For a long time, agile was a set of management practices relevant only to the software development industry.
Considering software developers wrote the original document the “Agile Manifesto for Software Development”.
However, this methodology is now spreading to all types of organizations after being recognized by McKinsey & Company, Harvard Business Review, and the 2015 learning consortium Project in 2016.
What is Agile?
It is a methodology that uses an iterative and incremental approach to product development.
This allows the development teams to tackle the unpredictability of the development process. Instead of treating the development as one process, it divides it into a number of smaller tasks.
The entire idea is to reduce operational/developmental dependency. It also ensures that all the team members perform their roles individually to maintain the fixed timelines.
What is Agile Methodology?
This methodology adopts iterative and incremental work sequences which are known as sprints. A sprint is a time period for the completion of a particular phase of the project.
It revolves around the concepts of adaptive planning, early delivery, and continuous improvement. This enables the teams to adapt to the changing or increasing requirements and any feedback from the client.
By using this methodology, updates the customer on a regular basis about the performing tasks and they know in real-time if the development is on schedule.
The Agile Manifesto
The Manifesto is a document consisting of 12 principles that are based on four fundamental values which include:
- The focus should be on individuals and interactions instead of processes and tools
- Working software is more important than comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration is more vital as compared to contract negotiation
- The process should adapt to change than strictly following a plan
Comparison with Traditional Methods
As companies shift from the traditional waterfall/spiral method to agile, it is an interesting debate if agile really is an effective method in comparison to Waterfall, or is it just a fad that all companies seem to be following?
It is imperative to understand that agile is suitable for certain tasks and processes within an organization.
While there are some processes for which the traditional waterfall method is highly effective still.
If we look at the aforementioned data and understand deeply how the agile method works, one can definitely conclude that yes, going agile is an effective method and not just a cultural industry change.