Does your company believe in “satisfy[ing] the customer through early and continuous delivery?” How about “harness[ing] change for the customer’s competitive advantage?” If so, implementing Agile methods may give you a competitive advantage in today’s market.
Why should you use Agile methods at your company?
In today’s marketplace, flexibility and willingness to adapt are no longer optional, especially in software development. Agile methodologies focus on creating a functioning product during the development process itself. The input from different stakeholders plays a great role in developing and adapting the software for the market. Collaboration and communication are key to a successful Agile adoption.
Agile software development procedures were created as a response to the challenges posed by typical waterfall methods. Waterfall project management allows for no changes or flexibility in the development process. No step can begin until the previous step is finished, and no phase can be revisited at a later stage.
Unlike Agile, which was developed specifically for software, Waterfall has its roots in industries such as construction and manufacturing. In these fields, project phases must happen in a specified order for safety and logistical purposes. However, with software development being a rapidly evolving area, these traditional methods are not sufficient to satisfy technologically savvy customers.
Agile leadership focuses on collaborating and achieving goals, with no room for rigidity and inflexibility. The willingness to adapt to satisfy various stakeholders including the client, the marketplace, and the Agile developers themselves is the key.
However, change can be difficult. Even if members of your team have undergone a corporate shift before, adopting a different way of working can impose challenges both logistically and emotionally. The Kubler-Ross Model discusses how, similarly to the Five Stages of Grief, your team may go through various phases when implementing a change or transition. Nevertheless, it’s important to review how your organization operates, take note of what could be better, and make changes accordingly. The transition may be difficult, but when everyone is on board, a more efficient, effective, and pleasant work environment awaits all who are involved.
Is your business ready for an Agile adoption? Here are some signs that you may want to incorporate Agile methodologies into your business operations and corporate culture:
You value customer feedback and incorporate it into your product iterations
One of the core principles of The Agile Manifesto involves “deliver[ing] working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.” As dynamic digital products reach the public in no time, speed is of the essence and flexible methods are vital.
Only your customers can truly validate your product. In addition, their complaints or suggestions will reach not only their fellow users but your competitors, as well. The faster that you can react to their feedback, the better.
The Agile method allows for a speed that cannot be reached throughout typical waterfall development methods. However, it requires a willingness to be flexible with your methods at all points of the development process.
If you value your customers’ feedback, you need to react quickly and be willing to adapt your product. If not, your competitors will.
You understand that your company can only go as far as your employees are willing to take it
The Agile Manifesto states that having a supported, motivated team while developing and iterating any software product is of great importance: “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
Acclaimed entrepreneur Richard Branson has credited his employees for the success of his multi-billion-dollar empire: “Take care of your employees and they will take care of your business. It’s as simple as that.” Customer loyalty consultant Frederick Reichfield also believes that team morale plays a primary role in any successful company: “I have yet to find a company that has earned high levels of customer loyalty without first earning high levels of employee loyalty.”
Not only does Agile software development gives the team a supportive environment in which to work, but it also urges them to have a level of accountability that may not be possible with traditional Waterfall methods. By merely following a set plan, team members don’t need to take full ownership of a product’s success or failure. However, working together on collective goals encourages collaboration and mutual assistance and increases team morale. Valued and supported employees will always do more than expected.
You’re ready for Agile adoption. What’s next?
To get up to speed with Agile software development, both for your individual projects and your organization alike, you may want to outsource your needs to a partner or vendor that is well versed in these methods. Outside mediation can often address the gaps and provide a push that internal employees may lack when trying to change from within. Our e-book, Best Practices For Software Outsourcing, offers the best practices to consider when looking for a software development partner that understands your vision and is dedicated to reaching your goals.
Our highly skilled team at Santex has great expertise in Agile methodologies. By collaborating with you every step of the way, our developers are strongly committed to fulfilling your vision, meeting your needs, and exceeding your expectations.