Agile: It’s a way of thinking, not a way of working

16th May 2019

Amy Murgatroyd

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As PC computing began to expand in the enterprise, early 1990s, software development faced a crisis. At the time, it was widely referred to as the “application development crisis”. Industry experts estimated that the time between validated business need and an actual application in production was about three years.

The problem was, business moved faster than that, even 25 years ago. Within the space of three years, requirements, systems and even entire businesses were likely to change. That meant that many projects ended up being cancelled partway through, and many of those that were completed didn’t meet all the business’ current needs, even if the project’s original objectives were met.

In 2001, 17 people met at the Snowbird ski resort in Utah. They were the leading experts of extreme programming, Scrum and adaptive software development. The purpose was to make software development easier, hence the creation of the Agile manifesto.

Unfortunately, despite most industries being aware of flaws in their process, so many still struggle to adopt Agile, consequently there is more bad Agile than good.

Over the past 6 months there has been a major shift in Agile interest which evidently created debate. Developers are avoiding focused projects because they feel the people engaged in the conception apply the ideas badly.  This leads to more interference with developers, less time to do the work, higher pressure and demands to “work faster”. On the other side, the original Agile manifest and how making small changes to the way we work does increase productivity.

“It’s a way of thinking, not a way of working”

At the core of the manifesto is the idea of accelerating the delivery of initial business value, through a continuous planning and feedback model. When used correctly the value of the project is maximised throughout the whole development process.

Strategic People have been implementing Agile into our workforce over the past month and have seen a higher volume of productivity. In our previous blog post we talked about the immediate results we experienced, a month on we are seeing a higher rate of desk ownership for each consultant focusing on macro deliverables to increase efficiency. For full details on our Agile day, please watch our video explanation.

Moving forward in 2019, predictions show Agile will continue to grow throughout the whole organisation: Agile transformations, Agile scaling frameworks and Agile implementations outside of technology. Companies will be forced to transform to the highly responsive market demands. The challenge will be to avoid repeating mistakes of the past ensuring that a decade from now we are not still experiencing bad Agile practises.