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Empowering Agile Teams with Prakya: Simplifying Processes and Prioritizing People

April 26, 2023

 

Before joining Prakya, I frequently heard the phrases “I have a call” or “I am in a meeting” from my IT friends and students who work in the IT industry. I used to wonder what they discussed so much in those meetings, and I still do. I had a similar experience to them when I first started my career. I worked as a junior developer and documenter in a manufacturing industry that was developing an ERP project.

Meetings used to start in the morning and continue endlessly. Every day, without fail, these meetings would take place, and everyone’s actual work would fall behind. There was no clear objective or outcome to these meetings, as they only discussed the process and how to implement it. The older generation was resistant to the changes that were happening, while the younger generation was too frustrated to even consider implementing changes. As a result, we followed the same old processes, and ultimately, the project was scrapped.

As a developer and documenter, I found myself in a position where I was still learning how to use query language with joins and unjoins, and was just beginning to write system requirement specifications. Despite this, I knew I had the potential to grow and take on more challenging roles.

However, constantly feeling undervalued and not being given enough time to explore my skills led to a situation where I found it difficult to focus and be productive, causing me to lose my emotional balance. At the time, I didn’t realize that these were symptoms of cognitive overload.

Now, I understand that cognitive overload is a significant issue that many teams face, particularly during Agile transformations. This often leads to emotional imbalances, which can hinder productivity. Similar to my own experience, team members want to work without too many disturbances, and even taking a break for meetings can be seen as a reason for decreasing individual productivity.

While Agile principles prioritize people and interactions over processes, many organizations still tend to focus too heavily on processes, neglecting the importance of simplicity and ease-of-use. It’s essential to recognize the impact of cognitive overload on team members and prioritize their well-being to improve efficiency and productivity.

I always envisioned a world where we could leverage technology to focus more on productivity and use generative AI to reduce the burden of running processes smoothly, allowing me to increase my focus tenfold and efficiently utilize my skills. No burden of teams scaling up or down, no need to attend meetings and forget the points that were discussed – the entire process taken care of by a magical tool, leaving me free to explore and enhance my skills.

And voila, Prakya is that tool.

Prakya’s primary vision is to make the process invisible for teams, empowering them to prioritize their people and interactions. 

Prakya provides a unified Agile workspace where teams and team members can start their work in their own personalized workspace and be transformed into the Agile world without even feeling the change or heaviness. Our vision is to let the team be original and reduce the cognitive overload which teams usually experience when they hear the words “change” or “transformation”.

To know more about Prakya’s capabilities and understand its vision go ahead and read the complete blog article.   

Prioritizing People and Interactions over Processes

Agile methodologies prioritize people and interactions over processes, recognizing that the success of software development is driven by the human element. While some may question why we shouldn’t prioritize processes, it’s important to understand that Agile isn’t about disregarding processes entirely, but about valuing people and interactions more.


A very simple Household Example

To illustrate this point, consider the example of a household where the lady of the house manages all the chores. She has a set routine that she follows diligently to ensure that everything runs smoothly for the family. Suddenly, there’s an emergency, and she has to leave. 

She hands over her responsibilities to a family member who has no experience with these tasks. However, she believes that the family member is observant and can handle the routine, even in her absence. That is, the family member is involved and even though they aren’t accountable for her chores, they know the overall objectives. 

She knows that they may not follow exactly the same steps as she does, but they will ensure that the household runs smoothly. In this scenario, she prioritized “people” over “process.”

Agile Principles

Similarly, in Agile, while we value processes, we prioritize people and interactions over them. Agile is about fostering collaboration and communication within the team, which is achieved through continuous feedback, inspection, and adaptation. This approach allows teams to be flexible and agile in the face of changing requirements and ensures that they deliver value to the customer.

Simplicity and Ease-of-Use

Simplicity and ease-of-use are crucial to Agile success. Complex processes and tools can cause unnecessary cognitive load and emotional imbalances, leading to reduced team productivity. Agile principles prioritize the human element of software development and recognize that individuals are more important than processes.

Streamlining Workflows

To help teams prioritize their people and interactions, it is important to simplify and streamline workflows, allowing teams to focus on their core competencies, rather than getting bogged down in process-related activities. This helps reduce cognitive load and emotional imbalances, leading to increased productivity and better outcomes for the project.

By prioritizing people and interactions over processes, Agile empowers team members to work collaboratively and cohesively, rather than adhering to rigid processes that may stifle creativity and flexibility. The human element of software development is essential for success, and Agile methodologies recognize and prioritize this fact.

Cognitive Load and Emotional Imbalances in Agile Methodologies

Agile methodologies prioritize people and interactions over processes, recognizing the significant impact that team members have on software development. However, team members often experience significant cognitive load, leading to emotional imbalances and reduced productivity.

Effects of Cognitive Load and Emotional Imbalances

Even small changes can impact team productivity and create emotional imbalances. For example, a minor issue with a tool or process can cause significant delays, leading to frustration and a decline in team morale.

Importance of Simplicity and Efficiency

To achieve success in Agile transformation, organizations must prioritize simplicity and ease-of-use in their processes and tools. Unfortunately, many organizations tend to focus too heavily on processes, often neglecting the tools that can improve efficiency and productivity.

Simplifying Processes and Tools

Organizations should aim to simplify processes and tools to reduce the cognitive load on team members. This can be achieved by:

  • Eliminating unnecessary steps in processes
  • Automating repetitive tasks
  • Reducing the number of tools used
  • Providing training and support for the tools used
  • Regularly evaluating and optimizing processes and tools

Benefits of Simplification

Simplifying processes and tools can have a positive impact on team productivity and emotional balance. It can also foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, allowing teams to adapt to changing requirements and deliver value to the customer.

Read our blog on Embracing Agile Transformation: Overcoming Cognitive Biases for Effective Change

Finding the Right Balance Between People and Process

Finding the right balance between people and process is crucial for the success of any project or organization. While Agile values people and interactions over processes, it’s important to recognize that processes are also necessary for achieving goals and delivering value.

The Importance of Processes

Processes provide structure, consistency, and efficiency to teams. They help ensure that work is done in a standardized and repeatable way, reducing errors and increasing predictability. Some benefits of processes include:

  • Standardization of work processes
  • Reduction in errors
  • Increased predictability
  • Efficient use of resources

The Risks of Relying Too Much on Processes

However, relying too heavily on processes can stifle creativity, innovation, and collaboration within the team. It can also lead to a lack of ownership and accountability among team members. Some risks of relying too much on processes include:

  • Stifling creativity and innovation
  • Lack of ownership and accountability
  • Diminished collaboration and communication

The Importance of People and Interactions

On the other hand, valuing people and interactions over processes encourages teamwork, communication, and collaboration. It empowers team members to take ownership of their work and make decisions that align with the project’s goals. Some benefits of valuing people and interactions include:

  • Improved teamwork and collaboration
  • Empowerment of team members
  • Better decision-making

The Risks of Neglecting Processes

However, neglecting processes can lead to chaos, inconsistencies, and inefficiencies in the work being done. Some risks of neglecting processes include:

  • Inconsistencies and inefficiencies in work
  • Difficulty in tracking progress
  • Lack of predictability

Striking the Right Balance

To strike the right balance between people and process, it’s essential to understand the project’s requirements, goals, and constraints. Teams should regularly evaluate their processes and assess their effectiveness in achieving those goals. They should also foster an environment that encourages communication, collaboration, and continuous feedback among team members. Some strategies for striking the right balance include:

  • Regularly evaluating and improving processes
  • Encouraging communication and collaboration among team members
  • Empowering team members to make decisions
  • Balancing standardization with flexibility

By striking the right balance between people and process, teams can foster a culture of continuous improvement, innovation, and success.

Empowering Agile Teams with Prakya

Prakya is an unified agile space that can help teams simplify their processes and prioritize their people and interactions. With Prakya, teams can focus on delivering value to their customers while the tool handles the heavy lifting of managing complexities. Here are some of the key features and benefits that Prakya offers:

Visible Results. Invisible Process

Prakya allows teams to break down process complexities and get all their results seamlessly. The tool’s Scrumban approach combines the best features of Scrum and Kanban methodologies to help teams deliver value more efficiently.

Predictive Auto Scaling

Prakya’s predictive auto scaling feature helps teams manage growth and unlock new capabilities. The tool can predict scaling needs and make auto suggestions, allowing teams to focus on managing growth while Prakya handles the scaling complexities.

Adaptable, Need-based Scaling

With Prakya, teams can scale up or down with ease, regardless of team size. The tool adjusts all scaling efforts based on the team’s needs, allowing teams to drive results faster and manage all their processes easily.

Empower Teams with Generative AI

Prakya’s generative AI provides teams with actionable insights, making it easier to understand data effectively. The tool’s intelligent team room offers conversational suggestions and alerts, and the generative AI integration helps teams make the most of their team meetings.

In summary, Prakya is a powerful Agile tool that can help teams manage their processes more efficiently, prioritize their people and interactions, and deliver greater value to their customers. With its predictive auto scaling, adaptable need-based scaling, and generative AI features, Prakya empowers teams to focus on what matters most and achieve their goals with ease.

Do read our popular blogs on Prakya
1. Positive Impacts of Agile Methodology on Employee’s Mental Health
2. 7 traps to avoid to save time and optimize agile in your organization
3. The Power of Transparency: Key Features for an Effective Program Backlog
4. How To Avoid Tool Fatigue And Burnout In Agile Development

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