Change management is the most important advantage when dealing with agile project development. With that, you can easily accept and implement the changes in the project. Several factors are available that are important to deal with while implementing the changes. The changes are mainly in the design, development, and testing of the project. The acceptance of the changes in the project is based on several factors. The reasons for the changes in the software are the less planning and the customer requirements. In traditional software development, changes are not possible as they are based on sequential phases, and once a phase is completed, it cannot be developed again. Hence, the software development with the agile model will produce various benefits in achieving customer satisfaction and productivity.
Software development is not based on a single essential output. Instead, the customer comes up with some changes in the features and functionalities in the middle of the project. Developers and Testers can suggest some changes while working on the development. In such conditions, Agile-based software development helps incorporate the identified changes effectively. So, with effective change management implementation with agile, all the stakeholders involved in the project are satisfied. In addition, Change Management Certification Training is one of the growing certification courses that is apt for professionals looking forward to gaining a comprehensive understanding of how the process of organizational change or transformation occurs, and how one can ensure it is done in a structured/ organized fashion.
This blog will mainly focus on discussing change management implementation in software projects. However, before all that, let us understand what change management is.
What is Agile Change Management?
The method of agile change management is the term that enhances to take over the momentum around the globe. There are possibilities of several changes in the intermediate level of the project. The changes from the customer side or other stakeholders take some time to review and initiate. First, the team will check the need for the change in the project and then the possibilities of accepting the change. Agile is a highly helpful approach when coming to change management. Moreover, Agile change management helps focus on the changes from any stakeholders and of any size, from minor to major.
Many organizations will not ask for the customer requirements completely in advance, causing the changes in the middle. The changes will cause trouble for the developing team. Therefore, it is important to note the required changes and discuss them among the team members. In the case of change management, several phases are involved, which are planned accordingly. Hence, this was the reason for adopting agile projects for the change management and considering each phase like development, designing, and testing the cycles over the change management.
On the other hand, every project management elaborates on progressing things in technical ways to reach the particular things through the quality, cost, and constraints. The popularity of agile increases the iterative segments broken through some tackles. The agile project will have to keep the change management to support the adoption and usage necessary for accurate results achievement. And therefore, the importance of change management over agile was much needed throughout the project lifecycle.
Now, let us discuss the various ways in which change management is incorporated into agile projects.
Ways for Incorporating Change Management Into Agile
It is simple when we talk theoretically about change management, but implementing the changes in the software project is highly difficult. It is to understand that Agile assists in accepting, implementing, and managing the required changes in the project. In addition, change management is the success of the agile approach, and it has to be effectively handled to avoid issues and failures in the project. Following are the ways to incorporate change management into agile projects.
Accept the Change and Make Adjustments
Small or even minor changes in traditional software development projects are hard to implement. But in the Agile software development model, the changes help in reducing the number of errors and failures. An excellent way to implement the change is to verify it and accept it based on the various acceptance criteria. Then, based on the available iterations, the changes are planned and initiated. The base idea here is to accept the changes requested by both stakeholders and the customers. The acceptance is based on the software development feasibility that should not affect the project’s schedule and budget constraints. Several adjustments will be occurring in the plan and the project’s schedule.
Design for Customer Requirements
Change implementation helps in meeting the customer requirements in software development. Customer satisfaction is possible with proper change implementation in the projects. Every phase of the development requires better communication with the customer. The acceptance and declination of the changes are vitally discussed. Once the changes do not meet customer expectations, the performed changes are not successful. Thus, connecting and communicating with the customer is most important while implementing the changes in the software development process.
Focus on User Stories and Change Vision
The user stories are the most valued activity, and it is vital to design and develop from the iteration. The most recent and important stories are delivered to all the project developers and testers to verify any required changes. The user stories developed at the project initiation may change when the customer needs some additional requirements. Therefore, it is important to identify the changes at the development stage itself. The prioritization of the user stories will help manage the changes from the acceptance stage. It will help manage the changes and avoid delays while working on the changes. The vision for the change is important, and hence the vision should be kept in focus.
Provide Power to People Working on Change
When a change is implemented in a project, several people will be working towards it. The people working on the change must have the power to make the decisions in their tasks. Providing powers to the people will help to complete the tasks on time without any delay as they do not require to wait for the higher authorities to deal with it. They will drive the change from the beginning to avoid additional and major changes in the intermediate stages. The customer is the first point for change requirements, and hence the discussion with the customer is important. Developers need to communicate with the customers at regular time intervals to understand their needs. In addition, they are responsible for delivering the project successfully and achieving customer satisfaction. It also helps the project team’s expertise in change management and the associated principles, which will be helpful in future projects.
Update User Stories to Make Them Accurate
The acceptance criteria and descriptions of the project are kept accurate and up to to date. The user story is the feature description to discuss the functional abilities that it can do. In agile, every feature doesn’t relate to one another, and hence the user stories are separate. Any changes or modifications by the customer or the product owner are the prime cause of change management. Dissatisfaction from the customer side is highly possible if the changes are not effective as per the plan. Therefore, updating user stories and descriptions is essential at frequent time intervals. The accuracy here refers to the feedback from the customer side on the acceptance and any changes made from their side. Therefore, the need for accuracy in user stories is important.
Improve the Employee Communication
Communication is the top priority when dealing with change management in agile project management. When dealing with the changes in the project communication, it plays a vital role. The developers, testers, product owners, and the other internal stakeholders are essential to communicate themselves a regular time intervals. It helps them figure out the possibility of the changes and acceptance criteria. The possible options to incorporate the change are important while dealing with change management. Hence, communication on the change plan, design, and development are essential among the team members.
Increase the Team Collaboration
The collaboration between the developing and testing teams is significant. The team collaboration help understand how the changes are according to customer requirements. If any errors or quality issues occur due to the change implementation, the tester can immediately revert to the developing team to resolve it immediately. Change discussion or change meetings are necessary during the development or change implementation to maintain and manage the changes in the project. The tests become more effective when the teams collaborate, and hence the quality of the final product will be more. The team leaders are responsible for conducting these change meetings and discussions among the team to increase the collaboration among the teams.
Prioritize and Handle Changes Effectively
The identified, accepted, and implemented changes are made based on priority. The priority is required to deal with the right change at the right time. It is important to note the challenges arising while working on these changes. As part of the change implementation in the projects, a team will be helpful. The change team is a team focusing only on the successful completion of the changes in the project. The review of the change proposal is essential for dealing with the changes in acceptance of refusal. Therefore, the change decisions are important as they help make the right decisions to implement the change in projects. In addition, the development and testing teams need to work together to make the change management effective. Priority in the change implementation is also important as this helps in working based on the significance.
Manage the Change and Sprints
The sprints managed in the project should not disturb in the middle as this can cause serious issues leading to sprint failure, which causes delays. The changes are implemented at the initiation of the future sprints of the project. Every team member needs to know the change, and hence change requests and status are publicly visible. The discussion on the change before the sprint will help obtain feedback and suggestions on the acceptance or rejection of the change. The yes or no answers from the team members are based on change review, time, and the budget available in the project. The application release and project schedule is important during change management. The surprise changes will cause frustration and impact the product development quality.
Communicate and Manage Customer Requirements
Communication between the managers and customers is important in project development. The team members should make the better communication among themselves and other teams to make the effective collaboration. Therefore, some communication methods like team meetings, video conferencing, audio conferencing, etc., help deliver the insignificant changes form. In addition, team collaboration is possible with the increase in communication between the team members. Therefore, team members are vital in providing the changes in the project. There are different methods of communication, and the customers can prefer anyone to interact with the project managers to achieve the best results.
Hope you have got an idea about implementing the changes in project management. Now, let us study the benefits of agile change management.
Also read: Change Manager Roles & Responsibilities
Benefits of Change Management
- Achievement in change management provides a variety of benefits. It helps to support the effective transition from the old progress to the new one and results in effective results for the organization in adopting the change management
- Change management encompasses different approaches toward result production during meticulously planning and managing systems
- Data and resource requirements for the project are possible with change management
- It extends to modifying the resources through the business to support the changes
- Change management helps in the easier addition of changes with reduced cost
- It encompasses an effective strategy for mitigating the complicated issues raised during the development
- Helps to reduce the failure possibilities in solution achievement
- It enables the daily routine to run the business with effective changes
- Change management improves the communication between the team members and other teams in the organization. Hence, communication seems to be the key element of the organization’s development
- Project development helps to modify the strategies for the extensions of best results
- It enables access to the competitive edges for positive organizational modification and helps follow the consistency over the success points
- It clears the business through effective consistency and clarity of the data and sets the best framework for the best business direction
- Progressing data within the fixed budget is much required. The improvement in the efficiency of the teams is another advantage
Overall, change management helps the entire business and projects with many benefits and enables recent technologies to develop works. Moreover, the changes are now feasible with the frameworks with advanced features and functionalities.
Changes in software project development are inevitable, and the way they are handled is a significant factor. Changes may arise from any stakeholder involved as part of the suggestion or the additional planned feature. The change incorporation in the agile projects is successful in the above ways. These are some ways to help manage and maintain the identified and requested changes from the stakeholder. Mostly, the changes will be from the customer side as they may have plans to change it to make the product better. Moreover, customer satisfaction and team effectiveness are highly possible by incorporating changes in the project. Therefore, to deal with the challenges involved in the project on changes, the ways for incorporating will be helpful.
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