Since the past decade or so, Agile has completely dominated the product development landscape. From allowing faster development of products to enhancing quality and keeping customers and employees happy, Agile benefits have been realised by companies across sectors.
But with the pandemic close to decimating economies and companies having to grapple with uncertain market conditions, will Agile still continue to influence software development? What are the agile trends 2021 and more specifically trends in agile project management?
In this article, we attempt to look at some agile adoption statistics and forecast agile trends and future directions.
Optimizing your value streams to reduce costs and maximise productivity will be all the more important in the next decade. The principles of VSM that work from ideation to production help streamline processes at every stage.
Organizations have to reduce waste by identifying value adding processes and eliminating wasteful processes, improving time to market, enhancing product quality and meeting business outcomes.
The future is all about minimizing cost and maximising productivity. Agile methodology trends like Scrum and Lean help in value stream management.
As the age of digital transformation dawns, things will need to be done at lightning speed to ensure success. The one who gets out the product first to the consumer is the winner.
Organizations want teams that are high performing and predictable, churning out products that meet customer expectations and timelines. While Agile helps bring out this speed, it is DevOps which is the perfect backbone to enable this Agile transformation and frequently release working software to production.
Agility works great with small teams but in order to deliver complex projects that involve multiple teams, organizations must be able to scale Agile. Scaling agile ensures that application delivery is faster, communication is seamless, overlapping issues are resolved, and a greater governance is brought in to help teams work together to deliver large projects.
Formal structures like the Scaled Agile Framework help organizations in scaling Agile practices and helping them remain relevant in the market.
That Agile has to be learnt is well known. But how do you teach your large workforce to think and act Agile? How do you get them to follow the values and principles that will help them develop the Agile mind-set?
The key to this is the right training tools. Since agile is not a ‘one size fits all’, training your employees will help them understand the processes to follow and learn how to tailor it to suit the needs of your organization. Teams have to learn how to self-organize, follow processes and unlearn the traditional ways of working to avoid agile confusion and reap its benefits.
So, if you want to succeed as an Agile organization in the next decade, then training your staff would be a good starting point.
The ability of organizations to swing this was really tested during the pandemic. While Agile has always been a methodology for co-located teams, remote working is the norm rather than the exception now. And organizations must be able to make teams that are distributed geographically, to work and be productive.
You cannot achieve agile overnight. It takes time to do it right and hurrying will lead to an agile mish mash which will end up causing your team or organization more loss than gain. You may have started on the right path to agile but often there are obstacles that cannot be avoided.
Many organizations, therefore, adopt a hybrid methodology, which blends agile and a traditional methodology such as waterfall. This will help you understand the processes to be adopted without stopping work or productivity.
The adage that the ‘customer is king’, will never go out of style. The next decade will be all about ensuring continuous customer satisfaction. How does one that? By focusing on business needs and ensuring that plans go into production fast and there is a finished product that matches customer expectations.
There should be an awareness of market trends and a provision to incorporate new ideas and feedback into products to meet customer demands. Fast product delivery that does not compromise on quality or cost will be key to ensure customer satisfaction in the next decade.
Agile culture transformation is a major barrier to agile adoption. Often, a lack of leadership support is a driving factor for agile transformation failure.
Agile transformation is not just about implementing frameworks. There also has to be a high degree of employee and management level involvement and knowledge of processes and values to enable this shift. Agile culture adoption is a major factor that will make an organization’s transformation journey smoother with a higher chance of success.
Adopting these trends will help organizations:
The COVID-19 pandemic was a watershed moment for most organizations. Those that were sitting on the fence about whether or not to adopt agile were pushed into adopting it fast in order to survive in the market. Agile focuses on short iterations and fast response times. These features will define organizations of the future and help them cope with changing customer requirements.