Thanks to the development and rollouts of several different COVID-19 vaccines, the world is starting to look ahead to the eventual return of normalcy, or as normal as things can be, considering the past year. This development means that businesses that may have operated at diminished capacity (if not closed outright) need to ramp up and get back into the game.
Naturally, this is a formidable task, and most recovering businesses can use all the help or advantages they can get.
That’s why the Agile methodology is a valuable resource for any company, regardless of size or how active it’s been during the pandemic. So let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Agile and why it’s essential for today’s businesses.
What is Agile?
There is already a lot of information on the internet about Agile, but a little refresher never hurt anyone.
According to Agile Alliance®, Agile is "…the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment." Specifically, Agile is a way of thinking through how you can better grasp what's happening in your present environment, identify the uncertainties you must deal with, and decide how you will deal with and adapt to the uncertainties.
There are 12 principles behind the Agile Methodology, and you can find them here.
Benefits of Agile Methodology
The Agile methodology brings many advantages to the table. Here are some of the most valuable benefits of Agile:
- It’s faster. The dictionary defines agile as being able to move easily and quickly. The Agile methodology focuses on speeding up response times and adapting quickly to any internal or external changes. This flexibility and speed result in a faster time to market for a product or service, giving the Agile company a competitive advantage.
- It focuses on people. People design software. People buy software. People are essential to a product’s success, from inception to sale. Agile keeps team members motivated by increasing their autonomy, fostering transparency, and encouraging responsibility.
Additionally, it improves the customer experience by incorporating fast and valuable feedback into Agile’s communication model. As a result, the customer gets more immediate solutions and responses.
- It helps facilitate and prioritize decision-making. Every project has issues and uncertainties, requiring developers to make the correct decisions and understand which decisions are more critical. The Agile methodology helps developers avoid bloated bureaucracies and needless hierarchies and instead focus on making the necessary decisions while remaining operational. It helps facilitate and prioritize decision-making.
- It boosts productivity and collaboration. Agile projects are split up into sprints. This division makes it easier to organize workflow, deal with unexpected changes, and bring new team members to address specific problems or tasks. Agile keeps team members motivated by creating an environment that’s conducive to everyone — making team members feel that they are supported and valued. Improved morale brings improved results. Agile encourages team members to work collaboratively by emphasizing strong communication, both within the team and with stakeholders and management. In other words, all team members are participating and striving towards a common goal.
- It reduces risks. Every project, regardless of size, comes with the risk of errors, missteps, and failures. While it’s impossible to achieve a 100 percent error-free success rate, Agile helps reduce the risk of mistakes through continuous reviews. This process identifies errors in real-time and catches them quickly before they can grow into catastrophes. The last thing any development team needs is finding errors as the product is about to be released. Better to catch and address them early on, saving time, money, and aggravation.
- It prevents surprises. Since the Agile methodology considers the client part of the design team and encourages constant communication, there is less chance of misunderstanding what the client initially wanted and how they wanted the product or service done.
- It results in better product quality. When you take all the above advantages and roll them up together, you get a better product as a result. In the context of software, the business has quickly produced a sound, error-free product that meets the target audience’s needs.
Why the Benefits of Agile Apply to Any Business
Although the Agile methodology was designed with software design in mind, many non-software companies have adopted the philosophy. Today’s business world is more receptive to considering options beyond the calcified, old way of doing things, especially if it yields strong (and profitable!) results.
Agile was designed with digitization in mind. Considering how the business world is increasingly digitizing, it's a smart idea to embrace the Agile methodology. It helps companies improve their future readiness and makes them less affected by major disruptions.
According to these compiled statistics, 71 percent of surveyed companies use or have used Agile in some capacity as of 2021. Moreover, the Agile failure rate is a measly 8 percent, and 60 percent of the companies that have adopted the Agile approach have seen profit growth.
The problems and obstacles of the 21st century business world aren’t limited to just software developers and IT service providers. Every industry is vulnerable. Thus, every enterprise should adopt the Agile methodology for project development.
Examples of Companies Reaping the Benefits of Agile
Here’s a small sample of the many businesses that have benefitted from Agile methodologies.
The tech giant was having difficulty recruiting and retaining top talent. They improved team morale (and therefore fostered a more desirable work environment) by using the Agile approach to address the problem.
National Public Radio, an American radio broadcast network, uses Agile to create small pilot shows despite budget shortages. As a result, agile has reduced the risks associated with launching new shows and has benefited from better communication and feedback from their listeners.
This marketing company that serves small businesses discovered that their use of the waterfall method resulted in teams taking two months to take a new idea from inception to deliverable. Even worse, that 60-day turnaround represented only 40 hours of actual work! The company switched to the Agile method and saw lead time decrease from 40 days to just 15.
How Agile Are You?
If you own a business or work in a leadership capacity in a bigger company, you should investigate incorporating the Agile Methodology if you haven’t already. As the pandemic has shown us, it’s an unpredictable world, and organizations should embrace any tool or resource that’s proven to offer a way of dealing with that uncertainty. With so many of the benefits of agile companies have already reaped, it’s really a no-brainer.
Are you a professional who is aspiring to be a Agile Scrum Master? Then check out the ASM certification course now.
Are You Interested in Agile Certification?
Simplilearn offers a Post-Graduate Program in Agile, held in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Amherst. You can gain a solid understanding of Agile methodologies and discover the rules of thumb, benefits of Agile, and the workings of real-world Agile implementations. In addition, the program empowers you to deliver improved product offerings by integrating DevOps and design thinking with Agile project management philosophy.
Agile coaches in the United States earn a yearly average of USD 123,803, according to Payscale. Meanwhile, Glassdoor reports that Agile coaches in India earn an average base pay of ₹ 2,000,000 a year.
Check out Simplilearn’s courses today, and master Agile methodologies!