In this first of our three part blog series on Agile Working, and how it can work for you, we will explore the fundamental theories around the methodology, as well as the basic values which support the entire system.
What is Agile?
Agile is a system of working that essentially replaces more traditional ‘waterfall’ project management. In a ‘waterfall’ structure, processes are sequentially divided, with each relying on the last in order to begin. Process one must be signed off before process two can begin, and so on. This method can cause problems with getting projects from one stage to another, contributing to time management issues and potentially stalling time sensitive projects.
Agile is a set of values and principles that serve as a solid foundation for decision making within teams. it was originally developed by a group of software engineers who were tired of poorly managed projects (on a ski trip!). It is not a rulebook, or a rigid set of practices, but rather it is a solid foundation for building a more flexible working environment.
The Agile manifesto encompasses the agile values, which are a set of principles which lay the groundwork for a successful agile team. The main agile values are;
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documents
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan