of mind aspect of project management. Next, the project team goes off for 5 months to work, and returns with a product that the customer doesn’t want. Agile development allows for transparency throughout the process, in large part due to the two previous points, which makes for more effective leadership training, enacting the type of change in organizations that our customers want to see.
If you want to transform your business, then you have a variety of options to do so. A widely forgotten element of creating leadership development programs is how to create leadership development programs. One of the shining qualities of Regis is the use of the Agile development methodology to produce powerful business simulations that deliver real value and change for our customers.