One of the The big differences between an agile and a traditional way of working lie in the level of detailed planning. A traditional project usually has a clear scope, which includes everything from schedule to budget and expected results. At the end of the project comes a single large delivery. The agile methods provide more utrymme to change the scope, with more and smaller deliveries during the work. Here it is important to look up and be sensitive to what is going on in and around the project, in order to be able to quickly screw and change the plan.
Agile working methods do not suit all contexts. However, when it comes to innovation, where much of the work is characterized by uncertainty, agile working methods can be of great benefit. When we do not know exactly what the result will be, or exactly how long it will take, everyone who works on the projects must be flexible and adaptable - and ready to fail. This attitude and attitude does not come for free. The city of Helsingborg has worked for a long time to infuse courage, trust and low prestige as basic values in all employees, something we now see is a prerequisite for working agile.
- If I am to dare to fail, then I have to feel confident that someone will back me up when I end up there. I try to emphasize in our team that together we are responsible for everything we do. If something goes wrong or if someone makes decisions that go wrong, then we have each other's backs. I think it is very important to create that security, because I believe that courage requires security, says Victoria Sandqvist who works as a product owner at Hbg Works.
Hbg Works has adopted an agile approach since 2020. At that time, the team stated that many of the projects would benefit from working more flexibly. From there, it has been an organic process to change. A large part of the change has been about daring to plan less as much changes over time, but also to deliver value more often and constantly remind yourself of purpose and goals. The team's experience is that it is easiest to start working agile from the start. Trying to change in the middle of a project is more difficult.
- In the work with Mitt Helsingborg, an app developed for the citizen of Helsingborg, we try to apply this methodology fully. In the work with the web platform, it has been a little more difficult to change, as we have previously worked more with the traditional project method, but even there we screw up the working method in each sprint.
There are many reasons why it can be difficult to change working methods in the middle of a project. Among other things, there are built-up expectations about what the deliveries should look like, but it is also about the team's built-in habits. One challenge that the team at Hbg Works has encountered is that others involved in projects do not have conditions, ability or the knowledge to adapt to agile methodology. And it is rare for the team to work completely without dependencies.
- When agile methodology meets a not so agile reality, there is a risk that it will clash, says Victoria. The clashes are often about different expectations, but also purely practical issues such as resource allocation, budget planning and leadership.
Agile working methods are closely linked to digitalisation, development and innovation - but the agile principles are many and can be applied in more types of activities.