Agile is a work management philosophy generally used in the IT and software development industry. It was originally devised as an alternative to Software Development Lifecycle methodologies, and offers an iterative approach to software delivery.
Although agile was originally created to help businesses in an IT and software development context, the basic framework is applicable across every industry.
Agile dictates that software is built incrementally from the start of the project rather than attempting to deliver it all at the very end. Each project is broken down into smaller, bite-sized functions and are prioritized and given to different user types. Then those smaller mini-projects are continuously worked on and delivered over two-week spans called iterations.
While these are the basics of agile, the methodology follows a set of principles that dictate how businesses can become more streamlined via these guidelines. Here are three of the top principles of agile.
- Welcome Late Changes
While changes late in the production process can be frustrating, in agile these late-stage changes are welcomed. Why? Even changes in requirements late in the game can help with the customer’s competitive advantage.
2. Empower Employees
It’s important in agile to build projects and timelines around motivated workers. Getting and keeping them engaged in the tasks and iterations that are part-in-parcel of agile development. Part of this is accomplished through providing a supportive environment, and also trusting them to act as the experts they are. Simply trust that they’ll do their jobs, set clear goals and expectations and then get out of the way and let them work.
3. Take Time to Reflect
Once agile teams have completed a sprint or a project, they take the time to reflect. It’s important to look back on what went well with each task and what could be improved upon in the next sprint. Set regular intervals when teams and managers can assess how to become more effective and then use those insights to adjust your behaviour moving forward.
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