Agile is a methodology, primarily focused on software development, which has been around for some time now as one of the tools available for the execution of projects, especially in the field of technology. However, the explosion in the use of these working methods is quit recent. In an environment of rapid technological developments and radical changes, companies need a mechanism that enables them to adjust constantly, and agile is the methodology that suits best for this scenario.
Agile VS Traditional methods
Based on the Agile Manifest, and a set of very simple principles (12 principles), this methodology allows the incremental construction of a product adapted to the needs of each customer: breaking-up the product into small batches enables to speed up the delivery of value. Additionally, this type of delivery turns change into an opportunity, because of being able to adapt a product quickly, a major competitive edge is achieved, which significantly increases the value for the customer
This is one of the crucial differences compared with the use of traditional methodologies, where no value is delivered to the customer until the entire product has been built and the amendments to the software are passed through the tedious change management processes, with the consequent implications for the original schedule.
In these developments quality is a top priority applicable for every deliverable, because this guarantees a solid base for the construction of the components that make up the final product.
Meeting all of these principles provides a playground that enables us to gradually configure the product. In environments in which circumstances can quickly change, it also provides us with sufficient flexibility to be able to adapt the product to the customer’s needs as required. Companies have naturally been quick to recognise these factors because they provide solutions that fit much better for their needs. This has been a decisive element in the spreading of the agile methodology, at the sacrifice of the more traditional methodologies.
The huge benefit of working with Agile; The Team
We´ve seen the benefits (the quantitative and qualitative aspects)from the customer and company perspective, but for me, one of the greatest advantages in using agile is the TEAM, the way in which the company’s assets are nurtured. The team-spirit, the commitment, everybody pulling in the same direction, provides the following senses:
- Feeling part of something and knowing that your contribution directly helps to resolve a colleague’s problem.
- Learning something every day from your colleagues.
- Being able to provide the correct response when a customer consults you about the aim they’re pursuing, instead of simply sticking to the requirements they think that will satisfy that need.
- Being on the same wavelength as everyone else, understanding what motivates their actions.
- Ensuring that the product owner and the team can have face-to-face conversations to clarify doubts
- Avoiding to get into unclear interpretations
- Not having to wade through extensive documents with no one on hand to consult
In my opinion, these are the most important issues of teamwork with Agile. I just know that I learn something new every day, I know my colleagues better and I play an active role in what we are all developing as a team… and I like it
How we work and how we relate to each other, so that instead of working in different teams we become a single team, stronger and more motivated. It may seem a small difference, but it’s what makes us great… It takes away with micro-management and takes the best out of every one.
Commitment, commitment and more commitment.
We’re a team and we resolve everything together, without blaming. Then we learn to avoid it happens again.
That’s why I like being part of these teams, learning from my colleagues, empathize with everyone else, understanding what motivates their actions, seeing the product owner and team communicate directly and continuously. In general, seeing how our and the team´s behaviour evolves, feeling proud of an excellent job done together.