The Agile Manifesto was announced 18 years ago. Since then, Agile rules have gained countless more supporters. As a short introduction, I will remind you of the most important assumptions found in the Agile Manifesto:
- individuals and interactions over processes and tools,
- working software over comprehensive documentation,
- customer collaboration over contract negotiation,
- responding to change over following a plan.
These four points best show the Agile values. When preparing to write this article, I checked the available statistics that show the real effects of implementing Agile in specific projects. Some of the are especially interesting. The most important reasons that companies have for the implementation of Agile are affected by the following parameters:
- cooperation with the team – 54%,
- increased quality of work – 52%,
- increased customer satisfaction – 49%,
- acceleration of work and launch of the product on the market – 43%,
- reduction of development costs – 42%.
Impressive, right? It is natural that every company and project team is looking for areas to improve and increase efficiency. Agile not only increases productivity, but also facilitates project management, improves the quality of work, and makes flexible change possible.
This is a good time to introduce you to the four most important advantages of Agile. These are features that differentiate this approach from others, for example the Waterfall cascade model that is also used in software development projects.
Agile development = quality
The word 'test' is key here. In Agile software development tests take place during each development cycle of the product. This eliminates the possibility of errors, which significantly increases product quality and reduces development time.
Agile has an extensive collection of methods that support software development processes and contribute to high-quality products. Next parts of code arise in short interactions, which means the code quality remains high. Good developer practices required by Agile allow faster and more effective delivery of a valuable and working product for users. This also reduces costs.
Agile development = efficiency
One of Agile's overriding features is the mutual cooperation of all team members. This means that the distribution of roles and tasks is clearly defined and fully accepted by everyone. Agile often means working together, helping each other to overcome obstacles and obeying work cycles (called sprints). This all makes teams that work with each other very closely, that exchange information and experiences, and that are more effective and productive in their work.
Agile development = constant product improvement
Product development in accordance with Agile is fast, and the first effects of work can be seen relatively quickly. Agile-compatible development means that the product's functionality is delivered gradually, which gives more benefits – especially in the initial development process.
Teams usually work in so-called sprints, during which they produce strictly defined product functionalities. This is also a good approach for the customer. On the one hand, the customer will quickly see how the product is created, and on the other hand, the Agile approach is flexible enough to allow the client to participate in the whole process and constantly match the work to their needs. The ability to adapt to change is the cornerstone of Agile project management and helps Agile fully embrace work processes.
Agile development = predictability
Everyone is interested in ROI, from investment to being able to assess whether it is profitable and whether it pays off. It is no different with software development projects. If the ROI is not known or difficult to estimate, then you do not know what the real return is. Agile is the answer to this problem. The advantage of the Agile methodology is that when you spend time planning a project using Agile techniques, you can predict the cost of the project to determine whether you should continue.
Keeping the same sprint lengths and available developer resources allow you to predict the cost of each sprint, and thus also the entire project. You must admit that this is a great advantage, especially if you have a limited budget.
Go Agile or not?
I leave the answer to this question to you. However, in this article, I have presented many Agile advantages that show this approach is simply effective and very productive. I have no doubt that the Agile Manifesto was a breakthrough approach to software development. This is the future. Convince yourself of the same.