Probably you’ve heard about Agile as a business owner or an employee. But have you managed to gain an in-depth understanding of Agile, really discovering what it is and why more and more people are coming to the conclusion that Agile is an effective methodology that helps bring about an organization’s success?
If you are new to the world of Agile, then you’re in luck. Today, we are going to familiarize you with Agile and its advantages, so that you can consider applying it in your workplace to manage your teams and projects effectively.
To start off, let’s try to understand what Agile is. The Agile approach to working first appeared in the software development industry in an attempt to help alternate heavyweight, documentation-driven processes in the field. At a certain moment, technology started developing quickly, so it became increasingly difficult to maintain the same effectiveness and efficiency levels as before by following the old procedures of work. As a result, several consultants developed methodologies and practices to respond to the new industry trends.
That’s why the Agile approach is a collection of various techniques, all of which share the same values and principles.
The main values of Agile are as follows:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools;
- Working software over comprehensive documentation;
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation;
- Responding to change over following a plan.
The methodology uses short development cycles, namely “sprints”, which allow team members to break down their continuous projects into smaller parts. In doing so, it becomes easier for professionals to focus on deliverables and finish them quickly.
Now, let’s sort out what the reasons are for you to implement Agile in your business.
1. Higher quality products & greater customer satisfaction
Due to the fact that Agile divides the project into sprints, frequent checkups and tests are being conducted. This helps to improve the product throughout the development phases and present a quality final product to the customers. As a result, the customer satisfaction is growing, because the client is involved in the testing and development processes. And, based on their feedback, companies can provide an ideal deliverable which matches the requirements of the customer.
2. Better visibility into project performance & more relevant metrics
The Agile methodology gives all the team members transparency and regular updates on the project progress. It enables the employees to make good decisions. The transparency shows if the team is on track to meet their sprint goals, whether they still have a lot of work in progress, or if they’re stuck on one or more stories, the smallest tasks which are impacting the realization of the big project. This information helps the staff to change the way they’re working or reevaluate their priorities.
The metrics used in Agile are considered to be more accurate in terms of performance evaluation. When planning a project and designating tasks, it is important to set the lead time & cycle time, identify the possible pitfalls, and brainstorm potential solutions to issues that may arise. Essentially, Agile emphasizes the need for a detailed look at the assignment during its very first phases, so that the work can be conducted quickly and effectively.
3. Increased flexibility & improved team morale
If the Agile technique is implemented in a project team, it means that the employees will be highly flexible during project realization. Because the Agile crew is working within short periods and sharing regular feedback with each other, it is easier to make changes on a short notice. As a result, the changes made during the production phases increase the team members’ flexibility.
The regular feedback sessions and sprints strengthen the team spirit and morale, solidifying the relationships between group members, and creating responsible and responsive attitudes to projects, deadlines, and requirements In addition, the research shows that the level of happiness of the Agile team is higher than the normal one. The increased communication leads to clear understanding of the roles in the team and expectations from the team members. It is important to make sure that everyone is working their best. This approach also makes sure that the team members will be able to conduct their work quality and on time, and subsequently their productivity rates will be higher.
The primary difference between Agile and a traditional project management approach is the implementation of short sprints, which allow team members to test the product during intermediate stages.