How to Make an Agile Plan for 2021
Creating an agile plan may be different from previous types of planning organizations are used to, but the process is simple. To create and maintain an agile plan, organizations will anticipate, adapt and accelerate the delivery of work.
Most plans (agile or not) begin with corporate goals or objectives. Organizations creating agile plans don’t just select goals arbitrarily. They take time to anticipate opportunities and potential pitfalls they may experience in the new year. Are there new technologies on the horizon that could disrupt your business? Could new regulations reduce your working capacity? To answer these questions and others, organizations rely on both internal and external data to anticipate the answer. Companies that use data to anticipate successfully don’t get bogged down by overwhelming amounts of data. They only use the most relevant data and don’t lose sight of the big picture.
Anticipating changes to your business doesn’t just happen once a year. Your organization should be continually anticipating change because business, markets and customers are always changing. Your agile plan will rely on continual anticipation to be successful. When you anticipate, you can take observations gained from data and turn them into actionable items for your organization.
If you’ve anticipated a shift in consumer demand, a new disruptive technology or other types of change to your business, you will need to adapt your project plans in response. This may seem like a difficult task, but your agile plan has a corporate goal to help focus your decision-making. Figuring out how to adapt to anticipated changes is most easily done through scenario planning. Scenario planning helps you answer What-If questions regarding budgets, priorities, resources and timing of projects. Scenarios can be the sandbox organizations use to determine how they should adapt to continue to reach their goals.
Once you’ve anticipated changes and determined how to adapt, you will need to accelerate the delivery of your agile plan. Accelerating work isn’t about using brute force to get projects to the finish line. To accelerate projects, organizations should focus on efficiency and effectiveness. This means removing roadblocks and unnecessary processes so project teams can focus on actual work. This also means that teams shouldn’t be micro-managed. Trust that your project teams can resolve issues, figure out the best way to work and deliver good work on time.