The advantages of an “agile” way of working

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It is common for many businesses to become set in their ways and not implement new ways of working for fear of upsetting the status quo. However, a successful business is one which recognises the need for growth and change. One business philosophy that is growing in popularity is Agile. The Agile methodology has its roots in software development and was created in 2001 as an improved method for managing projects.

It has four core values which all benefit both the company, the client and improve the project outcome:

1. Focus should be on individuals and interactions rather than processes and tools.

Better interactions with clients foster a healthier client relationship and improves communication. Regular consultation ensures that all involved have the same goals and understand the vision, cultivating cooperation within teams. This improves both stakeholder and team engagement, as well as trust in your organisation.

2. Comprehensive documentation is less important than a working product.

Working products are delivered more frequently. By dividing a project into sprints, the team can work faster and ensure that the customer is satisfied with progress. The project team can focus on iterating and developing ideas rather than preparing formal reports, and the final product can be delivered much more quickly.

3. Customer collaboration is key.

With faster deliverables, customers are able to provide feedback promptly, allowing errors to be eliminated and products to be refined in a faster time scale. This allows for a continuous attention to detail and a constant focus on a superior end result and customer satisfaction.

4. The process should be flexible.

A flexible process ensures regular adaptation to changing needs and circumstances of client and customer. This results in a better product which can enter the market faster, ensuring a more timely and predictable return on investment.

Agile methodology has been successfully applied to a huge range of projects in all industries and sectors. Adopting the agile culture within your organisation or project might prove a useful new approach to tackling complex projects which require a fast turnaround in highly competitive and changeable markets.