We’ve all been hearing the word “agile” thrown around quite a bit recently- especially as a framework for projects and project management. But what does agile even mean?

The Webster dictionary defines it as “marked by ready ability to move with quick easy grace. Having a quick resourceful and adaptable character”.

So how does this apply to project management?

Let’s stick to the tech example and talk about agile software development. Agile software development refers to the methodology where solutions are evolved by cross functional, self organizing teams that deliver quality and predictability with the natural ability to respond to change.

Okay, enough definitions. Let’s go over the key tenets to agile software development:

  • Welcome the change of requirements, even late in development. For the sake of the customers’ competitive advantage, the agile process means harnessing change while delivering software quickly and frequently
  • Project managers  and developers must work together throughout the project. Like i said earlier, cross functional and self organizing teams are a part of the agile methodology definition.
  • Do not underestimate face to face conversation. More often than not, this is the most efficient and effective method of communicating with the development team.
  • Agile processes must promote sustainable development. You’ve heard me say the words “quick, responsive, and frequent” to explain agile. But that does not mean work 90 hours a week until you get the project completed. Find a consistent, efficient, and sustainable pace that works for your team and stick to it.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design. This comes back to the self organizing team. You and your team should possess the capabilities to maintain a consistently high degree of attention to detail on both the technical and user interface sides of the product.
  • Emphasize a simplistic workload- work smarter, not harder.
  • Reflect often on how to become more effective, then implement accordingly. Remember the Webster dictionary definition- quick resourcefulness and adaptability.

In the modern tech world it is an absolute necessity to adopt the agile methodology. Technology is constantly evolving, growing, and inevitably becoming obsolete. If your tech company can’t provide responsive solutions fast, you’ll be left in the dust of your competitors.

Comment below on how adopting the agile methodology has helped you, your team, and your customers, and any challenges you’ve faced in your agile journey.