What does Agile mean in Tech?

Agile is a type of project management often used for software development. Agile management involves customer research to build products customers want using short work cycles for rapid production and revision if necessary. It holds a commitment to feedback cycles and continuous improvement. Agile utilizes small, high functioning, collaborative teams, and entertains high customer involvement. There are multiple frameworks for implementing Agile, including Scrum, Kanban, Adaptive Project Framework, and Extreme Programming.

In 2000, a group of software developers met with the desired result of bringing new software to market faster by speeding up development times. A year later they created the Agile Manifesto stating individuals and interactions were valued over processes and tools, working products over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan. They founded their own organization called the Agile Alliance which was a major milestone for agile adoption and it has continued to expand geographically over the years.

The Agile Process Runs through Six General Steps:

  1. Brainstorm requirement analysis
  2. Design document and prototype
  3. Development of product iterations
  4. Quality Assurance including resolving bugs and identifying defects
  5. Deployment to production and technical support
  6. Release to market

Benefits of Agile Include, But Are Not Limited To:

  • Responding to change and working on projects that matter when they matter
  • Faster review cycles and accelerating time to market
  • Enhancing the ability to manage changing priorities
  • Increasing productivity
  • Enhancing software quality
  • Improving project visibility

The Top Barriers to Agile in a Company Are:

  • The ability to change organizational culture
  • Not enough management support
  • General resistance to change
  • Project complexity or size
  • Lack of open communication
  • Availability of personnel with necessary skills to segment into teams

Often the greatest concerns are a loss of management control, management opposed to change, and lack of understanding with no upfront planning, documentations, and predictability.

Common held agile beliefs are that people are motivated to perform and teams lead to collaborative working. Delivering value, reliability, product quality, and continuous improvement all are highly esteemed by agile adopters.