As a word, agile means “able to move quickly and easily.” What does the word mean when you relate it to project management? It means being more effective.
But agile is not just a buzzword. It’s an organizational concept that works.
According to the Agile Manifesto, one of the main principles of an organization of this type is “to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”
Let’s describe what that means in practice:
- An agile team is quick in delivering results. It delivers early and continuous results.
- This type of organization is very responsive to change. It doesn’t maintaining hierarchy. The leadership is not on top, but in the center. The teams are built around end-to-end accountability, so they can respond better to change and pressure.
- Response to change – that’s what really makes an agile organization different. Even when changing requirements arrive late in development, the team is flexible enough to make the needed changes.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But there’s a problem: many organizations are still not going agile. If you belong somewhere in that category, it may mean you’re not ready yet. But it may also mean that you haven’t had the right push.
So we’re here to push you. Here are 5 strong reasons why you should do agile.
1. The Connections within an Agile Team Are Way More Effective
When you have an entire team working on a specific project, you want all members to communicate with each other. You want one person to support the work of another, provide feedback and help whenever necessary. When you do agile, that’s more than possible.
An agile team starts every day with a “stand-up” meeting. All members of the team (together with the leadership) stand, forming a circle. Everyone talks about what they did yesterday and what they plan to do today. They mention the issues they encounter. After that, a quick discussion follows. These are brief morning meetings that effectively address a set of problems that occur in the project’s development.
With such practices, an agile team is well-coordinated. The members share problems and improvements with each other, and they simply identify themselves not with their individual work, but with the team’s spirit.
2. Agile Organizations Are Responsive to Change
Technology, regulations, demand, competitors… everything around this company is changing, and it’s doing it rapidly. When the organization is so rigid that the team is not able to restructure its processes and strategy, things will continue changing and the organization will stay stuck in history.
Only an agile approach will bring the organization forward. Its dynamic practices enable it to identify challenges and quickly respond to them. We all have to understand that change is inevitable. As such, it should be embraced by the team. That’s exactly what agile stands for.
Joe Stevens, team leader at BestEssayTips, shares his experience with agile teams: “From the ‘managers should direct and manage people,’ point of view, we took our organization to ‘give them clear responsibilities and a lot of flexibility to collaborate, make decisions, and deliver results.’ This shift changed the way the company worked. We were able to adjust our processes to the ever-changing requirements of clients, and we simply became more efficient.”
3. The Agile Approach Leads to Better Customer Satisfaction
When developing products, the feedback you get from the customers is crucial. That’s even more important in software development. When people buy software, they are willing to invest only if they know the product is going to get better over time.
That’s why they check the history of updates before they make a commitment. If they notice that there has been criticism but the developers haven’t reacted to it, they won’t bother trying the product. But if they see that the product keeps getting better, they will be more than willing to test it out.
An agile team reacts to feedback. This kind of organization builds a partnership with its customers. When problems arise, they work together to identify and solve them. Naturally, such a policy leads to greater customer satisfaction.
4. An Agile Team Quickly Identifies and Addresses Problems
When someone makes a mistake in software development, the entire process is affected. Without the connection and level of collaboration that exist in an agile team, it’s very difficult to identify the issues before it’s too late.
Agile does not prevent failing. But in many cases, such a team can prevent failure through quick identification of problems and timely development of solutions. When an issue arises, it’s being discussed ASAP in the agile space. These teams don’t need formal coordinative meetings, which could be very stressful. The members just talk to each other without schedules and formal principles.
5. The Employees Are Happy, Too
In organizations based on strict hierarchy that controls every part of a worker’s work, people feel like robots. An agile team is not about following straightforward directives through every single step. The agile approach heavily engages all members of the team in the process of decision making.
Instead of exhaustive directives, these employees get broad instructions. All decisions are based on conversations. The team works as a unit and every single member makes contributions towards the final goal. This is a productive, fun environment that pushes the workers to individual growth.
When you keep the team happy, they will make your customers happy. It’s the golden rule of successful entrepreneurship.
When Done Well, Agile Won’t Fail
The agile concept has plenty of fans, but critics as well. As the critics like to say, agile teams can easily become undisciplined. Yes; that is true. The lack of control can lead the team towards anarchy. But when agile is done well, you get a motivated team of people who will control themselves and will do everything in their power to lead the project to success. Now that’s the biggest reason why you should do agile.