Agile methodologies are a fast, efficient and flexible way of working. Its objective is to develop quality products and services adapted to the needs of customers and the preferences of a rapidly changing market.
Among its main features are:
- The cooperation between multidisciplinary and self – managed teams.
- A high involvement of users or customers .
- A fluid communication.
- A constant revisions by conducting regular deliveries and short periods ( sprints ) along the project.
- The ability to measure progress.
- The adaptation to changes as they arise on the fly.
When working with agile methodologies, the project is divided into “parts” or simple tasks that have to be completed and delivered every so often to the client for review.
In this way, and in the event that changes are required, these are made practically instantly and only on the party involved. Without having to wait for the final product, since at that point it would mean taking emergency measures or even starting over. Something that had been happening with traditional or cascade methodologies.
In any case, for this procedure to work it is important that the members of the different work teams or departments involved in the project meet daily and share the status of the assigned tasks: which ones have been completed, which ones are still pending and with what problems have run into. So everyone is aware of the general status of the project, being able to help each other if necessary.
What agile methodologies exist?
There are different types of agile methodologies. All of them share the same bases, even so, it is important to know how to choose the one that best suits the situation or the work that will be carried out.
Some of the most used are:
It consists of working for sprints that usually last a week, these are delivered to the client so that they can review them and transmit what they are missing or would improve. It is about adjusting the results according to these requests.
It is a very visual and dynamic way of knowing where the production flow is. Visual cards are used to identify each of the tasks and, as they are carried out, they go to the next validation state.
Extreme Programming (XP)
It is used more often for projects related to software development. It focuses on delivering the product to the customer as requested, accepting modifications even in the last stages of the process.
It is an agile methodology that seeks to satisfy the client or user by investing as little time as possible, using limited resources (human, material and financial) and avoiding waste or aspects that do not add value to the project.
Advantages of agile methodologies
- Continuous communication between teams and with the customer helps detect errors and implement improvements quickly and easily . This has a direct impact on the final product, being of higher quality and more in line with what the user wants.
- The satisfaction of the customer is greater , because it feels more in the development of the project. At all times he is informed of how it is going, he participates in it and his opinions are taken into account.
- Each of the team members assumes a commitment and responsibility to others .
- All parts of the project are worked on at the same time, each having an assigned expert or manager . This adds speed and efficiency to the procedure.
- The productivity of the company increases as work processes are streamlined and costs are reduced.
- The ROI ( return on investment , ROI) is more immediate. Often times, companies that work with agile methodologies agree with their clients to receive payments for those tasks that have been completed and that already have their approval. In this way, the project is profitable as it develops.
Agile methodologies are a good way to organize the work of a company and improve its results, while saving time and investment. In addition, agile project management professionals are becoming one of the most in-demand digital profiles. For this, it is important to have adequate training in agile methodologies, such as the one we offer at the European University through our Course in Srcum and Agile or the Expert in Project Management and Agile Methodologies .
You also have the possibility of downloading our e-book Project Management with Scrum . This is completely free and has been written by Antonio Alonso, director of the Master in Project Management (in bootcamp format).