What is Agile Methodology and why is it useful?

Ash Baggott

Agile has become a ‘power word’ within business in the last few years with terms like, ‘agile-working’, ‘agile systems’ and ‘Agile Methodology’ becoming apart of our day-to-day vocabulary.

The word agile is generally described as ‘the ability to move quickly and easily’ and this has been introduced into corporate-language across all sectors. Agile Methodology is a development method, it’s the process that takes into account requirements and solutions evolving through a collaborative effort to align customer requirements and company goals with project, and product development.

Agile Methodology removes the risk of spending months or years on a process that will fail because of a small mistake in the early development phase. Instead, it relies on trusting your employees and teams to work directly with customers to understand the goals and provide solutions fast. It encourages frequent inspection and adaptation which helps you deliver high quality software, it’s developed for products and projects that require speed and flexibility – essentially, every product and project in process today.

Popular examples of Agile Methodology include: SCRUM, eXtreme Programming (XP), Feature Driven Development (FDD), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), and Crystal.

Why is it useful?

The benefits of using Agile Methodology is that it’s connected to a faster, lighter and more engaged mindset – the process delivers what the customer wants, when the customer wants it – there’s much less time wasted on developing in the wrong direction, and the entire system is quicker to responds to changes. More benefits include:

  • Speed
    • A faster software development life-cycle reduces the time frame between paying and getting paid, which means you’re running a more profitable business.
  • Customer satisfaction
    • Customers are happier, they don’t have to wait for months or years to get the exact thing they wanted. Instead, they get a result very close to their wants, and they get it fast. The system adapts as it goes to refine the successful customer solution.
  • Employee value
    • Employees whose ideas are valued are far more productive. The Agile Methodology respects employees by giving them a goal and trusting them to reach it. Your employees will be in the best position to respond to challenges and meet their goals because they’re the ones in control.
  • Removes duplicated work loads
    • By involving the customer in more than just the requirements and delivery phase, the project remains on-task and in-line with what the customer wants at every step. This cuts out the time spent going back-and-forth with revisions.

Agile Development is a popular development methodology widely used by development teams, but it also requires your teams to be armed with the right tools and resources needed to succeed. By adopting it you can reduce costs, keep teams closely knit, keep projects on schedule, and increase your return on investments. With Holded’s Projects software, you can take full control of your projects in real time and maximise their profitability. You can also assign responsibilities to every relevant team member to clearly see a cost analysis of time spent on each project.

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