Agile has gained tremendous popularity since its launch in 2001. Agile is a set of principles and values designed to help project and product teams deliver better value and more solid software products.
A typical misconception is that agile is a process, like waterfall. However, agile is more of a mindset and set of values to guide teams in building software products.
In this guide, we’ll introduce you to the most widely used agile frameworks (besides scrum). By the end of the article, you will understand your role as a product manager in the context of each framework.
According to Zippia, more than 70 percent of technology companies use some sort of agile methodology. They all share a similar mindset, but the implementation of agile principles and values differs from organization to organization.
That’s why we use frameworks. A framework is a combination of processes, artifacts, templates, ceremonies, and tools that enable projects to run smoothly. There are dozens of agile frameworks to choose from.
Following the latest report by Adeva, scrum is the most used framework among tech companies. Scrumban is the next, followed by custom agile frameworks created in-house, iterative development, and lean development.
Having a background in multiple agile frameworks will enable you to:
Scrumban is a lightweight framework that combines scrum and Kanban.
Scrumban was created originally to help product delivery teams transition from scrum to Kanban. However, it has emerged as an agile framework and gained adoption around the globe.
Scrumban espouses the core kanban principles, such as focusing on the flow, visualizing the workflow, limiting the work in progress, and continuously tweaking and improving the process. It also leverages scrum ceremonies and artifacts such as sprint planning, daily scrum, the definition of ready (DoR), sprint review, and retrospectives.
Scrumban allows the product team to follow the normal scrum process flow while minimizing chaos during the sprint by using work-in-progress (WIP) limits in a Kanban board rather than a sprint backlog.
A typical scrumban workflow looks something like this:
Iterative development is an agile framework that helps teams break the product development process into iterations. It is a hybrid framework that incorporates principles of waterfall development (e.g., upfront strategy, design, and analysis) with the agile mindset and values.
Iterative development is designed to help teams iterate on legacy products rapidly and avoid spending too much time planning for low-priority products in the company’s portfolio.
Iterative development involves two main stakeholders: the business advisor (e.g., the product manager/owner) and the solution team (e.g., the development team).
A typical flow for an iterative development project is as follows:
Lean development is an agile framework that evolved from lean manufacturing values, principles, and practices created by Toyota. The lean framework concentrates on optimizing team’s efficacy and minimizing waste in the product development flow.
Lean principles have gained wide adoption among tech companies because they:
Lean is flexible. Unlike other frameworks such as scrum and SAFe, there is no structured process around lean development and product management; any project that incorporates lean principles is a lean project.
Embracing the lean methodology means instilling the following lean principles in your team:
Understanding different agile frameworks will enable you to be highly adaptable as a product manager. This is because agile, by its very nature, is not a set of tools and processes, but a mindset and a general guide.
By understanding what other teams have implemented and taking stock of what worked and what didn’t, you will be better equipped to innovate around and create processes to understand, execute, and launch faster.
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