What’s the Agile Methodology and How Can It Benefit Your Enterprise?
In February 2001, 17 software development experts met in Snowbird, Utah, to discuss new techniques and work processes. They all deemed traditional methods to be very static. This gathering saw the birth of the Agile Methodology, aiming to favor individuals and their interactions over processes, collaboration with customers, and responding to change over following plans, among others.
An interesting Forbes article, “Why Agile is eating the world,” describes how, in 2011, Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications Corporation and co-author of Mosaic, one of the first web browsers with a graphical interface, alerted that technological and innovative companies would dominate the market. And that’s precisely how it turned out. The world’s largest corporations, by stock market capitalization, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, are tech firms.
It's key that companies are agile, able to adapt in response to changing market needs. As the Forbes article says, genuinely agile companies are the ones conquering the world.
What’s the Agile Methodology?
The Agile Methodology is a project management method ideal for those that require speed and flexibility to meet client needs and is always focused on improving performance. Applying Agile principles to an enterprise’s internal business processes is much more straightforward than it appears; the methodology’s founders laid it all out in the Agile Manifesto they created in Snowbird.
You don’t plan or design an iteration of a product in advance in the Agile Methodology. Instead, the process evolves in iterative, self-nurturing cycles. You work in short periods called sprints that generally last between two and three weeks, and every team member has to complete a set of tasks assigned to them. At the end of every sprint, you submit the corresponding deliverables. That represents the progress your team has made, and you start the process all over again and work to improve your future everything in the next round of deliverables. Project management practices that incorporate these values allow the client to gradually receive updates and signal priorities or introduce changes when necessary.
The application of the Agile philosophy is ideal for those projects that change over their life cycle: the agility lets us rectify and adjust priorities and requirements based on project performance while improving the client experience due to their continued involvement in the project.
According to the latest edition of the annual Project Management Institute (PMI) study, Pulse of the Profession study, 79% of organizations across the globe employ Agile in their project management processes.
The perks of using Agile
Unlike traditional forms of project development and implementation, Agile methodologies have the following benefits for an enterprise:
1. Versatility, aimed at achieving objectives
Project Management isn’t a pre-established system that follows a pattern but is instead geared towards achieving tangible performance metrics starting in the very first month.
It employs Inbound Marketing or pull marketing techniques, but it’s always adjustable to client needs.
2. Restructuring actions
The Agile Methodology works with year-long strategies with quarterly reviews of the tactics you’re carrying out. This approach lets you moderate the strategy based on your client’s goals.
In contrast to traditional marketing approaches, Agile gives you the power to change the order of your action plan. As an example, you don’t always have to start out a client meeting by ordering an audit, followed by a Buyer Persona study, and an organization of present content assets. You may see that the client’s content strategy does not have a precise enough focus for its calls-to-action (CTAs), and you first need to modify that element before moving onto anything else.
Another one of the Agile methodology’s advantages is that the customer has control of the outsourcing of services. Its processes function on complete transparency using the Scrum methodology (through Sprints or organizing work deliverables every two weeks).
Teams using Agile hold daily meetings to analyze the state of their tasks. They discuss what progress they’ve made and what’s on their to-do list. The client has full access to this working methodology and, therefore, can measure what conversion each action is having. They review all the deliverables in detail and signal what improvement must happen. The continuous interaction and feedback between the company and the client aims to ensure that the final product or solution your team builds is precisely what the customer wants and needs.
The most commonly used Agile frameworks
Different Agile project management frameworks have their own specific sets of benefits. Some of the most frequently used are:
Scrum stands out from the rest for its flexibility, productivity, and innovation that it brings to a team’s day-to-day tasks. It’s based on an incremental development structure. How does this work in practice? You break the project down into tasks that are divided across three groups: analysis, development, and testing.
Kanban is also known as a “visual sign” or “visual card” because you work using a diagram with three columns that groups tasks together by pending, in progress, or completed. The idea of this visual board, which is what kanban means in Japanese, is to ensure every team member’s tasks are in view, so everyone knows the real-time status of the project. This framework is incredibly useful for empowering creativity, efficiency, and autonomy.
At We Are Marketing, we work with the Agile methodology to guide our customers in meeting objectives correctly and helping them achieve tangible results right from the start. If you have a project in progress that you want to carry out in the best way possible, get in touch with us, and we will start working together to grow your company in an agile and secure way.
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