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Organizations that aim to achieve success have made customer satisfaction one of the primary areas to focus on. Focusing on customer service is easier said than done, as you may need to make drastic changes to your operations in order to do so. In the dynamic world of software development, keeping in mind the ever-changing client requirements, the traditional method of segmenting development into phases is quickly becoming unsuitable.
Enter Agile. The term defines an approach to software development that is based around iterative development. An Agile environment is one where self-organized teams collaborate and share ideas to produce solutions based on the ever-changing requirements of a project. It defines a set of best practices to approach during the development process to meet client requirements and produce high-quality product.
In 2001, a group of fourteen people joined heads to analyze the traditional business operation model. The group questioned practices, and sought to align the best practices in a manifesto that would enable an agile environment for industries such as the IT industry. The group formulated and created a manifesto of 4 key values and 12 principles, and called it the Agile Manifesto.
The manifesto outlines four key values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Agile is built on the foundations of these 4 keys values.
But Agile alone is not the recipe for success. It requires a framework. This is where Scrum comes in.
Scrum works as part of an Agile word environment. Agile is not a method, but instead, it serves as the backbone. It is a mindset that places emphasis on self-organized teams, teamwork, incremental style of work, and learns and evolves as you move.
There are other frameworks out there such as XP and Waterfall, but Scrum is the most widely used Agile framework, as evident by the number of Agile Scrum training programs available. Scrum emphasizes on dividing work into chunks. Each chunk is distributed among individuals or teams that presently forward their deliverables in “sprints” that last days or two-four weeks.
This method allows teams to review and test components as they complete tasks. More importantly, it provides the flexibility needed to keep up with client demands which may change during the development process. Teams review their work, and in retrospect, formulate better ways of how things could have been done.
Agile Scrum has gained popularity among software development organizations. Some of them are:
3M, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American manufacturer that produces a number of products which range from medical products to electronic circuits. When 3M decided to venture into providing turn-key systems, and major software components to be used in RFID Track and Trace market, 3M faced a bit of a roadblock.
According to 3M, its software development previously relied on traditional Waterfall process. But this traditional model was not serving the dynamic nature of software development, especially when 3M wanted to lower the cost of its software product development while increasing the speed of development of new applications.
The organization opted to install Agile with Scrum methodology for its software development. The move required many changes. But ultimately, it was rewarding. The ability to create self-organized teams that can be reactive to the customer requirements and push priorities as deemed fit turned out to be well worth the efforts.
IBM is one of the biggest technology companies in the world known for creating computer hardware. Agile Scrum played a huge role in improving IBM’s business operations so much so that it offers its own management software that incorporates agile development environment called IBM Rational Team Concert.
IBM began by identifying three areas of change:
The end result was that IBM witnessed improvements across the board, in metrics such as on-time delivery, defect backlog, beta defects fixed before GA, maintenance and innovation.
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The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) is the third-largest bank in Australia, with thousands of employees working towards providing commercial and retail banking to its customers.
ANZ announced the adoption of Agile with sprint framework. Since announcing the move in 2017, the organization was already seeing the benefits of Agile. According to the CEO of ANZ, the organization previously lost its leadership due to a lack of investment of time and resources in their banking app. But with the new ways of working and human-centered design principles, it has the agility to release new functions and features on a monthly basis.
Google is part of Alphabet Inc., which stands as the second-biggest tech company in the world. Its success in the fast-paced world of delivery of timely updates for its applications can be credited to an Agile based mindset.
Google has multiple applications such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Calendar, Google Assistant, to name a few. All these apps require frequent updates that need to be tested extensively before they are rolled out to users.
One big example is how Google builds and improves on its Android OS. It allows users to participate in a beta program by using a functioning Android OS. Gradually, one feature or a set of them are released to beta testers, and if feedback reports indicate several bugs or major issues with usability, the update is rolled back.
The music streaming service is another notable entity that has successfully implemented an Agile environment and gained great results from it.
Spotify has several employees who are organized into squads. Each squad is responsible for building and maintaining a specific function of the Spotify app. By taking this approach, Spotify is able to assign each squad their respective tasks without running into the fear that one bad commitment will break the entire platform.
The result? Spotify is one of the leading music streaming services that is giving the likes of Apple and Google a run for their money.
Agile Scrum has proved itself beneficial for multiple organizations. It was initially sought out by software development organizations, but is being implemented in other organizations as well. If you are looking to implement Agile strategies in your organization, do check out our Agile Scrum training courses.
Still unsure how Agile Scrum Master can help individuals and teams to advance their careers and business goals? Talk to our experts for advice and guidance.