Agile translates from English as flexible
What is Agile (Agile)?
Agile is a set of techniques and approaches for software development. Initially, the Agile family was applicable only to software developers, but then Agile principles penetrated into other business structures.
The main goals of the implementation of this technology is to simplify the organizational structure of the task. Improvement work is carried out cyclically. Much attention is paid to employee feedback. Employees and managers are constantly encouraged to get promotions, but responsibility for the work done increases proportionally.
“The main benefit of Agile is that we can start making money much faster after starting a new project.” – Andrey Kolomensky from LeadStartup, who help companies implement Agile.
The complex of Agile techniques is constantly evolving based on the collected data and the achievements of the company. Management and staff focus on needs and goals, but constantly adjust to the current state of affairs. It is important to understand the desires and needs of a potential buyer for a successful business.
Agile is translated from English as flexible. This word is great for describing a set of methodologies that involve looking at different ways of getting things done. This process is the opposite of the “see the goal, see no obstacles” technique. In the course of the implementation of the approved plans of the director, the performers are constantly changing their approach, adapting to the current situation.
An excellent example of the lack of flexibility is the policy model of the political bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU in the 1980s, whose actions led to the further decline of the great power. Agile techniques are used to combat problems through adaptation. You can describe the concept as a collection of the most effective approaches. The use of Agile makes it possible to minimize risks through a certain set of principles.
Agile manifest defines that:
1. People are the most valuable resource of the company;
2. The circulation of documents should help, not interfere with the work process;
3. Cooperation with the customer is more important than the contract;
4. Positive changes are more important than the original plan.
Let’s consider this concept in more detail.
Is Agile a Methodology?
Based on the above definition, Agile cannot be defined as a methodology. The name of the process system translates as “live”, “mobile” and “flexible”. It is difficult to characterize the numerous procedures that take place during the integration of methodologies. Agile is not a methodology, but a set of methodologies.
The basic principles of the workflow can be described using the following characteristics:
1. Software development is carried out in short-term cycles – from 1 to 4 weeks;
2. After completion of each cycle, the customer receives a valuable program or part of it, which can already be integrated into the business;
3. The development team maintains a dialogue with the customer throughout the entire period of cooperation;
4. Useful innovations in the project are quickly applied if they improve the software.
The “flexible” principle is used by many companies at various levels around the world. One of the main advantages of this set of strategies is constant interaction with the customer. At the end of each period of work on the program, the client receives a stripped-down and small, but workable version of the product that can be used.
Developing a calculator is a good example. Initially, it is capable of performing addition and subtraction operations. Then he gets the opportunity to multiply and divide. The final version has the function of calculating trigonometric functions and transcendental numbers.
The Agile approach allows you to launch an application much earlier and adapt the product depending on market changes and customer preferences. The complex of methodologies makes it possible to more accurately measure the process from the client’s side – he sees what specific actions the developers are performing.
Why is Agile needed?
Agile’s suite of approaches is defined by key characteristics. Reasons for adopting agile methodologies:
1. Reducing the likelihood of the risk of abandoning the product being developed – the main goal of the organization is to retain the interest of the client;
2. The use of short cycles – allows you to improve the project in the process of creation;
3. Communication between the performer and the consumer of the software product.
Refinement is a software developer’s worst nightmare. The use of short cycle techniques allows the customer to evaluate the product early in the development phase. The customer does not want to receive endless promises. He wants to be involved in the process of creating the application.
Risk insurance will become an unnecessary expense item if the Agile system is properly implemented. The team benefits from constant interaction with the client. This allows you to complete projects without revisions, edits and unexpected wishes after the deadline is completed.
Communication within the team is greatly improved. Each team member focuses on a specific task. There is no factor of competition and disagreement between departments. Work is carried out at a comfortable pace. An Agile toolbox should not be associated with chaos – it is the opposite of chaos. According to statistical studies, projects that worked in an agile manner achieved success much faster than organizations with old project execution strategies.
When the customer is satisfied with the result, it attracts money and new customers to the company through positive feedback. The active and systematic use of feedback is a fundamental principle of the discussed technology. The described strategy is being implemented in rocketry, pharmaceuticals, medicine, construction, economics and psychology. The correct use of the principle of “flexible” approach is important for the creation of any product.
What’s the difference between Agile and Scrum?
Scrum technology is a type of software development methodology. The basic principle is the correct rhythm of the execution of the prescriptions of the project. There are many examples of negative patterns of wrong pace – undermining employees’ confidence in themselves, excessive stress, a feeling of powerlessness against the system, and despair.
The creator of Scrum was Jeff Sutherland, who set a goal to build a working model of a rhythmic process, where all the cycles of the task execution will be self-organized. According to statistics, up to 80% of the efforts of employees of organizations go to waste. The change of director, the closing of the department, changes from clients and the negative impact of the market result in a waste of company resources. The goal of Scrum technology is to create a system of discipline and a constant stream of correctly performed actions. This approach allows employees to develop independence, communication and foresight.
The main difference from Agile technologies is the rigid structure. A specific set of approaches is being developed, which is applied to a specific team of specialists. The team works better than all team members. Scrum is being implemented in a valuable project for users and customers, which must be completed in a short time, subject to the availability of limited resources.
Teamwork implies striving for interchangeability and the ability to solve a problem in the event of an employee’s illness. Team members exchange knowledge, experience and ideas. Scrum technology does not favor individualism – all decisions are made in a team.
Agile is flexible, with Scrum encouraging structure and a rigid adherence to a systems approach. Time costs associated with external factors are offset by the implementation of sprints. These are the time intervals from 1 to 4 weeks during which part of the project is carried out to be handed over to the client.
What is an Agile Coach?
Agile coach is a trainer for the implementation of Agile principles and methods within the work team of a software development company. The aim of the training is to take the organization to the next level. After achieving this goal, the firm gains the ability to create competitive products in a short time.
It is important to find a professional with experience working with teams. Standard coaching is about transferring knowledge to the employee. The Agile coaching process forces the coach to take on the mentoring function. The result of the training procedure is the creation of a team that is able to work efficiently, quickly and correctly.
An agile coach is a person who brings Agile methodologies to the team. He works with staff and managers. A coach will lead the company to new heights without completely redefining the way things are done. The team could already have formed the concept of process flexibility. However, without an action coordinator, concepts are forgotten or misused. This leads to the rejection of a full-fledged transition to Agile technology. The coach will complete the implementation procedure. Many workers hold on to their jobs, completing unloved tasks every day. The coach will make them change, evolve and move to a new, “pleasant” place. The coach will allow you to introduce new practices without losing stability and unnecessary layoffs. In the event of force majeure, a professional will smooth the corners and return the team to work.
It relieves directors and managers from routine work, saving projects from delays by saving time resources. Agile technology implementation is impossible without professionalism. It is not enough to read a book and preach. Without a coach, using the Agile principles will lead to mistakes, conflicts and missed deadlines.
What is the difference between Agile and Waterfall?
Waterfall technology was created by Walker Royce, who has been building software for his entire life. The system is based on the step-by-step passage of all stages of the project. The transition to a new stage is possible only after the conditions of the previous stage are fulfilled. The methodology has the following characteristics:
1. Software requirements are described in special documents of the PRD format;
2. The analysis is carried out by means of models, schemes and rules;
3. The design is carried out after the construction of the software architecture and the acceptance of the requirements for the project;
4. The code is written after the design is approved;
5. The testing stage is carried out carefully with the entry of errors into trackers;
6. The stage of adaptation for various operating systems is carried out through the introduction of updates.
The advantage of Waterfall technology is a clear structure, ease of reporting and a rhythmic pace of implementation of project prescriptions. It is very easy for the program to determine the cost. The main difference between Waterfall and Agile is its lack of flexibility. This leads to increased financial costs, increased time spent and reduced efficiency.
The main enemy of the new program is a bug that needs to be fixed even after the project is delivered to the customer. If you compare Waterfall to Agile, the cost of troubleshooting is 20 times higher. It is difficult to implement changes in the team. At the initial stage of the project, it is difficult to determine the time required. The factors described above lead to increased risks of cooperation.
You can learn more about what Agile is here: https://leadstartup.ru/db/agile