Agile has been around since 2001, however it has only recently became a method that most of you know and use. Thus, if you are just starting out with Agile, you are not really familiar with the journey it has been on for the last 17 years. Not to worry, as I have a short and sweet summary of the Agile evolution just for you.
Find out where has Agile started and where it is likely to go in the future.
There has been a growing need for a new way of organizing work for quite a while. This was especially true with software development teams that needed to account for changing customer input, be able to adapt and be less dependent on a predefined plan. As a result, in 2001 the Agile Manifesto has come about.
Stating 4 core values and 12 principles, the Agile Manifesto laid down the foundation for what we know as Agile today. And while some of its signers and applications do contradict one another, what the main ideas stand for is aligned.
The Manifesto is an important point in the Agile movement. It gave the varied applications and attempts an umbrella term and core ideas to stand behind. As well as one name to be referred to.
The adoption and frameworks
While some of the Agile applications were already live before the Agile Manifesto, they were truly solidified after. The software development teams finally had a more flexible alternative to traditional project management. It offered an environment that was organized around the product and not the process.
More and more of the software development teams started using varied Agile applications like Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming and others. While the Manifesto and Agile Alliance gave guidance and simplified the transition for those wanting to join.
At this stage, Agile was mostly used and adopted by software development teams. They used Agile frameworks locally to have better control of their processes, while still complying with traditional project management practices on the organizational level. However, as the positive influence of Agile became more and more apparent, the interest of the outside teams grew.
Once Agile had a good following and showed results with the software development teams, others seemed to notice. Finance, Marketing, Design and other teams saw value in this way of organizing work and started implementing Agile as well. While at first it seemed Agile could only benefit software developers, this was quickly disproved.
Teams with various backgrounds and expertise adopted Agile frameworks successfully. What pushed this adoption forward though, was the courage to innovate and change the frameworks themselves. The teams saw how software developers worked and adapted the frameworks to work for their needs all the while keeping with the Agile Manifesto.
To this day, many think that Agile can only be done with Scrum or Kanban, but the reality is, you can make it anything you need it to be. This flexibility of the practice was the key component of Agile going beyond the field of software development. Today we use the method in various fields, even the government.
Once the perception of Agile has changed in the public mind, there were truly no more limits to where it could be applied. And if it worked on a team level so well, why not try and make your whole company Agile? This was the next step of the Agile evolution and the one we are currently in.
To accommodate the whole organizational structure, new applications of Agile frameworks were introduced. Many companies today base their processes on LeSS, SoS, DAD and other scaled Agile approaches. However, it is important to note, that these solutions are not meant to fit and satisfy all companies.
If you feel like Agile could improve your company, do not be afraid to take it and apply in any way you seem fit. The only thing to keep in mind is sticking to the Agile Manifesto. Who knows, maybe your application will prove to work not only for you, but for others as well.
Breaking the mold
So, after becoming a recognized project management approach and taking over many offices, what is next for Agile? If i would only have to say one word, it would be – innovation.
Over the years, Agile has proven to be not only a great way of doing business, but also that it is flexible enough to change and adopt. And this is the path, I see Agile staying on. There are enough of mature Agile users on the market now and with more and more companies taking on the practice, there will definitely be some new and improved applications. Which in turn will evolve and change the way we understand Agile today.
You never know, your application of Agile may be the next Scrum. So stay true to your needs, the Manifesto and happy Agiling in 2019!