Agility has become a virtue in many companies.
Rather than asking a department or an employee to work on a single project through completion, then begin working on the next, companies have found value in placing multiple eggs in different baskets. Different departments work together on different projects in order to multiply the amount of potential success a business can have. If you’re in research and development, for example, you might be finalizing the application GUI on a product that is close to market while you do research on a new method that will lead to your company’s next product.
So how do we ensure that collaboration stay effective even while working on multiple projects? A blog post from Zephyr, a creator of real-time test management products, gives us some insight.
- Chart a clear course for each project – Just because a project is agile doesn’t mean it has to be all over the place. Define your metrics for success, set deadlines, and continuously check in on projects. Collaboration can mean working together to map our progress and realign goals, and collaboration software can help keep all of the documents and data in a central location accessible to anyone at any time.
- Release planning – Keep a schedule in mind. Map out when you’ll be releasing different aspects of a product, or releasing a new product. Have a central schedule that everyone can look at and addend if need be. Agility means that release dates will change, and when they do people should know. That way they can reach out to see what the problem is, and figure out a new schedule for release.
- User story mapping – User story mapping is basically describing an aspect of the product or software from the end user’s perspective. What will our customer think of this? What does it mean to them? How will they use it? Define these goals up front to ensure that the team is working toward the same end. Then, when they are collaborating on a project, there is no doubt what the project should accomplish when completed. More than that, they won’t have to try to define what they are trying to do as they go. They can simply work together on the project knowing what their goals are.
- Streamline processes with the right tools – The right collaboration software allows employees to work together whether in the office or remote. For agility, it centralizes information so that it is accessible to everyone, speeding up the process. Not only that, different departments can check what they need to ASAP when documents are stored in the same place, in the cloud. That’s not all, though. Using the right test management software means that different departments can test products and software dynamically and quickly. All departments can be on the same page using the PM software. Code can be tested as it’s written. Problems can be brought to light as soon as they are discovered. It inevitably leads to collaboration because everyone is checking the same information, then reaching out to one another to come up with a solution on schedule.
It’s a good thing for employees to work on multiple projects. It helps the business and it keeps work from being repetitive, spurring creativity. Just make sure you’re enabling your employees to collaborate effectively so things don’t get off track.