We live in a digital age and have the privilege to witness and experience mind-blowing technological innovations, thanks to the digital transformation that has driven organizations to adopt digital technology to transform their businesses and services. Many companies are now leveraging technology by integrating them into all areas of their business, essentially changing the way they operate and deliver value to their customers.
Today most companies have realized that, in the age of digital transformation, the ideal way to achieve business growth is to follow a seamless project management methodology and apply it across the entire organization. This has led to the rise of what is known as “the Agile methodology”
Wondering what Agile is?
Let us take you through some of its facts and benefits that you and your company can reap from it.
Agile is the most common term used in the corporate boardrooms of software companies. In a nutshell, Agile is an iterative, time-boxed, result-oriented approach to project management that encourages building software incrementally from the start of the project.
Agile methodology was officially launched in 2001. With the goal to build better software in mind, an Agile Manifesto was drafted which consisted of four major principles for project management.
The four principles 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.
Agile methodology was originally designed for software development. Over time, agile methodology evolved and became a popular choice among project managers, irrespective of the industry. What makes agile so appealing to project managers is the fact that Agile makes the managers’ job easier and allows them to have greater control over their projects. It gives you the benefit of delivering quality and value to the customer and completing the project within the given time frame. Research indicates that almost 71% of organizations use Agile and that the projects using Agile methodologies are 28% more successful.
Benefits of adopting agile methodology:
Agile methodology is perfect for companies looking to change the way they operate. Here are the 5 major reasons why agile methodology is adopted by top companies for managing their products.
Customer’s needs are met
- In Agile methodology, the process cycle is executed keeping users or customers in mind. They are defined with user personas to demonstrate different roles in a workflow or different types of customer needs and behaviors.
- The customer is always involved in the decision-making process which results in greater customer retention. Unlike the traditional framework where the customer is only involved in the planning phase, agile processes involve the customer regularly. By keeping the customer in the loop, you deliver value to the customer and ensure that the final product is truly according to their requirements.
- The agile process ensures the real needs of users are met. It presents an opportunity to test a software after every sprint, enabling teams to gain valuable feedback from the customer early in the project and making changes according to their feedback.
Superior quality product
- In the agile software development process, the team focuses on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration by breaking down the project into multiple, manageable units. Producing frequent builds and conducting testing and reviews are done during each iteration, All of these help in improving quality by identifying and fixing bugs right away, pinning down expectation mismatches at the earliest stage of development.
- The client is involved in the development process and can ask for changes depending on the market scenarios.
- Agile, being an iterative process, helps teams to be self-organized by learning and improving with time.
- Agile methodology offers unparalleled flexibility to the teams. Unlike other project management methodologies, where changes usually are time-consuming and expensive, agile divides the project into short sprints that are both manageable and flexible enough to allow the team to implement changes on short notice.
- Agile encourages teams to make changes in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of work, to continuously improve and reprioritize the overall product backlog. It also allows new or changed items in the backlog to be planned for the next iteration, allowing developers to make changes within a specific timeframe. This flexible nature of agile is one of the top reasons why organizations prefer to use Agile in their project.
- Agile methodology approach offers clients an opportunity to have a high level of involvement throughout the project. They are involved in the project every step of the way, from prioritizing functionalities, planning iterations, review sessions, to frequent software builds that include additional features. This allows clients to evaluate the development team’s work in a fair manner.
- Agile methodology also helps clients to build a sense of trust which is very important for a long-lasting business relationship.
- The agile process provides relevant metrics that are useful in estimating time and cost, measuring project performance that is more accurate than the ones used in traditional methodologies. Each sprint in an agile process has a fixed duration. This helps in the cost estimation.
- Agile’s metrics help clients measure the team’s performance, identify bottlenecks and also help in making decisions regarding priority of features and cost allocation.
Undoubtedly, agile is a powerful and efficient method for software development. Its flexible and ever-evolving nature is perhaps the reason why it is one of the most popular approaches to project management. Although every Agile practice is not necessarily appropriate for every organization, it has delivered real value to many organizations by organizing and reinventing activities related to custom software development.