If you are looking to bring about change not through standardization but through flexible, quick, swift and effective project management in your firm, investing in Agile is the next big move you need to make. From an IT perspective, Agile development is a method of project management whereby tasks are divided into short phases of work, reassessed based on demand and adapted as per the requirements. Under this method, cross-functional teams come together with customers and end users for effective software development. This development process is aligned with the concepts of the “Agile Manifesto” which was developed by a group of leading figures in the software development industry to indicate workable and non-workable approaches to software development.
Not just collaboration, Agile development method, if applied in your firm, also promotes a sense of collaborative discipline through regular inspection and adaptation, teamwork and accountability and a reference to best practices from the past. This practice ensures alignment with both companies needs as well as customer goals by including multiple stakeholders in the process.
Agile offers several benefits from the perspectives of your firm, your customers and overall stakeholders.
From a customer perspective, there is quick and continuous delivery of software. This delivery is also adapted and customized leading to increased satisfaction and higher retention as the customer is constantly involved in the process. This can also lead to an increased positive referencing by him in the market.
From your firm perspective, there is a decrease in non-productive work such as writing specifications that may not be used later. This leads to an increase in job satisfaction for development teams as they can focus on the work they enjoy. Since requirements are chosen based on value maximization for customers, the development teams are likely to feel an increased sense of accomplishment from the work they do. Most importantly, there is a possible decrease in overhead costs and an increase in efficiency for vendors due to reduced wastage and focused efforts. In comparison to waterfall processes, there is a stronger possibility to conduct task-level tracking through burn-down charts for daily progress and daily scrum meetings. A higher level of concrete awareness and monitoring possibilities can make it possible for project managers to catch, address and solve issues quickly.
From all stakeholder perspective, there is an increased possibility to develop high-value features and delivering them faster as the vendor and customer are closely involved leading to shorter delivery cycles and increased satisfaction. Due to the possibility of frequent re-prioritizing of work, there is a higher alignment of the work with customer needs. This alignment leads to maximization of value delivery. For project managers, timely and valued deliveries are the biggest moral boosters. These are possible through Agile.
However, while adopting Agile can reduce the need for formal governance, there is also likely to be less clarity around specific yet dynamic requirements. Thus, firms may need a stronger project governing team for each project at hand. Albeit, multiple projects can be handled by an individual or a team at a time. New requirements would have to be channeled through a proper approval process and while project managers may connect with developers in most cases but they must at all times keep the established processes in the loop, at least in the early days of work. Careful planning on schedules and appropriate budgeting need to be agreed and monitored. This would enable effective forecasting and an assurance of quality outcome for clients.”
In a nutshell, Agile is sure to make your business become best from better because it works on four primary values viz. a priority for individuals and interactions rather than processes and tools, a working software rather than continuous and repetitive documentation, collaborating with customers to meet their requirements rather than negotiating on a contractual basis and being agile and responding to change rather than sticking to a predefined plan that may require adaptation with changing requirements as the project moves ahead.
In the coming weeks, do look out for success stories of brands that have greatly benefited in moving from Waterfall to scale Agile.