Why Teams Should Use Agile

Prior to working at Adage, I spent time in financial consulting. I worked on projects that involved software developers, and there was a noticeable difference between the teams that had and didn’t have a scrum master. The ones with a scrum master hit the deadlines and got things done.  

Scrum masters are a key part of the agile methodology commonly used in web development. But it can be applied to other areas of your business as well. Seeing scrum masters in action is what inspired me to make a career change, become one, and dive deep into the benefits of using agile.  

What is Agile? 

Before discussing the benefits of agile, let’s take a few moments to understand exactly what it is. There are two primary methods for project management, waterfall and agile. Waterfall is how we traditionally think of project management. You start a project and deliver the whole thing at the end.  

While agile is an iterative approach to project management. It specifically started with software delivery and development to offer value to the customer faster and receive feedback quicker. During the agile process, the team works in what are referred to as sprints and completes multiple deliverables throughout the course of the whole project. 

By working in sprints, the team can share finished parts of the project, immediately receive feedback, and make adjustments right away based on that feedback. 

Benefits of Using Agile 

There are three specific benefits of using agile, that I’d like to highlight: 

Flexible and consistent: Agile, and in this case the Scrum methodology, is flexible and consistent at its core and focuses on planning project work for the long term and the short term. This helps teams organize their work by providing the most valuable benefits in the shortest amount of time. The consistency in reviewing progress against the project timeline allows for reflections points that align projects with their goals, even when business objectives constantly change. 

Additionally, since agile is a widely accepted framework, there are many tools available to help organize the work efficiently. The rituals (or regular meetings) are well-documented and easy to learn. They reduce overhead in learning how the team works and place more emphasis on producing valuable outcomes. 

Focused on continuous improvement: The agile process is designed to build the most efficient process possible, consider specific team members’ needs, and adapt to changing requirements or opinions. By working in sprints and getting quick feedback, teams are able to correct mistakes right away and be flexible with changing opinions. Making these changes or fixing issues early on also reduces the time and cost of the project.  

Adaptable to any type of work: Though often thought of as a web development process, agile translates well to any field requiring teamwork. Sprints can be adjusted to whatever length suits your team whether that’s two, four, or six weeks. It helps to hold team members accountable for their tasks and gives people an agreed-upon prioritization for completing work. 

Adage underwent an agile transformation about six years ago. It’s a popular methodology for our industry because it shortens the time to market, improves quality, enhances customer and employee satisfaction, and affords clients flexibility on their initiatives.

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