Business Profile - Millennials
According to the Ivey Business Journal, the millennial generation is noted for a few business characteristics:
- They have high self-expectations
- They prefer to work in teams
- They want to see results from their work
- They want work-life balance
Let’s take a few of these and associate them with the Agile project process. First, working in a team is one of the focal points of Agile. The team meets daily, it arrives jointly at a time and cost estimate, and it finishes iterations (or sprints) in an orderly fashion. Although the classic project management process does not necessarily involve teams, the Agile depends on it.
Second, the millennial likes to see results of their work. Agile provides a ready-made “results-oriented" process through the iterations. In this way, the project team can see results in a few weeks rather than six months to a year. In this way, what the project team sees is a result from each iteration, and sees that result fed into other results. Again, the Agile project management model seems to fulfill the millennial’s desires.
What about work-life balance? In this case, the very estimate from the project team determines the natural breaks to the project, as well as the work rhythm. In this case, the work-life balance can be attained from maintaining the appropriate time estimates (“burn down rate") from the Agile iterations. In essence, the millennial, who likes to work in a team, can now through the team determine their work life balance.
The hardest one to translate to the Agile model is the “high self-expectations." The Agile process provides for a team estimate and each of those estimates is based upon team performance. As long as the individual performs to their abilities, then the team should succeed and attain the appropriate project timing.
The hard part about this one are the many “unknowns" that will undoubtedly affect the millennial’s expectations, but should not be attributed to them. For instance, if a member of the project team gets sick and that person’s work must be completed in order for the millennial to start their work (or complete that work), through no fault of their own the millennial will fail to meet the timeline. This is not a factor of poor performance but a factor of not allocating risk for project team illness or absence. This is something that can be adjusted through good risk management – not the topic of this article.