What is agile?
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.
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:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased productivity
- Increased transparency
- Higher quality deliverables
- Decreased risk of missed objectives
- Increased stakeholder engagement and satisfaction
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.