WHAT IS THE 'AGILE' METHODOLOGY?

'Agile': divide and win

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The Agile methodology is a working system that is changing the face of project development in many companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft. This new concept is triumphing the world over and is here to stay. What is the key to its success? It organises and shares work out among multidisciplinary teams in a fast and flexible manner. Read all about it...

The Agile methodology provides project management with speed and flexibility.#RRSSThe Agile methodology provides project management with speed and flexibility.

'AGILE' METHODOLOGY CORE VALUES

The Agile methodology is changing the DNA of companies. In less than 20 years it is already applied by 71% of organisations worldwide, according to the report Pulse of the profession 2017. Linked to the origin of the software industry, it is versatile and results-based and stands out for the effects of speed and flexibility it has on project management, with partial deliveries to customers, every fifteen days approximately.

The Agile methodology maintains a direction without falling into the inflexibility of the well-known waterfall methods. These methods plan the work from scratch, without room for incidentals. Meaning that when they happen it is impossible to react in time. On the other hand, agility, maintains the capacity for choosing the best option at all times without compromising the project. The most popular Agile methods right now are Scrum and Kanban.

I need agility. ¿Scrum or Kanban?#RRSSI need agility: ¿Scrum or Kanban?

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: differences between Scrum and Kanban [PDF]

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I need agility: Scrum or Kanban?

1. Roles

  • a. Product Owner, ScrumMaster and development team.
  • b. Not mandatory.

2. Teams

  • a. Multidisciplinary.
  • b. Specialised.

3. Meetings

  • a. Daily and fixed duration.
  • b. Not covered.

4. Work volume

  • a. Divided into sprints.
  • b. Shared during the work process.

5. Flexibility

  • a. Does not permit relevant changes.
  • b. Permits changes.

6. Task board

  • a. It differs per team and is renewed with each sprint.
  • b. The same task board for each project which can be shared.

7. Size of tasks

  • a. Adapted to the sprint.
  • b. Not applicable.

8. Diagrams

  • a. Burndown type.
  • b. Different types.

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Agile began in February 2001 when 17 software development experts designed a document fostering new, agile methods of acting during a meeting in the United States (Utah).

This 12 point page, known as the Agile Manifesto, favoured a working method aimed at making product development more fluid. Since its beginnings, the Agile methodology has been based on four core values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration throughout the development process.
  • The ability to respond to changes and unforeseen events.

These four core values derive from the 12 principles of the manifesto, which defend aspects such as customer satisfaction, team work, face-to-face dialogue, fast and continuous delivery of functional software, periodic reviews, simplicity, attention to technical excellence, sustainable development and reflection on self-correcting and improving.

PRINCIPLES AND ADVANTAGES OF 'AGILE'

The Agile methodology provides project management with speed and flexibility, but how does it work? What is most significant is in the organisation of work. Instead of approaching everything as a whole, it is broken down into smaller pieces to reconstruct it again like a puzzle.

The performing of the different tasks and their later reassembly is carried out by multidisciplinary teams of individuals that have to possess a high degree of motivation and autonomy. The advantages of this agile methodology are:

  • The dividing up of a job into smaller parts means that unforeseen events only affect one part of the whole, which can be rectified in a short time.
  • Collaboration between teams achieves more speed, fluidity and dynamism. Individual contributions enrich the end result.

'AGILE' REQUIREMENTS

The most important thing in order to implement an Agile methodology is leadership and change in the business culture. Knowing how to talk to and motivate teams to address their concerns, convince them of the benefits and involve them in the change. The commitment to the model is fundamental for its success.

The division of projects is carried out by creating milestones or tasks. These only permit three stages: pending, in progress or completed. The execution time should be from a few hours to no more than a few days, and they are resolved one by one. The tasks closest to being carried out will be more defined than those to be approached within weeks or months.

It is also important to hold daily meetings. At these brief meetings, held first thing in the morning, the team members can update each other on the status of their tasks. The project leader acquires a general view and can divert resources to those that most need them. Furthermore, these meetings help to unite the team and involve all the members.

Agile requires very visual techniques and its own project management tools in order to achieve optimum results. This is the case with Jira, Trello, Wrike and Asana, to name a few.

The digital transformation of the company has made Agile a valid method in almost all business areas, not just in technology. All that is needed is a project, someone capable of implementing it, and above all, compliance with the principles of interaction, revision, change and eagerness for constant improvement.
 

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