Agile Methodology and its 4 Key Benefits
Offering a product or a service today demands constant improvement and better service at every stage even after successfully reaching the customers. Just as an app keeps getting updated at regular intervals, with intense and high competition in all markets, it is necessary that the process begins while the software is being built or the project takes shape in the company. As each product is developed and introduced into the market, they have short and immediate goals called “sprints” to ensure continuous improvement throughout the development of a product or service. This continues until they remain in the market. This continuous process till the end has several advantages including better project management, sterner development, quicker adaptation to changes, etc. There are several structures such as Scrum, Extreme programming, Feature-driven Development (FDD). It involves several practices such as pair programming, test-driven development, stand-ups, planning sessions, etc. Beyond all these, Agile is an ethical system, developed with 12 principles, that is practiced for better service and better functioning of the teams involved in a project. The fact that 94% of the companies used Agile methodology in 2016 alone shows its absolute success.
Here are some interesting statistics about Agile methodology.
As we know how it works, here are some of the ways in which it has proven to be effective in both software development and project management.
1. Cross-functional teams
Though every team has people with specific roles, the skill sets are matched according to requirements. The methodology focuses on people doing the work and how they work together. A leader involved in the team focuses only on equipping the members with the right skill sets. This means the team can decide and function on its own without depending on the pillar of leadership for everything. Such self-organizing teams let the leadership community focus on further betterment of the products and services. This independence also assists the team members to not be contained in a box and have their skills unused. It becomes a win-win situation.
2. Better collaboration among stakeholders
Gone are the days when stakeholders had to wait for the developers to present their version of a product or service. With Agile methodology, the stakeholders and developers work together at every stage to have a complete and satisfactory output. This also means that regular discussions and deliberations result in a product inclusive of all the best ideas of people involved. There is no compromise on the quality this way. When everyone involved is satisfied, reworks are avoided and the members can focus on the betterment of the product or service rather than being stuck in the same place.
3. Business agility
With most of the world under lockdown, this is the perfect time to talk about uncertainty in business. Such circumstances, big and small are part of any business. Agile methodology helps businesses find a structure and system that prepares them to deal with changes and uncertainty. An immediate and effective response to changes from every member is crucial for this. Practicing Agile methodology prepares everyone part of the product for this kind of change and uncertainty. For instance, if a product encounters a new market demand or an update, the teams work swiftly on that as their next short-term goal.
4. Constant improvement
Considering this is the main objective of this methodology, a product can only be seen improving with time. A frequent reassessment of products is done at regular intervals guaranteeing constant upgradation. The planning, processing and executing take place in smaller cycles, making clear each issue to be addressed and each option to be worked on. The final deliverable is ultimately the best at that given point of time. In short, Agile methodology is a ladder that takes the product only towards the top without much hassle.
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The technical aspects of Agile methodology are instructions on how to work with a framework in such a flexible system. As we understand from the above, one can only agree that it is a mindset. A leader giving his team the freedom to function, the members accepting it as a system and not sticking to their specific roles, the stakeholders being a part of the process and working in collaboration, etc., require the right mindset to follow and the right people involved in the process. Innovating, experimenting and producing cutting-edge products in alliance with the market trends and demands is what the software industry wants today. Reports suggest that this method results in a 30% increase in revenue. The only major drawback is that this method takes more time as it happens in instalments and the flow is usually not constant. With each step requiring decisions and discussions, it does take more time but the outcome is always close to flawless. Hence, compromise on time can be planned well ahead to avoid its impact on the organization in the larger picture.