BBI of Chicago
The application of agile methodology in medical technology projects
By: Livia Oliveira Batista.
Agile methodologies are increasingly more common and can be applied in different areas. We can see them in corporate environments, startups, research products, and even in the daily routine of companies, especially those who deal in technology.
Some of the main agile methodologies are Scrum (one of the most used), Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming. They can be used separately or combined; a common combination is the use of Scrum alongside Kanban.
Scrum is based on three main pillars, namely Transparency, Adaptation, and Inspection. It uses Sprints, activities that must be completed within a given time, which is usually a month or less. It also has Dailies, daily meetings used to follow up with the team on what is needed to proceed with the current day’s activities and review the previous day. In addition, it also has the Sprint Review and Retrospective, which have the function of reviewing what was done, calculate the progress made, the gains from the last Sprint, and think of ways to improve the Sprints.
Kanban is a very visual methodology, where the team can see the steps of processes in a clear and defined way. It has six general practices: visualizing workflow, limiting work in progress, managing flow, making process policies explicit, implementing feedback loops, and improve collaboratively. It with a scrum to give it a better and more visual monitoring of everything that is being done in the Sprints, facilitating team communication, and optimizing the review processes and Sprint Retrospectives.
In times of pandemic, the need for fast growth in health technologies was evident. With it, projects for the development of new medical and hospital equipment required greater agility in deliveries to keep up with the needs of the world market. Agile methodologies have become essential to the gradual deliveries of these projects, it facilitates the communication between the ones involved and helps with the visualization of the development process.
Software companies have used agile methodologies for some time to manage their internal processes. Recently they began to use it in their applications so that it can be used by users as well. Clinical engineering software, which aims to promote the good management of corrective, calibrated, and preventative maintenance, by service providers or inside a hospital, already uses tools such as Kanban. Using Kanban, users can manage their work orders through boards, bringing transparency and facilitating workflow monitoring, optimizing the visual stages of services, and enabling better decision-making.
Therefore, it is easy to see how agile methodologies can be applied in the most diverse areas, with different audiences and levels of knowledge. The combination of agile methods can be an excellent option so that the processes are not rigid and can be customized according to the needs of the ones using them.
Bastos, R. Fundamentos do método ágil – Business Behavior Institute. 2021 (Course booklet).
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