The Agile methodology is a project management approach that breaks the project into phases and emphasizes continuous collaboration and improvement. Teams follow a cycle of planning, executing, and evaluating.
The Agile framework is an iterative methodology. After every sprint, teams reflect and look back to see if anything could be improved so they can adjust their strategy for the next sprint.
Four Pillars of Agile
- Individuals over processes and tools: Agile teams value team collaboration and teamwork over working independently and doing things “by the book.”
- Working software over comprehensive documentation: The software that Agile teams develop should work. Additional work, like documentation, is less important than developing good software.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Customers are extremely important within the Agile methodology. Agile teams allow customers to guide where the software should go. Therefore, customer collaboration is more important than the finer details of contract negotiation.
- Responding to change over following a plan: One of the major benefits of Agile project management is that it allows teams to be flexible. This framework allows for teams to quickly shift strategies and workflows without derailing an entire project.
Benefits of Agile Methodology:
1. More adaptable.
One of the main benefits of using Agile processes in software development is the ability to shift strategies quickly without disrupting the flow of a project.
Because phases in the traditional waterfall method flow into one another, shifting strategies is challenging and can disrupt the rest of the project roadmap. Since software development is a much more adaptable field, project managing rapid changes in the traditional sense can be challenging.
2. More focus on customer needs
One of the unique aspects of software development is that teams can focus on customer needs much more closely than other industries. With the rise of cloud-based software, teams can quickly get feedback from their customers.
Since customer satisfaction is a key driver for software development, it’s easy to see why it was included in the Agile process. Agile teams can prioritize features that focus on customer needs by collaborating with customers. When those needs change, teams can adopt Agile approaches and shift to a different project.
3. Reduced Risk
Developers regularly assess progress during sprints, meaning they have better visibility into the project and can spot potential obstacles quickly. These minor issues can be tackled before they escalate, creating an effective risk mitigation process and giving the project a greater chance of success.