The 10 benefits of Agile

By / January 22, 2016 /

Following Agile is a very rewarding decision; there isn’t just a single benefit of agile. Different organizations and teams are gaining different agile benefits. Here are few benefits that you may gain after using agile

Ability to Manage Changing Priorities

There’s no question about whether adopting agile practices will enable you to better manage changing priorities. The fact that you have product backlogs that are being ranked by product owners as information becomes known improves your ability to manage changing priorities. Planning is continuous and each sprint is an opportunity to revisit priorities based on feedback and insight gained.

Increased Team Productivity

When practicing agile the product owner works from a set of overarching initiatives and a vision for the product. The product owner communicates the vision and value-based decisions to the team on a regular cadence as they plan each sprint cycle. This makes it very clear to a team practicing agile that what they’re producing in every sprint cycle is always of the highest value. The team is protected from outside interference to minimize context switching and multi-tasking, so they can remain focused on completing the sprint plan. Agile retrospectives and continuous improvement initiatives further improve team performance.

Improved Project Visibility

There is no need to wait on formal weekly, monthly, or quarterly status updates. It’s simple to instead check the project or sprint level burndown and burnup charts and you can apply velocity for project forecasting analysis.
As agile teams are updating the work they’re doing on a daily basis, the entire enterprise is aware of the accurate, current status of all the work across all of their projects. It’s simple and easy, with the added benefit that the story and task boards provide the teams with a visible information radiator that promotes team collaboration.

Increased Team Morale/Motivation

Increased transparency in agile reduces a lot of stress and pressure. Agile allows organizations to break some of the political dysfunctions. As self-managing teams, members have a direct voice in planning and can take ownership of their commitments, thus making team members feel more connected. As an added benefit, working with a happy team is fun and promotes growth and skill development.

Better Delivery Predictability

Velocity is what enables agile organizations to better deliver predictability. In the past, project managers tried to forecast and lay out plans in an attempt to predict the future. As hard as we might try, we can’t control the future, so often those results were less than effective. An agile organization is going to use an actual proven measure, such as velocity, and they’re going to apply that to relative size estimates of their backlogs.

Enhanced Software Quality

An agile team, however, isn’t pressured to make those choices. Quality is a recognized commitment by these teams. While the results may not be visible immediately, over time, as the culture changes, inevitably teams will produce higher quality product leading to customer satisfaction and more sustainable scalable products.

Faster Time to Market

A survey results reflect that 77% of the respondents said that agile provided faster time to market. A desire to get to market faster is a very common reason that businesses initially decide to adopt agile. Organizations are feeling competitive pressures and the need to improve their product faster to stay relevant. If another company gets to market with something better, they can lose significant customer share.

Reduced Project Risk

Additionally, in some cases teams are encouraged to rank known high-risk items so that they can work these items sooner rather than later, to address what they learn earlier in the project. This helps teams evaluate the risks earlier and discover whether or not the project is going be viable and deliver the expected value. If needed, you can redeploy these teams to work on something else that will deliver better value.

Improved Business/IT Alignment

Improved business and IT alignment are cited as a main reason to adopt agile. This is realized through the closer collaboration that is inherent in the agile principles and values, primarily through the transparency and the feedback from short inspect and adapt cycles. I think this is a clear benefit that’s easily realized as teams are aligned to have more open and transparent collaboration between their product owner, who serves as proxy for the customer, and business stakeholders. Defining and communicating clear project vision drives this alignment.

Improved Engineering Discipline

Once agile organizations come to embrace the agile principles with a goal of delivering high product quality, they must also embrace sound engineering discipline. Effective design, configuration management and testing strategies are essential to maximize agility.

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