Agile is a common term in project management, usually performed in technological and software industries. It is not a methodology, framework, or process but rather a set of principles and values to assist in making effective and efficient decisions. Based on the agile principles, the managers and team members must use numerous methodologies and tools for completing the projects and achieving the results.
What Does Value Mean in Agile?
The Agile Manifesto enlists values for project management. These values guide people towards a suitable approach or way of working for the success of their project. The set of values is a broad set that molds according to various projects, owing to its universality. Outlined by the agile alliance, these values promote innovation, efficiency, and continuous learning.
Agile values definition: Agile values are the four recommended ways to adapt and collaborate in the manifesto. They also ensure to hierarchize people over action and "working software" for smooth functioning.
The 4 Values of the Agile Manifesto
The values enlisted by the Agile manifesto are described below:
Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools
This value indicates the significance of humans over anything. Irrespective of features, equipment, or the latest techniques, ultimately, the actions are performed by humans. Not prioritizing, miscommunication with them, or ignoring their needs cannot make it possible to achieve the results. The former play an important role, and the agile manifesto encourages updating with technology. However, it should be emphasized that they depend on humans to operate and utilize their maximum benefit. Supporting people over processes and tools will get the work irrespective of the availability of tools, but vice versa is impossible.
Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
This principle focuses on the feedback of users in software development. Although it focuses on software as the product, it can be widely applied in product development. Valuing the customer reviews and analysis requires beginning the software coding to deliver the minimum possible software before beginning the documentation process. The latter limits the criticism and delays the actual aim, which is the product's release. Releasing the software or product and further making changes based on the requirements isn't difficult, as it does not waste time.
Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation
Contract negotiation tells the specifications required for products. However, Agile values focus on direct interaction with customers to analyze the quality of products. It can be direct interviews, surveys, researchers, and other methods to take fair criticism. Eventually, the customers deal with the product and hence encounter more problems. Based on this scenario, customer collaboration is more beneficial for the growth and success of the company and consumer satisfaction.
Responding to Change Over Following a Plan
It is human nature to avoid change. Agile values require the workers to challenge their mindset and accept the change. In situations like slow decision-making, updated requirements, and other conditions, it is compulsory to take the change else results or products will be compromised. But finding the right time and type of change requires continuous reviewing and keeping room for change. The incorporation of dynamic roadmaps is crucial over static strategies and roadmaps. Rather than being helpless over the situations, change the mindset and methodology and adapt to get the desired products.
How Can You Apply Agile Values to Your Projects?
Previously mentioned agile methodologies are easy to apply. Here are a few methods discussing the application aspect of agile values:
People can be prioritized with proper communication. Listening and understanding in face-to-face discussions ensure that employees are heard. It also enables us to understand the seriousness and honesty of the problems. Remote employees can also be heard through video conferencing.
A separate meeting solely for communication and problem discussion purposes can be organized. On a lighter note, organizing lunch or dinner to understand their views can also be considered.
Ease the Process
Focussing on employees' requirements will get the work done more efficiently and cost-effectively. Their skills and expertise may not require high-cost equipment but small tools to save time and energy to focus on more important issues. Communication plays a great tool here.
Jump into Development
Documentation is a good way of tracking, but watching responses and adjustments is a better way. Organizations can change their approach to development by adding deadlines to understand the user requirements of products and conducting seminars and conferences to better enlighten and update on new technologies. Moreover, a dynamic strategy with ready to adapt mindset and readiness to launch the product is a step toward the quick completion of targets saving time.
Continuous Integration and Deployment
Integrations help in compatibility between coders and developers. It ensures the least errors and quick corrections. Deployment saves time by easing the workload of the release process. It helps focus on feature development with incoming analyses and complaints or suggestions.
Agile Values Application Examples
Agile values can be applied in several outlooks mentioned as follows –
- Setting goals and welcoming the change.
- Setting deadlines but adding flexibility through room for accommodation of busy and new additions to the schedule
- Continuous reviewing of the production and progress and administering modifications as per the requirements
- Seriously and regularly analyzing the feedback for constant improvement and removal of backlogs
- Understand the employees and their requirements and follow the same
- Encourage communication, team skills, and cooperation among same and cross-functional team members
What Are the Pros and Cons of Using Agile Values?
The broad applicability of agile values makes them a highly used approach. Various boons and banes have come to light regarding the same. It promotes flexibility for team members and adjustment to change. Regular analysis helps inspect ignored problematic areas and the possibility of upgrading and improving the process. Listening and acting on customer feedback ensures their satisfaction and trust in the organization, besides being effective in launching and customizing the product.
Agile values are prone to misinterpretation. Wrongly following the principles or believing that employees are correctly following the principles causes more harm than good. Regularly changing priorities or using communication for telling rather than listening is opposite to agile values and does not give intended consequences.
Will the Agile Values Add Value for Your Team?
Agile values are ways or approaches to incorporate in developing the product. Each of them doesn't need to fit in every scenario. Mindful action should be done to include and utilize the agile values to rectify the mishappenings. It can optimize the current results; enable customer and employee satisfaction which will, in turn, increase the chances of success.
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