What is Agile?

As businesses had to adapt and pivot in response to the COVID19 pandemic, it feels as if “agile working” has become the norm and not just a methodology applied to project management.

The history of Agile Methodology can be traced back to a Ski lodge in Utah back in 2001, where 17 software developers who were all frustrated with the Waterfall method of project management came up with a new set of principals.

Agile is a process by which a team can manage a project by breaking it up into several stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

Agile Frameworks

One point of confusion for many is that the term Agile can refer not only to the methodology and values, but also to the various frameworks for implementing them.

Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Adaptive Project Framework (APF) are all frameworks  for Agile. Think of Agile methodology as a process for managing a project characterised by constant iteration and collaboration in order to more fully answer a customer’s needs.

Principals of Agile

  • Satisfy the client and continually develop software.
  • Changing requirements are embraced for the client’s competitive advantage.
  • Concentrate on delivering working software. Delivery preference will be placed on the shortest possible time span.
  • Developers and business people must work together throughout the entire project.
  • Projects must be based on people who are motivated. Give them the proper environment and the support that they need. They should be trusted to get their jobs done.
  • Face-to-face communication is the best way to transfer information to and from a team.
  • Working software is the primary measurement of progress.
  • Agile processes will promote development that is sustainable. Sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain an indefinite, constant pace.
  • Constant attention to technical excellence and good design will enhance agility.
  • Simplicity is considered to be the art of maximising the work that is not done, and it is essential.
  • Self-organised teams usually create the best designs.
  • At regular intervals, the team will reflect on how to become more effective, and they will tune and adjust their behavior accordingly.

Only for software development?

While the Agile methodology was initially designed for software development, that’s not all it’s good for. Agile is a flexible methodology that can be applied to nearly any large scale project in any industry, market, and company. Agile methodology is commonly used to deliver more complex projects. It uses six main deliverables to track progress and create the product which are; the product vision statement, product roadmap, product backlog, release plan, sprint backlog, and increment. With these features, it establishes itself as a methodology that places an emphasis on collaboration, flexibility, continuous improvement, and high quality results.

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