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What is Agile methodology?


What is Agile methodology?

Agile methodology is used by teams to gain agility and overcome rigid structures and processes to deal with fluctuating customer requirements and circumstances. It involves breaking a project into various stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage. The Agile methodology begins with clients describing how the end product will be used and what problem it will solve. This clarifies the customer’s expectations for the project team. Once the work begins, teams cycle through a process of planning, executing, and evaluating — which might just change the final deliverable to fit the customer’s needs better. Continuous collaboration is key, both among team members and with project stakeholders, to make fully-informed decisions. The Agile methodology is not prescriptive but allows flexibility and agility in projects. These values are conducive for certain projects to succeed. Agile is a broad umbrella under which we have a lot of frameworks for implementing it, including: SAFe, Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Adaptive Project Framework (APF).

History of Agile methodology

The Agile Manifesto was developed by 17 people in the year 2001. The 17 people were Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith,Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Dave Thomas. They developed it with an open perspective for others to use, including values & principles.

  • Principles behind the Agile Manifesto: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.  Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
  • Values behind the Agile Manifesto:
    • We prefer Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • We prefer Working software over comprehensive documentation
    • We prefer Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • We prefer Responding to change over following a plan

Why Agile methodology is important?

More than 60% of businesses say Agile increases their velocity and helps them complete projects faster than before. In today’s world, things move fast and change rapidly. From the client requirements to the environment around them, everything is transforming every day. All project managers need to quickly adapt to the changing practices to move on and for this they need agility. Hence, Agile methodology is highly important in these dynamic times. For instance, every client will prefer software to be made in 3 months and then get new updates over it with time rather than have to wait for a year to get the full software. This agility and ability to adapt are what Agile facilitates when adopted by project managers & teams.

Which are some of the companies using Agile methodology?

  • IBM
  • Cisco
  • Microsoft
  • AT&T
  • Accenture
  • How can you enter the world of Agile?

Since PMI has now purchased Disciplined Agile in August 2019 from Disciplined Agile Consortium. You can now attend a Disciplined Agile masterclass from Disciplined Agile Instructor and pass the certification test. Once you pass the test successfully you earn the recognition of a Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM). You can then further pursue the subsequent certifications if interested 
If you wish to know more you can visit ProThoughts has recently introduced a Disciplined Agile training workshop

Happy learning!

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