According to the 15th State of Agile Report, which provides key insights on techniques and practices in the approach, adoption of Agile in software development teams rose from 37% to 86% between 2020 and 2021.
This is probably in part due to the pandemic and its impact on work styles, but it is also a testament to the many benefits Agile brings to teams of all kinds. In fact, it is no longer confined to development teams — a range of other industries follow the approach in their project management processes, from marketing and advertising to finance to healthcare.
Why Was Agile Created?
In 2000, a group of 17 software developers convened to discuss how they could improve upon popular methodologies for delivering software at the time. Waterfall was the main approach during the 1990s, but many professionals in the field felt that a speedier, more flexible style was necessary.
The 17 developers agreed that rapid feedback and fewer delays in delivery were critical for improving the standard software development process. Shortly thereafter, they created the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. The Manifesto outlines four key values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile Manifesto also lists 12 principles, which serve as the foundation of the philosophy:
- The highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- The project team welcomes changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- The process builds projects around motivated individuals, giving them the environment and support they need, and trusting them to get the job done.
- A face-to-face conversation is the most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team.
- Working software is the most important measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Pay continuous attention to technical excellence, and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity is essential. This is the art of maximizing the amount of work not done.
- Self-organizing teams produce the best architectures, requirements, and designs.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Agile quickly dethroned Waterfall and was the basis of numerous “spinoff” methodologies, such as Scrum and Kanban.
Why Is the Approach so Popular?
Quick Project Turnaround
Because teams work in shorter cycles to complete different pieces of the project, the process reduces time to market. This is critical for software development, where businesses must always stay ahead of the competition and work quickly to ensure their product remains relevant — the market is ever-changing and evolving.
Teams will also realize gains more quickly, deriving value from their projects in a shorter period of time thanks to faster delivery.
More Client Involvement and Greater Satisfaction
Agile depends on feedback from consumers. Clients are able to deliver comments in real-time, ensuring they are incorporated into the final product. This is far easier than with more traditional approaches, which tend to be less flexible and seek to gather feedback later on, when more the work has been already completed. Ultimately, this leads to greater client satisfaction.
With Agile, you are better equipped to identify issues earlier on in the software development process, which means that overall, the software development lifecycle (SDLC) is a less risky process. You won’t go in too deep before realizing there is a problem that needs to be resolved, and you will be able to nip it in the bud immediately.
Moreover, quality and customer satisfaction are more predictable due to constant customer feedback and a focus on continuous improvement.
Employing an Agile approach can also lead to better teamwork, team mentality, and team dynamics — thereby making for a more cohesive organization. Agile enhances the culture and contributes to stronger morale. People feel like they are working toward a larger purpose. What’s more, the approach means increased productivity, which, in turn, also means stronger working relationships and a more solid team.
In contrast to other methods, particularly the rigid Waterfall, Agile is highly flexible. This is critical for software projects, which can change in terms of scope, requirements, customer needs and demands, company changes, and circumstances outside of our control.
Thanks to Agile, teams can adapt quickly and pivot whenever a new circumstance or condition arises with minimal disruption.
Higher Success Rates
Ultimately, project success rates are higher when you use an Agile methodology. The approach has fewer failure rates than its many alternatives — many of which had existed long before Agile was conceptualized. A focus on continuous improvement means that teams are always looking for ways to boost projects and improve their approaches, as well as deliver higher-quality software.
How Jalasoft Uses Agile
Constant feedback cycles are critical for delivering great products. That’s why we employ an Agile mindset and approach at Jalasoft.
Following an iterative approach, we combine planning, sprints, demos, and retrospectives to leverage Agile for your projects. All of our engineers are versed in Agile, and they will use this mindset to ensure collaboration and continuous improvement, amplifying your products and delivering them to market quickly and efficiently.
At Jalasoft, our engineers integrate with our clients' teams as one scrum team. This is how we adopt their agile methodologies, and participate as active agile contributors.
We work against acceptance criteria, sprint objectives, and strive to show the objectives achieved in each demo. This active participation in retrospectives allows us to grow together sprint after sprint.
Contact us to learn more about Jalasoft's approach and how we can help you reach your goals.