While most tech workers are familiar with the points behind Agile methodologies, many other professionals are not, even if they are members of management or have heard the term in passing. However, though Agile is somewhat of a niche concept, it is essential to understand the basics of what it has to offer. To help you gain deeper insight into the Agile methodology, here is what you need to know.
What is Agile?
Agile is a project management approach to software development. It focuses on a set of methodologies and ideals that concentrate on iterative practice, allowing an IT project to evolve based on collaborative efforts of cross-functional teams, shifting priorities that occur throughout the development process, and the ability to create pieces of usable software that can be released in a series. In comparison to legacy waterfall methods, Agile supports constant input, process improvement, and adaptability, allowing a project to change as new information is gathered and portions are completed.
The approach is prized for its rapid delivery of a high-quality end product and its ability to align more closely with business or customer goals, even if they don’t remain constant from the start of the project to the end. Agile’s primary principals are based on the concepts described in the Agile Manifesto, functioning as a point of guidance as the project moves forward.
Why You Need to Know About Agile
While it seems that Agile is relegated to IT teams, based on its association with software development, leaders and other professionals should also be aware of the concepts at play. Since Agile development incorporates cross-functional teams, pulling in relevant personnel from multiple disciplines based on the nature of the project, non-tech workers are often involved in Agile projects.
Additionally, the approach has significant benefits for companies based on its rapid delivery mechanisms. It allows functional pieces of software to be released earlier in the development process, giving businesses or customers an opportunity to begin using the product even if it the project has not reached full completion.
Often, customers value the use of Agile as they find the department producing the software to be more responsive and open to their input. Whether the client is internal or external, this can be an important point for managing the customer relationship and leaving a positive impression that ultimately impacts the organization’s reputation. Further, development teams often prefer the approach to legacy methods as they can be more productive and create a final product that best meets everyone needs. Even project managers receive benefits as the tracking and planning methodologies can simplify their responsibilities, or at least make them easier to address.
While Agile is associated with IT, it is really a method that can impact a range of professionals, so it is wise to understand the basics of what it has to offer.
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