The first we heard about Agile development (or the term Agile) was back in 2001 when a community of developers that had grown tired of using development methods considered to be “heavy” – namely, the waterfall model – decided to set out a manifesto: The Agile Manifesto. This very important document had so much impact that it has worked as a bible for Agile development even until today, laying out all principles and good practices.
Agile methodologies argue that, above all, we should seek client satisfaction through the continuous delivery of value-adding software, by staying in constant communication with the client, and also by focusing on communication between team members. Contrary to previous practices, Agile methodology is not characterised by the complete definition of a product, but rather “step by step” – a complete analysis or the definition of all categories/requirements, by dynamic interaction that allows constant delivery – Focused on “near-shore” visibility but never losing the long-term product goal.
According to the Agile Manifesto and some of its 12 principles:
?Customer satisfaction is the top priority, demonstrated through continuous delivery and added value.
? Changes to requirements should be accepted – rather than pursuing “rigid” requirements, even if at a late stage in development: “Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage”, as is stated in the Manifesto.
? The customer and the development team should work together on a daily basis, facilitating team and product synchronisation.
? It is vital to provide a pleasant environment and good support to development teams. Only in this way is it possible to keep them motivated.
? Agile processes promote sustainable development due to their constant rhythm and technical excellence, which in turn improves productivity.
? Retrospective moments inside a team are essential, allowing it to make the necessary adjustments and promote efficiency.
Basically, Agile development follows an incremental model, which develops collaboration within the team and continuous planning, as well as everlasting evolution and learning. Agile methodologies should respect the software development cycle – planning, execution and final delivery – therefore allowing software to be developed in stages; this makes it easier to identify and resolve bugs or new needs.
The main advantage of using Agile methodologies is not just the fast delivery of software, but also the constant delivery of “value” to the customer, since deliveries are incremental.
There are countless methodologies that follow this Agile mindset. In this blog post, we highlight the five main Agile methodologies and their advantages and disadvantages in the software development universe. But we cannot dive into the different methodologies without first referring to the growing popularity of the Agile methodologies (or some of them at least) with business management. This proves that is just not software development that can be enriched using these practices.
Business development is becoming an increasingly unpredictable playground, just like software development. So the challenge is now why not implement Agile methodologies in business process management? Agile methods are adaptable, allowing for rapid decision-making and instant influence on business development.