We are living in ambiguous times. Some people would even call it an uncertain and turbulent era. Nevertheless, there’s always our lives to live, problems to solve and businesses to succeed in.
Therefore, one of the main challenges of modern companies is to understand what exactly is going on in today’s environment, identify the uncertainty we’re facing, and adapt to it as we move along to our business goals. This is where Agile comes to stage.
You might have heard about Agile workflow. But it is not limited to software development anymore. Making your company agile is a level up for your business.
WHAT IS AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT?
Agile software development is an umbrella concept of frameworks and practices formulated in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development that was issued in 2001 by a group of software engineers. This fundamental document (known as a “Bible” of Agile) is based on 12 Agile Principles. While orchestrating a software development process inside your company, it is always a good idea to follow these principles and utilize them to build an operational action plan in any uncertain or changing context.
12 PRINCIPLES OF MANIFESTO FOR AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome 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 to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
HISTORY OF AGILE IN A GLANCE
To put it simple, the history of Agile can be divided into three periods: Pre-Manifesto period, creation and publication of Manifesto and Post-Manifesto development.
- Pre-Manifesto Period (before 2001)
Normally, when someone mentions Agile you think of software development. But Agile methodology has deeper roots. It all started in the auto industry with Edward Deming – an American consultant who helped Toyota to overcome the post-WWII decay. He is known as a forefather and early adept of Agile and lean strategies who empowered Toyota to become a part of a Japanese economic miracle with its peak in eighties and nineties.
- Agile Manifesto Publication (2001)
The history of Agile was made when a group of 17 computer specialists met at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah in 2001. They did some skiing and a lot of discussion on both the differences and common approaches they used in software development. It all ended up with the 12 Principles Behind the Agile wrapped in a form of manifesto.
Ten years later sixteen of the seventeen authors managed to meet at Agile2011conference and share their thoughts on Agile development as well as views on the current state of Agile to that point.
- Agile Later Adoption and Becoming Mainstream (2001 – now)
20 years later the Agile movement was officially founded, we can claim it to be a game-changer that transformed the entire software industry.
What happened next is even more exciting. More and more industries acknowledged the transforming power of Agile. Business owners and CEOs agreed that it is better to deliver to the market, collect early feedback, and improve on the go, rather than create perfect products with huge delays. More and more leading companies across all industries saw this as an opportunity to respond to competitors' pressure and adapt to the changing market.
We are talking about BMWC (Construction Management), Rolls Royce (Engineering), AstraZeneca (Pharmaceutical Industry) and NASA (Aerospace).
IN A NUTSHELL
These are just a few of the most famous cases from different industries that facilitated all the business advantages of Agile. We are entering a new era of business agility.
It is now not about rock-solid scenarios or defined frameworks, but more about flexibility and company survival in the changing economical and geopolitical landscape.
No matter what industry you are in, there is always some room for your company to become more flexible than before. Agile is a journey. And you better take the first step.