Just what is Agile? The key to knowing this is knowing what it is not. There are plenty of people out there that believe that Agile is simply a standardized process for software development. The truth is that Agile is the best way to deliver quality, quick, and has been proven to do so time again.
What is Agile Development? Many of you have heard of Agile Development, but what is Agile Development? Well, Agile Development was developed in 1991 by Scott Jenson and Mike Cohn as a methodology for reducing development costs through more efficient and cost effective software development. The authors also developed a business model around Agile development and outlined their philosophy as the Five P’s – Present, Plan, Commit, Process, and Program.
In order to understand Agile Development, you must first understand its purpose. Agile is a process and it does not stand for a product. It stands for “agree, implement, measure” which has become the dominant principle within any successful software development project. Agile aspires to improve quality, reduce costs, and to find better ways to deliver a project. Of course, one needs to be clear on what they hope to achieve from Agile.
For instance, it is much more common that people to “Go for it” and implement the Agile Manifesto into their project management system. However, they may not know how to evaluate their daily progress to determine if the Agile Manifesto has been properly implemented. This is when the significance of the measurement tool comes into play.
In case you are not familiar with the Agile Manifesto, it states that every project must be tested, developed, and presented within 24 hours or less. There is a learning curve, but everyone learns at different paces. A person must become a better project manager in order to handle more work in less time. Good project managers will always strive to become better.
While a lot of product managers try to continue to treat their projects as separate entities, this results in no improvement. Product managers must now use a system that integrates the entire organization and all of the business processes. The outcome is a greater amount of focus on the proper execution of Agile. If a product manager fails to meet this deadline, they are likely to lose the team they are working with and therefore will not be able to complete the project.
Although the initiative is certainly new, it is changing the face of project management systems. It makes project managers and management teams accountable for the performance of the projects they lead. It takes the project manager’s attention away from other concerns and focuses on the execution of the project instead of on how long it took to accomplish it.
If you have been looking for an answer to how to improve your software project without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, you owe it to yourself to look into Agile Development. The implementation of Agile in any company is an opportunity to really improve productivity. There is no limit to the improvement you can make.
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