Understanding the Agile Methodology

A recent study found that 71% of companies use the agile philosophy. Agile was created in 2004 when software companies started rising in popularity and realized there needed to be a better project management strategy. However, is agile the best technique to manage projects? 

Don’t worry! We’ve investigated everything you need to know about agile methodologies. That way, you can decide if the agile method is right for you and your company. 

Now, are you ready to get started? Here’s an in-depth look at agile methodology. 

What Is Agile?  

Agile is a project management methodology that breaks up a project into several pieces. It was created to improve the waterfall technique that was often weighed down by documentation needs and un-collaborative teams. 

The methodology utilizes constant collaboration with key stakeholders to improve the product at each production stage. Once work has begun, teams start with a series of process planning, development, and analysis. These steps are iterated through repeatedly to ensure quality, effectiveness, and efficiency. For more details on disciplined agile scrum master course, please visit our website.

4 Agile Values 

The agile methodology is based on four distinct characteristics that should be valued above all else. The four values are as follows: 

  1. Interactions with individuals rather than processes and tools 
  2. Working software rather than documentation  
  3. Customer partnership rather than contract negotiation 
  4. Adapt to change rather than following a plan 

Now, it’s important to understand that the agile methodology is not trying to prescribe rules. Rather, it provides a new way of thinking about and understanding software development.  

For instance, instead of using the waterfall technique to go from one phase to the next sequentially, the agile methodology promotes continuous testing and development. In other words, the traditional waterfall technique holds a development phase back until the previous one is complete, but agile allows multiple phases to happen simultaneously. 

That way, developers can respond to customer needs and adapt to changes more effectively without having to redo an entire development phase. These values help make product quality and effectiveness more reliable so customers can continue to be happy. 

12 Agile Principles  

The four agile values have been utilized to create the 12 principles, so developers have a guided plan for what to do. They are as follows: 

  1. Satisfy customers with continuous delivery of software 
  2. Adapt to and tackle changes for the customer’s advantage 
  3. Deliver working and valuable software frequently 
  4. Have daily collaboration between managers and developers   
  5. Create the environment developers need to succeed 
  6. Emphasize face-to-face communication 
  7. Measure progress by the amount of software completed 
  8. Maintain a constant pace of development 
  9. Enhance products by paying attention to design  
  10. Keep things simple 
  11. Self-organizing teams create the best designs and processes 
  12. Regularly adapt behavior for continued product improvement 

Following these guided principles are, of course, optional. However, they have been created to prioritize flexibility and adaptation to change. 

These principles make agile a popular methodology since it helps foster employee trust and satisfaction, enabling teams to constantly deliver quality products. All of these elements work together to meet customer and user expectations as well as further business needs.  

Benefits of Agile 

Every project methodology has its benefits, which can be a big help in deciding which methodology to use. Now, the benefits of agile are endless, but to give you a sense of what they are, here are three of them:

1. Better Stakeholder Collaboration 

Agile promotes collaboration between team members, managers, and clients. Since there is greater transparency about what the client wants and needs, team members won’t have unclear expectations and get frustrated by the process. 

Plus, clear communication about the project’s timelines ensures that there will be no surprise deliverables or a sense of uneasiness about the project. Everyone will be on the same page, and as a result, products will be of greater quality and effectiveness. 

2. Predictable Costs 

Since there’s clear communication about what the client wants, managers can break down the stages of the project and can more accurately estimate the total costs.

This will make clients happy since managers can tell them what their money will buy and accomplish. Teams will also like this because they can focus on testing and working on the project rather than trying to stay on budget.

3. Higher Quality Products  

Team members will likely be happy and engaged with their work since the expectations are clear and the budget is outlined. As a result, team members will be efficient in regularly testing and identifying any problems early on.

In doing so, the product owner can make changes while product development is still ongoing to ensure product quality.  

Agile Methodologies Framework 

Agile does not have a singular framework; rather, it’s used as an umbrella term to refer to many different frameworks. For example, agile includes scrum, kanban, and the adaptive management framework.  

However, scrum is generally the most popular agile framework. Scrum teams have a scrum master, which is the head of that particular team and collaborates with other team managers. The formula for scrum is identical to agile, evaluate and adapt. 

Some of the other agile frameworks, like kanban, were used long before agile was invented. However, the framework is included in agile because it represents the agile philosophy. 

Use the Agile Methodology Today 

The agile methodology is a great strategy to use if your project has more moving parts than most. It will provide collaboration, employee satisfaction, and consent quality products. You can tailor it to your specific needs to make deliverables frequent and on time. 

To implement agile, you can use frameworks like kanban or scrum. There’s no wrong way to use agile; in fact, with it, you can understand client needs, expectations, and goals.  

Now, for more information about project management, visit our business blog section.

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