A Quick Guide on the Best Agile Practices for Indian Product Managers

A Quick Guide on the Best Agile Practices for Indian Product Managers | Product Management | Emeritus

Have you ever wondered how some companies release innovative products quickly and efficiently, constantly adapting to market changes and customer needs? That’s the magic of agile product development! As per The Economic Times, India is experiencing increasing success in agile transformations, with 48% of the country’s companies having successfully completed their agile transformation.

Agile development enables companies to create new products that can respond swiftly to change. It involves self-organizing teams that collaborate closely with each other and customers to create fast prototypes. This approach allows adaptability and empowers teams to iterate quickly and efficiently throughout development.

In this blog, you will learn:

  1. What are the core principles of agile product development?
  2. How can Indian product managers effectively implement agile practices?
  3. What are the key challenges faced by Indian product managers in agile product development?
  4. How can Indian product managers foster collaboration among agile teams?
  5. What success stories can Indian product managers learn from when it comes to agile product development?

What are the Core Principles of Agile Product Development?

Agile product development is an iterative and incremental approach to software and product development that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and customer-centricity. The core principles of agile product development are derived from the agile manifesto, which was created in 2001 by a group of software developers.

The agile manifesto aims to discover alternative approaches to the standard development process. Some organizations find the standard process too complex and inflexible. Therefore, they want to balance the existing ways with new methods. Their main focus is on delivering more value to people and improving teamwork rather than just following strict procedures and using specific tools. Here are the 5 core principles of agile development.

1. Customer Satisfaction Through Continuous Delivery

Agile product development strongly emphasizes delivering valuable products that meet customer needs. By continuously delivering small increments of the product and gathering feedback, teams ensure that the final result aligns with customer requirements and preferences.

2. Embrace Changing Requirements

Agile teams recognize that change is a natural part of the development process. Instead of resisting change, they welcome them and remain flexible to adapt their plans and priorities based on real-time insights and customer feedback.

3. Frequent Delivery of Working Software

Agile development involves delivering functional portions of the product regularly, typically every two to four weeks. This allows stakeholders to see tangible progress and provide early feedback, ensuring that the project stays on track.

 4. Collaboration Between Business and Development Teams

Effective communication and collaboration between business stakeholders and the development team are vital in agile product development. Regular meetings, such as daily stand-ups and sprint reviews, foster transparency and shared understanding, leading to better decision-making.

 5. Motivated and Empowered Teams

Agile teams are self-organizing and cross-functional, with the autonomy to make decisions about how to achieve their goals. This sense of ownership and responsibility motivates team members to work collaboratively and take ownership of the product’s success.

ALSO READ: How Agile PDM Can Help You Build Better Products Faster

How Can Indian Product Managers Effectively Implement Agile Practices?

Indian product managers are constantly seeking ways to stay ahead of the competition and deliver exceptional results. Agile practices have emerged as a powerful approach to meeting these challenges head-on. In a McKinsey survey on agile transformations, it was found that the most effective approach is for the entire organization to transition to agile rather than implementing agile practices only in individual departments or teams.

Below are a few ways how Indian product managers can effectively implement agile practices.

  • Educating and training the team about agile principles and practices
  • Adopting the scrum framework to enhance collaboration and productivity. The scrum framework is a widely used agile methodology for managing and organizing product development
  • Creating a well-defined product backlog, prioritizing tasks based on customer value and business goals
  • Encouraging iterative development through regular feedback and continuous improvement
  • Empowering self-organizing teams, fostering open communication, and emphasizing customer value

WATCH: Top Skills Every Product Manager Must Have

Key Challenges to Agile Product Development in India

According to a survey by 280Group, 70% of the companies doing agile, the majority of product managers are product owners.  This means there will be a conflict in priorities and responsibilities as product managers often need to focus on strategic decision-making and business objectives, while product owners are more involved in day-to-day development and backlog management. Striking a balance between these two roles and ensuring a clear delineation of responsibilities can be challenging in some agile environments.

Some key challenges specific to the Indian context include:

  • Indian product managers face challenges in fostering a cultural mindset shift to embrace agile practices in traditional work environments
  • Language diversity in India poses communication challenges among teams speaking different languages
  • Resource constraints hinder the availability of skilled agile practitioners for effective implementation
  • Time zone differences with global teams can impact real-time collaboration and communication
  • Balancing client expectations with agile principles can be demanding, especially in client-driven projects
  • Rapidly changing requirements in India’s dynamic market necessitate agile teams to be highly adaptive
  • Overcoming resistance to change from team members or stakeholders during agile adoption can be difficult
  • Finding and retaining skilled, agile professionals presents challenges in certain regions of India
  • Striking a balance between long-term strategic goals and short-term agile deliverables can be complex
  • Ensuring organizational alignment with agile principles requires strong leadership and buy-in from all levels

How Can Indian Product Managers Foster Collaboration Among Agile Teams?

In a collaborative environment, creativity flourishes, and productivity soars. By breaking down barriers and nurturing teamwork, managers can unlock the full potential of their agile teams, ensuring successful product development outcomes. Furthermore, they can

  • Create a culture of openness, transparency, and mutual respect to foster collaboration among agile teams
  • Encourage regular communication through daily stand-ups and other agile ceremonies to keep team members informed about progress and challenges
  • Promote cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing to gain a deeper understanding of different roles within the team
  • Emphasize the importance of collective ownership and celebrate team achievements to reinforce the value of teamwork
  • Provide a shared space or digital platform for collaboration, enabling team members to exchange ideas and collaborate on tasks
  • Regularly solicit feedback from team members and involve them in decision-making processes to empower them and foster ownership of their work

Agile Product Development: Indian Success Stories

Indian product managers can learn from the journey of Zomato, a popular food delivery and restaurant discovery platform. By adopting agile principles, Zomato has been able to respond quickly to market demands and customer feedback, continuously improving its app and services. This agile mindset has allowed Zomato to adapt to the ever-changing food industry landscape, expand to new markets, and solidify its position as a leading player in the food tech industry.

When Flipkart embraced agile product development,  the way it approached innovation and customer-centricity was unique. By adopting agile methodologies, the company was able to quickly iterate and release new features and updates, staying ahead of the competition in the fast-paced e-commerce market.

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About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Yashvi is a dynamic content creator with 5+ years of experience crafting content for global brands, specializing in tech, finance, and healthcare sectors for both B2B and B2C audiences. Her diverse knowledge base empowers her to create meticulously researched, value-packed content for the EdTech sector, catering to various audiences. In her downtime, she explores the realms of mental well-being, reflecting her holistic approach to personal and professional growth and deepening her empathy for her audience's pain points and needs.
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