Agile methodology is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts in the IT industry. What started as a software development methodology has now been adopted by many other industries and departments. It wouldn’t be unusual to hear an events organiser or manufacturers referring to their work as agile. Here at BCN, you may hear us refer to ourselves as an agile solution provider, but what exactly does this mean? To understand the meaning of the term agile, let’s start by looking at the history of the phrase…
What is agile?
The Agile Manifesto was established in 2001 by a team of software developers. Their belief was that their skills would be put to better use if they were able to focus on solving problems and finding a better way to collaborate with their colleagues and customers. The team valued things like individuals and interactions over processes and tools and working software over comprehensive documentation. These principles have now been stretched and skewed to match a number of industries outside of software development.
How has agile evolved since then?
Since the early days of agile offering a way for software developers to redefine the way they work, it has now been adopted as a general management technique. It isn’t unheard of for managers to apply agile methodology to every aspect of a business. The idea of creating a minimum viable product as soon as possible is very attractive to business owners as it means they can make all of the important decisions based on feedback. The idea that done is better than perfect is not lost on money-conscious business owners.
Could agile work for me?
Agile is a difficult concept to get right in an organisation as it is a huge departure from more conventional management practices. Agile only works if everyone understands it and is on board with the methodology. Getting rid of the usual hierarchy, architecture and structure of a team can be difficult. One of the hardest areas to get right is letting go of the idea that the business is a steady state machine. Instead, business owners have to be willing to take risks, try new things and implement things that might later be scrapped. While this might sound risky, that’s because it is. However, it’s also an important part of learning and can allow a business to grow faster than it would if left in a steady state.
How is BCN agile?
We work with some of the industry leaders in agile solutions providers, including Nimble Storage, VMware and Cisco Meraki. We have an in-depth knowledge and appreciation for how agile solutions can help to transform businesses. Our partners are the ones leading the way in agile development, transparency and continuous improvement.