Today, businesses are seeking ways to keep up with the fast pace of evolving markets and changing technology. Where speed is concerned, development teams should be more flexible and adept than ever. And that’s where Agile comes into play.
Several tools and resources are available today to help businesses maximize the value of the output produced. Most of the products and software we use daily are due to the Agile methodology. Yet, embracing the Agile operating model can be frustrating and tough, especially for businesses that are reluctant to embrace change.
Before we delve into the Agile methodology and how it’s needed to scale your business, let’s look at what Agile is.
What is Agile?
Agile is the potential to generate and respond to change. It’s a way of adapting and thriving in an unstable and uncertain environment. Organizations are further adopting digital transformation approaches when faced with disruption threats to keep up with the accelerating pace of business. Once they do, agile software development often sets in.
The Agile Manifesto is a crucial document with so much impact that it serves as a manual for Agile development, laying out good practices and principles.
Since its inception in 2001, Agile has flourished in project management and the software industry. The Agile Manifesto creators prefer “Agile” as the tag for the entire idea since the word defined the flexibility and responsiveness to change which was imperative to their methods.
Agile is a software development approach that seeks the frequent delivery of working software built-in quick iterations. But the term “agile methodology” is deceiving since it means that agile is a singular approach to software development. Agile isn’t a set of prescriptions on what actions to take in software development. It’s a way of thinking about workflows, collaborations, and values guiding our decisions on what we create and how we create it.
In reality, Agile software development methodologies entail quick delivery of small bits of working software to improve customer experience. It uses teamwork and adaptive approaches to focus on continuous improvement. This software development approach often comprises small and self-organizing teams of software developers and business reps. These groups attend in-person meetings together regularly throughout the software development life cycle.
Through Agile methodologies, businesses can deliver value to customers more quickly and with fewer issues. They can achieve this by managing projects and iteratively developing software. An agile team approach delivers tasks in little but consumable additions instead of pledging everything on a big-bang launch.
Teams can rapidly respond to change by continuously evaluating plans, requirements, and results.
The Agile Manifesto and most of its 12 principles state that:
- Agile processes encourage sustainable development since their technical excellence and constant rhythm improve productivity.
- Customer satisfaction is a top priority, shown through timely delivery and added value.
- The development team should work with the customer daily to facilitate the team and synchronize the product.
- Reflective moments within a team are vital, enabling them to make the necessary adjustments and promote efficiency.
- Development teams need good support and a pleasant environment to keep them motivated.
Besides the quick delivery of software, the primary benefit of using Agile methodologies is the continuous delivery of value to the customer because deliveries are progressive.
Once considered just a trend, Agile has matured into a famous and valued framework. It has expanded outside of the IT and software development industry into the automotive manufacturing, management consulting, banking, and healthcare sectors.
There are several benefits of adopting agile approaches. Agile methods can help:
- Reduce risk and eliminate waste
- Reach markets faster
- Promote better collaboration
- Help you gain an edge in the future
- Create high-quality products that customers value
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development describes four top traits that should be valued over other concerns. These are:
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Software in operation over comprehensive records
- Interaction and individuals over tools and processes
- Response to change over following a scheme of arrangement
Several different Agile methodologies exist today, including Kanban, Scrum, and Extreme Programming (XP). While all of these methods have gained traction among various businesses and industries, Scrum remains the most used Agile framework for software development. What is Scrum? It is characterized by stages or cycles of development called sprints. Teams use scrum to establish a hypothesis, test, and reflect on the experience and adjust. With scrum, teams can incorporate practices from other frameworks based on the conditions.
How to Scale Your Business with Agile
If you discover that there’s more demand than you can deliver constantly, then it means that you need to scale your Agile teams. Switching to an Agile culture takes work. It takes a radical mindset of how you do business.
Scaling agile across your company yields flexibility, agility, and organizational health. Here are some tips to follow to make your business more agile.
- Focus on the questions: The questions you want to address must be your sense of direction. Ensure that the solution you seek drives meaningful and specific action.
- Measure for insights: It could be enticing to gather huge amounts of data over instrument infrastructure and code, which becomes another management migraine. Stand firm and focus on a specific area to show value.
- Run experiments: Guide ongoing trials with analytics and predict changes that will enhance the customer experience. Through analytics, you can validate the outcome of proposed optimizations before adopting them at scale.
- Optimize for the organization: Ensure your efforts are deeply rooted in the organization. Don’t allow data to distract you. Data collection and instrumentation are crucial. But they must focus on answering questions that matter to the organization and customer in a continuous feedback curve.
The agile software development method and general framework are your tickets to success in the application economy. Companies that survive and thrive in this global landscape are the ones that quickly and confidently deliver fast value, respond to change, and build high-quality and valuable products.
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Plan, focus, manage, monitor, and always improve your work with Rally by Broadcom today. To learn more about this leading enterprise agility platform, contact A&I Solutions.
- On September 28, 2022
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