What is Agile Methodology? Plus Types of Agile Methods
Agile is a framework and philosophy for creating efficiency, particularly in product development, it derives from and aligns with the values and principles of the Agile manifesto. The manifesto aims to guide professionals and reduce the complexity of software development. Software development is a complex world to navigate, and project management techniques such as waterfall haven’t been flexible enough for today’s volatile environments. Today, many companies outside of tech use Agile to improve their processes, as it’s a highly effective way of realising value and reducing risk.
In a world where speed matters, Agile ways of working are transforming companies output.
We specialise in a framework called Scrum. Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems.
Below, we explain what the methodology is, look at its components and explore some of the different types of frameworks.
Agile methodology encompasses a broad range of specific product development techniques and approaches, and Agile is the overarching philosophy that guides them. It’s a philosophy that developed in response to the challenges of waterfall approaches, which are the traditional approaches to product development. Waterfall methods are sequential and linear, while Agile methods are iterative. This means that self-organising teams break down tasks into smaller parts and work to regularly deliver results. This enables them to get early feedback from customers and then continually inspect and adapt to maximise value. Agile is great for tackling complexity.
To find out how this process could work, take a look at Rework, our programme for beginners, and Momentum, our programme designed for more improvers.
The Benefits Of This Methodology
Companies worldwide have thoroughly embraced Agile for one simple reason: it works. Many traditional product development methods are quite complicated and dull, which makes them unappealing to business leaders and professionals. Agile methods simplify the process and give teams more autonomy, making them more pleasant to work with. When applied correctly, the benefits can be huge. It can help to reduce costs, improve the quality of outcomes, speed up projects, enable quick adaptation to changing requirements and boost customer satisfaction. Also, the constant feedback enables teams to improve and optimise products while projects are live.
Take a look at some of Agile case studies to see how we’ve helped teams.
The values and principles laid out in the Agile manifesto inform the design of Agile ways of working. The manifesto’s values emphasise the importance of understanding customer needs and creating high-quality products. The principles help teams create working environments that are adaptable and focus on both the business’s objectives and the customer’s expectations. Here are the key ideas:
The Four Values
The four central values of Agile are:
- “People and interactions over tools and processes.”
- “Working software over comprehensive documentation.”
- “Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.”
- “Responding to change over following a plan.”
The Twelve Principles
The twelve guiding principles of Agile are:
1. “The highest priority is satisfying the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”
2. “Agile harnesses change for the customer’s advantage, meaning changing requirements are welcome, regardless of the project’s stage.”
3. “Frequently deliver working software in the shortest possible timescales.”
4. “Constant collaboration between stakeholders and developers is important.”
5. “Use motivated individuals, provide the resources they need and trust them to complete the job.”
6. “Face-to-face conversation is the most efficient and effective way to communicate information within development.”
7. “The primary measure of progress is working software.”
8. “Sustainability is important, so the work pace of all involved should be constantly maintained.”
9. “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design.”
10. “Simplicity – the art of maximising the work not done – is essential.”
11. “The best architectures, requirements and designs come from self-organising teams.”
12. “Teams regularly reflect on their work and find ways to optimise.”
Read more about the Agile principles and values.
Different types of Agile methods
Here are the main types and what they’re used for:
This is an Agile framework that helps teams develop adaptive solutions to complex problems. It’s based on the principles of Agile and comprises a set of accountabilities, artefacts, events and for teams to use and follow. Scrum is ideal for working in a complex environment. Scrum engages teams who collectively have all the skills and expertise to do the work and share or acquire such skills as needed. Scrum combines four formal events for inspection and adaptation within a containing event, the Sprint. These events work because they implement the empirical Scrum pillars of transparency, inspection, and adaptation.
We are Scrum professionals. Our four stage process of Incubate, Accelerate, Iterate and Propagate has helped organisations of all kinds create Agility At Work. From Farnell, to the British Army, to Halfords – we know how to improve your team culture.
This is a method that emphasises the visual mapping of work items and constant communication between team members. Kanban helps businesses identify and eliminate bottlenecks in their processes, which improves the efficiency of workflows and overall productivity. This method is good for projects with lots of incoming requests and less defined scopes.
XP is a method that emphasises the importance of the technical aspects of software development, enabling projects to comply with Agile principles and remain adaptive whilst still delivering excellent quality software. This helps developers maintain a steady pace, improve efficiency and deliver High-quality, valuable work at a sustainable pace.
Agile is a powerful tool that can transform how your organisation works. We’re a UK-based consultancy that focuses on the Scrum framework. We guide teams to create Agility At Work.
If you are looking to rethink how you work, or if you want an expert to help you take your processes to the next level – give us a call today.