Agile approaches have essentially replaced the conventional waterfall project management methodology as the industry standard for developing software and digital products. Due to its adaptability and evolutionary character, agile project management is currently among the most widely used methods. There is no industry that agile methodology cannot be applied, and it has already been implemented outside of IT.
What is Agile?
Agile is an iterative method for managing projects and creating software that enables teams to serve customers more quickly and without any hassles. Agile is a project management methodology that uses short development cycles called “sprints” to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service. Agile is primarily focused on the concepts of user and customer satisfaction, quality of the project or product, flexibility, transparency, and continuous delivery and improvement.
The principles of agile
There are 12 key principles that still guide agile project management today.
- Customer satisfaction is always the highest priority and is achieved through rapid and continuous delivery.
- Changing environments are embraced at any stage of the process to provide the customer with a competitive advantage.
- A product or service is delivered with higher frequency.
- Stakeholders and developers collaborate closely on a daily basis.
- All stakeholders and team members remain motivated for optimal project outcomes, while teams are provided with all the necessary tools and support, and are trusted to accomplish project goals.
- Face-to-face meetings are deemed the most efficient and effective format for project success.
- A final working product is the ultimate measure of success.
- Sustainable development is accomplished through agile processes whereby development teams and stakeholders are able to maintain a constant and ongoing pace.
- Agility is enhanced through a continuous focus on technical excellence and proper design.
- Simplicity is an essential element.
- Self-organizing teams are most likely to develop the best architectures and designs and to meet requirements.
- Regular intervals are used by teams to improve efficiency through fine-tuning behaviors.
The benefits of agile
Agile provides a way for developers and teams to deliver a better product, in a faster manner, through short, iterative, interactive sessions/sprints. Agile can help ensure company-wide process and methodological alignment. In terms of business benefits, both the digital workplace and agile provide:
Agile concepts and practices provide the basis for progressively expanding visibility. The implementation of Kanban in an organization is a highly practical method for enhancing visibility. Agile businesses frequently use Kanban, a visual management tool, to depict the workflows and procedures used to complete tasks.
Agile teams are adaptable to change and can do so without much disturbance, even at the last minute. As project deliverables are flexible, teams may simply review their strategies and realign their priorities to meet revised objectives. Since agile teams are flexible, they can produce consistently and successfully handle clients’ changing requirements.
The customer is always involved in the decision-making process in Agile, which increases customer retention. Agile processes involve keeping customers up to date and responding to their feedback. This enables businesses to provide value to their clients and guarantee that the final product genuinely satisfies their requirements.
There are more effective techniques to recognize and anticipate hazards in the Agile framework, as well as to prepare ahead to guarantee the project’s success. Agile uses short, iterative sprints that enable continuous delivery and the flow of feedback from a variety of sources.
Agile project management practices take an iterative approach in which procedures are enhanced with each iteration. One of the fundamental ideas of Agile is that continuous improvement and quality control lead to better products.
Advantages of agile for project management
In the project management field, agile provides project teams, sponsors, project leaders and customers many project-specific benefits, including:
- More rapid deployment of solutions
- Reduced waste through minimization of resources
- Increased flexibility and adaptability to change
- Increased success through more focused efforts
- Faster turnaround times
- Faster detection of issues and defects
- Optimized development processes
- A lighter weight framework
- Optimal project control
- Increased focus on specific customer needs
- Increased frequency of collaboration and feedback
Agile project management and scrum
Scrum is a powerful framework for implementing agile processes in software development and other projects. This highly adopted framework utilizes short iterations of work, called sprints, and daily meetings, called scrums, to tackle discrete portions of a project in succession until the project as a whole is complete. There are three key scrum roles within Scrum: the Scrum master, product owner, and Scrum team members:
- The product owner creates and prioritizes a product backlog (work to be done).
- Teams select items from the backlog and determine how to complete the work.
- Work must be completed within a sprint (usually two to four weeks).
- The Scrum master meets with teams briefly each day to get progress updates.
- Sprint reviews are conducted at the end of each sprint.
- The process starts again until all work or backlog is complete.
Agile project management certification and training
As agile methodology picks up speed, so does the demand for professionals with agile knowledge and experience. Here are seven agile-focused certifications to provide a benchmark for your knowledge.
As competition is continually increasing and time to market is also shrinking, agile offers numerous benefits and limited drawbacks. As more companies make the shift to a digital workplace that is highly dependent on speed, flexibility and increased productivity, agile or hybrid methodologies will become increasingly necessary. Its application in multiple industries and alignment with the benefits offered by a digital workplace model, indicate that agile adoption rates will continue to increase across industries around the world.