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What is Agile

Agile is a way of thinking about how you perform work. It is about being flexible, adjusting quickly and improving continuously. Meanwhile, you communicate well with your team and quickly respond to new ideas or problems, instead of sticking to a strict plan.

The term agile stems from the word ‘agility’ and that is precisely what you need as a team or organization in today’s rapidly changing world. That is why you see more organizations and teams starting to work Agile. A positive side effect is that employees often experience more job happiness. This is because Agile emphasizes on self-organizing teams that make their own decisions. This creates a greater sense of involvement and fulfillment.

The history of Agile

The origin of Agile is found in the world of software development. Traditional software development methods, such as the waterfall method, often struggled with changing requirements and market pressure. In the early 2000s, a group of visionary software developers came together and formulated an alternative approach to tackle these challenges.

This group of people, also known as the “Agile Alliance,” presented the Agile Manifesto in 2001. This manifesto laid the foundation for a new way of working within software development. It was based on flexibility, collaboration, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

The Agile Manifesto embraced values such as:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

These principles emphasized human interactions, continuous improvement and delivering valuable products that better meet the needs of users.

Since then, Agile has evolved from a method for software development into a broad philosophy applicable to various sectors and disciplines (beyond IT). The flexible approach of Agile helps organizations adapt to a rapidly changing world. It has been successfully applied in project management, product development, marketing and even in non-business related contexts such as education and healthcare.

Since its introduction, Agile has produced countless iterations, practices, and frameworks (such as Scrum and Kanban). These continue to evolve to meet the demands of modern businesses and teams.

The history of Agile reflects a shift in thinking and working, focusing on flexibility, collaboration and continuous improvement to better meet the needs of a dynamic world.

Agile in short

1. Flexibility and Adaptability

Agile is about embracing changes and responding quickly to new information or priorities, regardless of the project domain. It encourages teams to be flexible and adapt to evolving circumstances.

2. Collaboration and Interaction

It emphasizes the value of teamwork and interaction between individuals. This promotes an environment where teams can brainstorm, exchange ideas, and make decisions together, regardless of the project’s nature.

3. Customer Focus

Agile considers the needs and feedback of customers, leading to products or services that better match the desires of users. This principle is applicable in various fields beyond just software development.

4. Step by Step Progress

It utilizes incremental development where results are achieved in small, manageable steps. This promotes the continuous improvement of projects in different contexts.

Looking for an Agile coach?

As an Agile coach, I support larger organizations in their journey towards more agility, value and job happiness. Read more here.

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