Do you belong to the world of software development? If you have worked in this area for quite a few years, you would know how it has evolved over the years. The predominant process approach till the early 2000s was the Waterfall method of software development. At that time, it facilitated standardization to the process but was very structured. Over time, there were many hindrances faced by organizations because of the waterfall method. And this is how Agile development took over.
From the past decade, everything seems to become “Agile”. The major driving factor that led to the popularity of Agile methodology was the continuous technological advancements taking place, particularly the emergence of digital transformation. The waterfall model didn’t give any scope of making the changes during the process and often the time to market go delayed. The client requirements once gathered couldn’t be modified, so the end product failed to meet the expectations of the clients. This major problem among others was taken care of in Agile methodology. Consecutively, Agile and it’s Scrum framework became popular and professionals started seeking Certified Scrum Master Courses, among others to upgrade themselves.
Let us know what Agile methodology is all about and what all practices do Agile organizations follow.
The Agile Methodology
The term Agile simply means the ability to create and give a response to any change. The Agile methodology was named so because the authors of the Agile Manifesto felt the term represented the adaptiveness and response to change which was crucial to their approach. When talking in the context of software development, Agile methodology refers to the set of practices and frameworks that are based on the values mentioned in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the twelve principles behind it.
The Agile Manifesto, written in 2001, uncovers the better ways of developing software and helping others do it by following certain values. These values are what makes Agile a mindset and offers guidance on how to respond to changes and deal with uncertainty. Some of the key concepts in Agile include:
- User stories
- Daily meeting
- Incremental Development
- Iterative Development
- Milestone Retrospective
The reason why companies shifted from the Waterfall method of software development to Agile methodology is that the organizations worked as machines in the former approach. Today, the customer demands are changing, regulators have pressing needs, and collaborators demand action to accommodate fast-changing priorities. The Waterfall approach in no way could handle this quickly evolving environment.
Conversely, Agile organizations (as Mckinsey points out) are capable of balancing stability and dynamism. They build stable backbone elements that evolve gradually and support dynamic abilities that can adapt quickly to new challenges and opportunities. McKinsey further stresses that Agile organizations have a whopping 70% chance of being in the top quartile of organizational health which is the best indicator of long term performance.
Organizations that adopt Agile methodology can achieve:
- Higher customer eccentricity
- Quicker time to market of products and services
- Higher Return on Investment
- Reduced costs
- Productive workforce
How Agile Organizations Work?
By now you know that Agile organizations can take advantage of opportunities quickly and develop products faster. But, how are they able to achieve these goals? Well, every Agile organization has certain characteristics that set them apart from their competitors. Here we have discussed some of those characteristics to let you understand how Agile organizations work:
- There is constant communication between teams and customers and feedback is regularly taken so that changes can be accommodated at an early stage.
- Cross-functional teams are created and team members are encouraged to share the responsibilities equally.
- Teams believe in continuous learning to deliver value. They learn from their failures, gather knowledge, and turn them into a competitive advantage.
- The managers of Agile teams do not make decisions for the team but rather support team commitments and focus on creating a discipline of shorter release cycles.
- Communication among teams is encouraged so that people can share their experiences and there is more transparency.
- Teams excel in handling unexpected events and become adaptable over time. Open space events, for example, allow the open exchange of ideas and communicate unexpected information.
- Controlling and governance are changed to focus more on creating long-term business value.
Are You Ready to be a Part of an Agile Organization?
According to the Pulse of the Profession report by Project Management Institute (PMI), around 46% of the surveyed organizations used an Agile or hybrid Agile approach for their projects. Moreover, as per Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools, 76 percent of users relying on an enterprise Agile planning tool achieved greater project visibility.
So, if you want to be a part of an Agile organization, why not get a renowned certification in this domain. There are various industry-wide recognized Agile certifications that you can pursue and boost your career, including:
- Agile Scrum Foundation
- Agile Scrum Master (ASM)
- Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
- PMI – Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)
There are influential professional membership and certification organizations in the Agile community who offer these valuable credentials – namely EXIN, Scrum Alliance, Scrum.org, and the International Consortium for Agile.
Finally, take this step and find out which certification is best as per your interests. You can prepare for these certifications by taking an online training course from reputed eLearning providers. The instructors for online Agile and Scrum courses are often certified professionals and will help you add them to your repertoire.