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Rise in Adoption of Agile

Updated on April 28, 2020
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Anand is technology enthusiast and is passionate about how technology can be leveraged to change the world for better.

Rise in Adoption of Agile

Rise in adoption of Agile Methodology

There are various software development methodology which had their era of popularity. If we really want to classify these methodology at high level then it can be considered into category of Plan Driven and Adaptive.

Before 2005 or so, the dominant software development methodology was plan driven where project manager has to plan every bit of details in advance for next 12 to 15 months in case of larger software development projects. Now, One can see that this was quite a challenge in itself as things might go wrong in between and lot of course correction was required to stay on track. Now, this kind of methodology was fine for the work which is not going to change much in the future. But what about product development where there is need to add new features or update existing features to meet the market demand. Plan driven approach of 12 months was certainly not going to help . Also, as product life cycle is shrinking, the product development life cycle based on plan driven approach was not feasible. Waterfall was one of most popular methodology for plan driven approach. While this methodology gave structure to implement large scale projects, the typical sequential execution (e.g. first requirement analysis, second design, then construction ) was always pose challenge to see what is the actual work completion as user was supposed to see product after few months. Also, change management was always a matter of challenge as changes used to impact the existing planning that is being done for schedule, scope cost etc. So, once scope is finalized frequent requirement changes were discouraged.

In this situation, there was a need to have adaptive approach especially for product development where requirements are constantly changing based on market demand and software development methodology should be able to take care of these demands/requirement changes at short notice. Also, the whole approach to accept changes in requirement should welcoming than discouraging as these changes are expected to address new opportunities in the marketplace. This is exactly where Agile fits into the picture. The manifesto and principles of Agile welcome changes and gives guidance in terms of adapting to ever changing market needs. This is only way companies can stay relevant to today’s marketplace which getting disrupted at lightening speed.

Obviously, Agile started as experiment to see how it works and what value it can deliver. It started with small teams with proof of concept to validate the hypothesis. As organization saw the potential to get the value with lesser wait time to see final product, Agile started gaining its popularity. Please keep in mind that Agile did not make project successful or failure as it was the solution designed that will make it so. However, what Agile did is that it gave early signals especially in case failure that the particular idea may not give value as expected. Agile gave this indication within weeks after starting the project rather than waiting for months to know the same. So, this really gave organization experimental ground to work on new ideas. Also, in case success, business started seeing value incrementally, at regular frequency and whole model was also able to accommodate changes on short notice. It also gave flexibility to de-prioritize some of the ideas that were initially considered but are no longer relevant or more valuable ideas took priority.

Now, it is reached to a stage majority of enterprise are using Agile as their “Choice of software development methodology”. Many organization wants to take Agile to next level by scaling existing Agile team and reap benefits at more broader level. This trend will continue as digitization is disrupting every industry at rapid pace and each organization needs methodology to deal with these changes and deliver to the market demand. Agile is definitely making it possible.


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