Understanding Agile Principles and Its Benefits over Waterfall Methodology

Understanding Agile Principles and Its Benefits over Waterfall Methodology

Image Source: AgileAlliance

The Agile Manifesto was written by 17 people that were seeking a set of compatible values based on trust, respect, and collaboration. They wanted to find an easier approach to software development. And they found a set of values in the form of a manifesto.

Its name, Agile, was chosen as the label because it described the adaptiveness and response to change which was extremely valuable to their approach.

The first and probably most clear definition of Agile project management comes from the Agile Manifesto itself, which states 4 core values:

“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

Needless to mention, that Agile is not defined by a set of ceremonies or specific techniques. Rather, agile is a group of methodologies that demonstrate a commitment to tight feedback cycles and continuous improvement.

When implementing agile in your organization, you are to focus on what matters to your client most and test whether the result of your work fits into this narrow focus. Living the agile mindset means generating testable ideas and maximizing the results of your experimentation.

So… how do I apply Agile?

Agile is an approach to LOOKING AT and thinking on HOW to address knowledge work. Take globally – it is a mindset. And here’s a nice 5-minutes grandma-explainable video of what Agile approach actually is.

What is Agile? Agile Explained… with a PENCIL!

Another good starting point to get to know Agile methodology better is to read the 12 Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto. Yet the specific wording is initially focused on software development, it’s better to have those written down for business: 

Image Source: Synergy Way

Benefits of Agile projects

To start discussing the advantages of agile methodology over the waterfall, let’s first dive into the understanding of what we can actually call a successful project.

Henrik Kniberg – an Agile & Lean coach at Crisp in Stockholm, and a former member of the board of directors of the Agile Alliance – discussed what business “success” is – forget about time, cost, and scope, as success is defined as “being happy customers, happy users, and happy development team.” 

Henrik’s different perspectives on success, over and above the “triple constraint”.

Image Source: Projectworkout

It goes without saying that there are benefits from agile and waterfall methodologies very much associated with the context being applied: 

Waterfall – is a linear sequential life cycle model that has no scope of changing the requirements once the project development starts.

Agile  – is a continuous iteration of development and testing that allows changes in project development requirements. 

The iterative nature of the agile approach, allows us to see the business value from the first iterations, which isn’t happening in the case of the waterfall project – because we can see the business values only at the end of the project. 

Image Source: Synergy Way

The agile approach works by breaking projects down into little bits of user functionality called iterations. And every iteration presumes Plan -> Analysis -> Design -> Build -> Test cycle. Whereas at the Waterfall approach, each stage signs off right before the next one commences.

The iterative approach helps to reduce the identified project risks while in waterfall projects even if risks are determined early more time is often required to close them. As an outcome, the business value, risks, transparency, adaptability related to project duration between the two approaches may differ quite strongly (green for agile, red for waterfall)

The core thing about agile is its transparency. Agile’s iterative approach and close customer collaboration give the desired flexibility to adapt throughout the whole project duration. On the other hand, the waterfall approach allows us to get a quite clear view at the very start and very end of the project but keeps pretty unaware during development.

How Do We Work?

At Synergy Way, we help businesses develop digital capabilities and establish communication with users by creating efficient web and mobile products.

The agile framework allows our team members to collaborate to decide on the most effective and efficient ways to complete work while making sure that the end-users receive what they want and need. The focus is on people and interactions, not processes and tools.

Planning your next project? Let’s make something awesome together!

Synergy Way

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