Agile is gaining in popularity among IT developers and departments around the world for a reason: To put it simply, Agile works. When you use it, your projects run more smoothly and time constraints are more manageable, no matter what project management framework you are using.
Project managers are seeing that agile works. Trending now in SD Times is a look back at 2015 that says “Agile was the New Norm in 2015,” which shows the popularity of this approach to developing software projects.
“Agile is quickly becoming the de facto standard for software development, and five to 10 years from now it is going to go beyond the de facto standard and become the best practice and the only way to do software development,” said Robert Holler, CEO of VersionOne, in the story by Christina Mulligan.
Author Greg Steffine of First Niagra Bank, in his book on BI development and delivery, said to always remember that “agility is driven by the need to serve end users. It’s about always being relevant and responsive.”
Here are some reasons to use Agile.
Scope Change is a Reality
Project managers love to think that they can control scope creep. If we just get the right set of requirements, they say, then we can make sure to eliminate scope creep. The fact of the matter is, when the project is big enough, your scope is going to change. That is just the nature of the business. Why fight it when you can use agile to help you manage it?
Agile lets you prioritize work to what the customer values most. It also limits how far out your plan goes. This gives you the flexibility to change with the project as priorities shift. Finally, the two-week work blogs allow you to set reasonable project goals that can be completed.
Read more about “Managing Scope Creep in Agile Projects”
Think Simply to Solve Problems
Long projects often fail due to lack of constraints. When you have a timeline that stretches off into years, you may think you can solve the world’s problems with one piece of software. The truth is that the project fails due to it being over-complicated.
Agile forces you constrain the work that is being done. You break the work into small, achievable goals that force the team to pick the simplest solution to that problem. As the project grows, everything remains simple.
Learn more about “Connecting Business Goals to Agile Development”
You Always Miss Deadlines
There is a reason that the development team is always missing their deadlines. It’s because developers are terrible at guessing when they are going to be done. That’s what a timeline estimate is, a wild guess. Instead of guessing, Agile provides us with another option.
Breaking the project into small two-week goals allows the development team or teams to easily see what they can accomplish in that time. As the project goes on, the next deadline is only two weeks away (or less.) It is hard to plan poorly in such a short time frame. That’s why using Agile helps you to meet those deadlines.
After the pages of the requirements documents are written, formalized and signed off, who reads them? Nobody. That’s why they are always changing. The problem is that buried somewhere inside that document is a list of stakeholders that need to be informed of what is going on.
Agile is run on the premise of open communication. That means the team is in constant contact with the stakeholders so that everyone is aware of what is happening. Agile ensures that the lines of communication are open and stay open.
Need More Reasons to Use Agile?
Just look around and see what others who are using Agile have to say. You might be surprised to find just how well it works. And read another view on how “Agile Should Be an Organization-wide Initiative.”
So what’s your stance on Agile IT? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to shoot us an email if you have lots to contribute on the subject.
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