If you work in the digital industry, you’ve almost definitely encountered the term “Agile”. First officially used in 2001, Agile Manifesto referred to a collection of software development practices initiated in the 1990s, e.g. Scrum and Kanban, as an alternative to the “waterfall” approach.
In contrast with waterfall software development, Agile methodologies allowed for much more innovation and experimentation, with projects done in incremental “sprints” and a focus on the “fail fast, then optimize” mentality.
Numerous aspects of agile development are still misunderstood, misused, or ignored altogether within many large tech companies. Agile software development refers to a set of practices, methodologies, and team values that allow organizations to quickly respond to changing customer needs and withstand competitive pressures while keeping team morale high. It focuses not just on building features, but also on driving real business value. By implementing continuous delivery, teams can increase feedback, eliminate waste, and remove roadblocks, ensuring that every small batch of code is sufficiently tested. Continuous testing allows teams to maintain and improve quality without sacrificing speed.
The testing and tweaking process is an integral part of each cycle of Agile product development. At each stage of the process, with each release, your team can test the product and make changes as needed, whether those changes are internal (bugs and performance issues) or external (client requested change). Thus, resulting in an ever-evolving product that, in its conclusion, will have grown and learned from its environment, reducing the risk of failing to meet market needs or disappointing your clients. Moreover, Agile methodologies place greater emphasis on outcomes than outputs, which means that your team’s goal will always be to find the simplest and most efficient means of achieving your client’s objectives. In the end, an excellent product does not mean the most robust or the one with the most bells and whistles. A good product is the one that best meets the needs of your customers.
Agile is all about team collaboration and communications. Communication among team members increases transparency while empowering them to do a better job by constantly reminding them of the common goal, the mission statement. The increased transparency and clear goals also mean that your team doesn’t require micromanagement. In Agile, your different teams can work together effectively and every single member of your team has a voice. This increased transparency allows them to contribute their best work, giving your customers exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.
While working closely with client stakeholders, teams can anticipate product changes and make quick course realignments while working creatively to prioritize features and efforts.
In contrast to other methodologies, Agile development encourages shorter release cycles and more frequent delivery, which results in continual quality monitoring. Since every stage is checked, the chances of a project failing are close to zero.
Achieving early market entry and generating revenue, while continuously improving the product, Agile makes it possible for organizations to hit the market early and generate revenue. Resources are rarely wasted. According to a study by CA Technologies, Agile can help high-performing teams halve their time to market and double their productivity.
Agile teams also excel at keeping clients engaged from the start, ensuring a clear understanding of goals and expectations. By involving all stakeholders and team members whose approval you may need at an early stage, you eliminate the risk of your team spending valuable time on the wrong priorities.
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