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Making a Case for Agile Software Development in 2021

The idea of "agile" innovation or mindset has spread far beyond its product development roots. It is not uncommon now to hear how this useful attribute has contributed to several global organizations' growth while tackling the COVID-19 crisis. The current environment of a pandemic and economic changes paints the picture for this in an obvious way.

The business world has seen more disruption in the last year than in the previous ten years, bringing urgent demands for abrupt changes.

Did you know companies that implemented enterprise agility successfully gained a 30% increase in their financial performance?

Agile software development is, in fact, not simply a methodology. It's much more than that. Being agile in software development is no longer something nice to have. Instead, it may just be the defining element for those companies that come out the other side resilience.

Why Agile Is NOT Just a Methodology

Agility means flexibility and dexterity. It's the way modern businesses pivots. It's not a methodology because it avoids traditional frameworks. It fits the development model of not having all the answers.

The basis of agile came to be in 2001 with The Agile Manifesto. A group of software developers coined it based on some assumptions about project management that were wrong.

It began with four principles:

Individuals and interactions vs. processes and tools.

Working software vs. comprehensive documentation (But agile doesn't mean NO documentation).

Customer collaboration vs. contract negotiation

Responding to change vs. following a set plan.

What do those principles from almost two decades ago mean now?

The Evolution of Agile

Since the creation of those four guiding statements, they have evolved into 12 more specific agile values. They include sentiments about satisfying the customer, welcoming change, greater collaboration, simplicity, and a focus on working software. These 12 principles outline a framework for an agile software development approach. They invite disruption and sustainability and champion smaller and distributed teams. That doesn't mean they don't work for mid-market enterprises. The "small" really means identifying the right decision-makers and collaborators.

Agile Transformation: A Resilient Foundation to Compete with the Digital Disrupters in the Post-pandemic World

Agile methodologies have always been a popular topic, and the recent pandemic has lit a fire around them. Brands that hadn't adopted agile were strongly forced to do so. In addition, as transformation becomes the new norm, companies are expanding agile to core processes.

When appropriately implemented, agile working practices can bring tremendous value creation to the forefront of your organization's mission while creating a solid foundation to serve to prepare your organization for the future.

The Benefits of Agile Software Development is Undeniable

Agile software development can offer your business many benefits. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred many companies to rethink so much about their operations, including software development. You're probably already familiar with some of these principles of agile, but let's look at them in the context of 2021.

Working Software Delivered Early and Often

Agile sprints produce working software. It's an accelerated process that goes much faster and has fewer restraints than the waterfall process. Waterfall project management maps out projects into sequential phases, and one step cannot begin until its predecessor is complete. It's a traditional and rigid way to manage software development—one that offers little flexibility. Waterfalls also don't provide this almost real-time access. Projects such as this can involve a year of code writing that never has any feedback until the end. It could be entirely off the mark. Agile software development is a place for instant feedback and tweaking. That's the kind of "control" you need in a time of uncertainty. Your needs and objectives could change dramatically in the next few months.

Faster & Optimal Feedback Cycle

When using an agile methodology, teams can build a cycle of providing faster and optimal feedback over time. Thanks to the scrum framework at the heart of Agile development, giving feedback and implementing it is now easier than ever. As a result, you can avoid issues like not pinpointing what is needed from the software or failed user experience tests.

Using Scrum, you can receive feedback from your clients on how the interface can work better for them. Then, after implementing the changes, you can replicate them multiple times to create the software everyone will love.

Improved Project Consistency & Increased Flexibility

With greater visibility and forecasting risks, coming up with an effective mitigation plan becomes simpler. There are several exciting ways in the Agile framework to recognize and anticipate the risks to make sure your project runs orderly. For instance, Scrum methodology uses sprint backlogs and burndown charts to expand the visibility of the project that enables managers to presume the performances and plan accordingly.

When it comes to flexibility, Agile empowers your team with plenty of it. For example, in an Agile setting team works in smaller bursts and is provided constant real-time feedback about the project. This makes it both manageable and flexible to enable the team to execute changes even if there's short notice.

Better Scope of Quality Assurance Built-in

Developers are testers in this system, meaning quality assurance is a constant. Since the delivery is working software, then testing is rigorous and thorough. This detail is happening at every sprint. Features are not complete without this level of QA. You'll find this an even more significant advantage if you're dealing with software that addresses many different workflows. Every workflow will experience testing, not just the central one.

A Higher Degree of Future-readiness

Another great advantage of being Agile is that it ensures a higher degree of future readiness for your organization. How? By being iterative and open to experimenting, which is an essential part of the complete process. This makes it easier for the team to prepare for a potential pivot. The flexibility that comes with Agile, especially amid uncertainty, is priceless. Going Agile enables you to be ready for the next disruption by providing you with a solid, future-proof foundation to continue.

Why Tech Leaders Are Leaning on Agile Software Development in 2021?

The current environment means that teams are more distributed. Meetings can be throwaways in the urgency to reframe operations. They are leaning more on an agile approach, looking at sprint velocity and commitment vs. delivery. The focus is much more on quality—what can be fixed and resolved during that sprint.

As technology leaders turn toward agility, it's essential to clear up the fallacy that agility is documentation-free. The reality is that it's more concise and developed to drive business value. It ties the technical speak with the business requirement.

In education, for example, there is a massive shift in motion. With almost no preparation or support, the education sector had to evolve into a virtual setting overnight supported by technology. As a result, lots of educators, school districts, and universities use technology platforms to manage various tasks. These were built with in-person teaching in mind. Now that software needs an update. With an agile approach to software development, making meaningful changes faster to accommodate new situations is possible.

If there's one thing 2020 has shown us, it's that we need to be flexible and resilient. While thinking about agile future, business leaders should put a particular focus on educating their teams and other departments on how to make the most of this new methodology. Because rushing into Agile is not a guarantee of success.

Unlock A Performance Improvement with Agile Innovation

What can Agile do for your business?

Implementing Agile transformation can drive your operational performance up to 50%; with increased visibility and understanding of business objectives, that creates a difference. Embracing this method of software development could be a turning point for your business's long-term growth. As experts in agile software development, we're ready to help.

Let's talk about we can make it work for you.

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