While more organisations are adapting to Agile conventions, Agile is also adapting to the workplace, with perhaps the abandonment of orthodoxy the clearest sign of this mainstreaming.
Teams are grappling with the mix of methodologies that exist, and combining them to fit within their organisational realities by blending Agile and non-Agile techniques and practices to create a hybrid methodology that fits larger organisations. Other changes, such as new team dynamics and the redefinition of roles, show the genuine force behind the increased Agile adoption.
According to those who have successfully adopted Agile, the benefits are well worth the effort. In addition, with the dramatic increase in Agile adoption, the probability of working in or with an Agile team has increased for everyone; thus it's time for software development professionals to stop sitting on the fence where Agile is concerned. As an organisation, if Agile is not embraced as a matter of urgency, it is likely the competition will move ahead rapidly.
One of the key lessons learnt from clients that have embarked on the ‘Agile Way' is that application of the Agile principles across an organisation was more important than implementing Agile mechanics. In this regard, the following questions are being asked of an organisation:
Does it allow changing requirements and priorities?
Is it able to lower the cost of change?
Does it provide better visibility into project progress?
Does it reduce unnecessary risk?
Does it maximise the return on investment?
Does it encourage higher quality and simpler code? And
Does it deliver business value early and often?
As a response, it should be remembered that Scrum will help an organisation to:
Bring its products to market quicker than your competitors,
Respond to customer needs quicker and with clearer accuracy,
See tangible project progress and predict completion with some certainty,
React and respond to changing markets faster to reduce the level of risk,
Use its resources effectively while eliminating unnecessary waste,
Increase the overall return on investment,
Thus it is no surprise that the adoption of Agile is increasing apace and shows no sign of abating. ‘Going Agile' requires broad technical, organisational, and process changes. The full potential of agility is realised by leveraging Agile values, principles and practices throughout the company. The major benefits come from a greater focus of quality, discipline, working closely with business stakeholders and on delivering working software on a regular basis; i.e. the best practices from the real world. There is no doubt; it is the way to go!
9 February 2015: Article by Mandy Schoeman of Scrum Solutions