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News April 10, 2024

Agile in R&D: 5 Key Trends

In last week’s blog post we talked about some of the Аgile trends, empowering teams to collaborate effectively, embrace chance, and promote innovation through data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement within the ever-evolving landscape of R&D. We continue with the exploration of pivotal trends, driving Аgile in R&D, thanks to the insights of Yoan Todorov, Scrum Master at Anthill.

1. Agile Leadership and Culture: Agile transformations require strong leadership support and a culture of agility within organizations. One of the essential elements of Agile methodology is the 3C’s, which stands for Collaboration, Communication, and Coordination. Leaders are encouraged to embrace agile principles, empower teams, and foster a culture of continuous improvement, learning, and innovation. 

2. Agile Metrics and KPIs: Agile teams are focused on defining and tracking relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and metrics to measure the success and effectiveness of their agile practices. These metrics include velocity, cycle time, lead time, team throughput, customer satisfaction, and quality metrics, among others. 

3. Agile Coaching and Training: Organizations are investing in agile coaching and training programs to develop the skills and capabilities of their teams and leaders. Agile coaches provide guidance, support, and mentorship to help teams adopt agile practices, overcome challenges, and continuously improve their performance. 

4. Cross-functional Teams: With Agile methodologies focusing on self-managed and independent teams, the necessity for teams to be able to function as a standalone unit is becoming more and more present in all agile-focused organizations. This brings the need to have all needed knowledge and competence within the team, moving away from the conservative idea of domain-based teams and into the realm of cross-functional teams. A cross-functional team usually contains individuals with different functional expertise and therefore helps to improve coordination across different functional areas and therefore increase innovation and decrease development times. 

5. T-Shaped Individuals: As part of the continuous effort to build cross-functional teams, organizations rely more and more on T-Shaped Individuals to help them build their Agile processes and increase the overall skillset of each team. A T-Shaped individual is usually described as one who has one core skill where they are the subject matter expert but, contrary to traditionally-formed roles, they also posses a wide array of secondary skills with which they can also add value to the team. This not only increases the independence and skillset of each team, but also help organizations to develop ownership on a more granular level and offset potential competence gaps across their entire Agile structure.  

As we gaze into what lies ahead, the importance of being adaptable and responsive becomes increasingly apparent. For teams in an R&D setting, this adaptability is not just a strategy but a critical lifeline that enables them to thrive amidst the rapid advancements and shifts in technology and related areas, fostering a culture of continuous discovery and groundbreaking innovation.