Agile culture has not only revolutionized how software is built. It has also impacted non-software related industries. Thanks to it, teams can work smarter to produce outstanding results in shorter times. Through quick iterations, Agile teams can easily pivot to adapt to unexpected changes. Product Managers and clients alike can rest assured that they will produce what is expected.
What exactly is Agile? Why is it important? How can your company benefit from it? These are some of the most common questions people ask when it comes to Agile software development. Due to its importance, in this post we explain what the Agile framework is as well as the do’s and don’ts to get it right.
The Agile Framework
Organizations are always trying to find new ways to make work more productive. Although many different alternatives exist, organizations usually have a hard time trying to find a way to onboard everyone and maximize their outputs. Teams struggle with communication, deadlines, keeping track of things, and, most importantly, staying motivated.
For many, software built and delivered in pieces is known as Agile; however, it is much more than that. Agile is a project management philosophy that is changing how all sorts of companies operate. It is sometimes referred to as a framework or methodology. Although it was initially developed for the software industry, it can easily be adapted to different contexts. Rather than copying the model, companies from various sectors can adopt the Agile culture principles. By doing this, they can take advantage of this methodology without losing industry-specific elements.
Origins of Agile
The origins of Agile go back to the 90s. At the time, software companies were having a tough time. Companies were demanding new products all the time, but development teams were unable to meet their needs. Almost all organizations operated under old industrial principles that did not apply to software development.
This led many software companies to develop a new work philosophy that would allow them to solve many of the problems teams were facing. The result was Agile, a new set of values, principles, and practices that inaugurated a new form of management. This new approach strongly distanced itself from the command and control management style, which was popular at the time.
The Importance of Agile
Agile is often regarded as one of the most important management innovations of the past decades. Through an Agile culture, companies can adapt their organizational culture to help teams get their work done. Frictions are reduced and communication is strengthened, helping workers make important decisions that can strongly impact a project’s result. As a result, everyone is engaged and committed to delivering their best.
Building software through the use of Agile is particularly useful, especially for avoiding mistakes. However, it is not limited to it. Rather than being a technology solution, Agile integrates important ideas on how work needs to be done to get the most out of it. Thanks to this approach, if properly implemented, any type of company should be able to produce more value from less work.
These are some of the things you should do when using Agile.
- Assume that we live in an uncertain world. This way, you will always be prepared to adapt, no matter what happens.
- Adopt a small team mindset rather than any universal best practice. Small teams communicate better and work faster.
- Approach learning as a systematic process. There are always new things to learn, so establishing a learning environment can help teams prepare themselves better for any challenge.
- Try to accommodate a flexible network. Rigid structures make work less Agile; the same goes for excessive centralization.
- Consider decisions based on how they add value to customers.
These are some of the things to avoid when using Agile.
- Don’t make teams highly dependent on bureaucratic structures. Granting them autonomy is part of being Agile.
- Avoid being too focused on execution or innovation. Instead, try to find the sweet spot between the right amount of doing and creating.
- Try not to focus too much on top-down innovation. Instead, try to combine this approach with bottom-up initiatives.
- Assuming that everyone in a team has a clear goal is a mistake. Make sure that everyone understands what the goal is.
- Focusing on shareholders can result in a narrow view of the end product. Instead, focus on stakeholders.
Institutionalizing an Agile work culture in your company is not an easy task. It is not something that will occur from one day to the next. It requires dedication, commitment, discipline, and good communication. Top executives must believe in the benefits of Agile. Otherwise, it will be impossible to use it properly.
Agile can help companies improve how they work. One of its most interesting characteristics is that it can be easily adapted to company-specific needs. Different companies can have different approaches to Agile based on their specific needs, even within the same industry.
At Koombea, for example, we have our very own custom Agile methodology used for world-class app development. It has been tested throughout our more than 1000 projects with excellent results. Our approach allows our development teams to easily integrate with your company to deliver products that users will love. Additionally, it also helps keep your project on schedule and your budget under control.
If you want to know more about our Agile approach to app development, contact us. We’d be happy to share with you our app development process.