A Guest Post by Lilly Miller
Nowadays, increased market demands have forced a lot of companies to adopt new and disruptive technologies and methodologies. This is especially true when it comes to software development.
Building new solutions, programs and apps requires a new approach that will not only help companies accomplish goals seamlessly but also deliver value to customers. This is where Agile comes into play.
Agile methodology was created on the concept of Lean manufacturing which was developed back in the 1950s and 1960s by Taiichi Ohno who is also known as the father of the Toyota Production System.
Although originally intended for software development, Agile methodology quickly became a mindset that can be applied to numerous other processes, such as marketing, manufacturing, web development, etc.
That said, Agile project management can easily be the key to accelerating business value. With that in mind, here are a few things you should know.
What is Agile methodology?
Agile methodology was introduced as an improved approach to software development. The main reason Agile was created is that traditional or waterfall methods could no longer meet the requirements for modern software development. Agile, therefore, focuses on evolving solutions through a collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams.
Agile encourages adaptive planning, continual improvement, empirical knowledge and evolutionary development while advocating fast, flexible and responsive adaptation to change. This allows companies to guarantee customer satisfaction by continuously delivering value to them through software.
Agile methodology is based on 12 principles stated in the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development” or simply Agile Manifesto. By adopting this methodology, your company can not only gain a significant competitive advantage but also ensure means for proper growth and development in the future.
What is Agile project management?
Agile project management refers to running a project using Agile principles and best practices. In other words, you focus on continuous improvement and delivery while maintaining an optimum time to market. Agile offers five project management model phases to help you run the project:
Furthermore, you have various frameworks to help you manage the project more efficiently. For example, the Scrum framework is the most commonly used one for both software development and for helping a company adopt Agile methodology altogether. Other frameworks include Kanban and XP (Extreme Programming). The key is to give more autonomy to your team and trust them to get the job done while providing them with the environment and the tools to help them do their work. By following the Agile principles, you can maximize the value of the product for the end-user while also maximizing the value for your company.
Managing an Agile project
As mentioned before, Agile was introduced to tackle the problems that occurred with traditional/waterfall software development methods. As such, Agile requires a bit of understanding before you can utilize it to its fullest potential. With that in mind, Agile practices are easy to understand but difficult to master.
If you ever went through a project management course, you’ll be able to adapt more easily. However, Agile methodology advocates for self-organizing teams, which means the development team decides what to do, how to do it and they ultimately decide on the definition of “done”. Still, there are management roles that are required even in such an environment.
A good example is the Product Owner (PO) in the Scrum framework. A PO is a key stakeholder in the Scrum team. Although the name suggests otherwise, a PO doesn’t own a product. Instead, they are the ones that gather key information from users and other stakeholders so that they can envision the product that needs to be built. They later convey that vision to the development team and help them along by prioritizing the product backlog and helping them create a high-value product.
Accelerating business value
Agile project management doesn’t have to be applied to software development alone. It can be applied to an entire organization and its transformation. Companies that adopt Agile practices can easily adapt to market changes and shifts.
Moreover, they can boost productivity, efficiency and overall performance seamlessly. Last but not least, they can adopt an empirical approach to tackle modern-day challenges and market dynamics. However, the process of adopting Agile within an entire company can be difficult. That’s where a Scrum Master comes into play.
A Scrum Master is yet another management role born from the Scrum framework. They are responsible for helping an entire organization adopt both Agile and Scrum practices while helping stakeholders and executives understand these practices.
They can coach an organization into transforming along the path of Agile methodology so that they can gain a significant boost to business value. The purpose of adopting Agile is to ensure a long-term solution that will help companies overcome market challenges and obstacles in a fast and reliable way.
Agile methodology has been around since 1957 but it wasn’t until 2001 that Agile gained the recognition it deserves. Nowadays, a lot of companies are still early adopters and Agile project management can certainly help them get where they want to be.