What Is Agile: Philosophy and Principles?
Simply, the word “philosophy” can be defined as a way of thinking about the universe, the word, and society. In the same manner, “to be agile” will require a new way of thinking, a mindset that is based on a completely different philosophy, values, and principles.
This philosophy has been coined in 2001, famously known as the Agile Manifesto. The Manifesto represents 4 core values and 12 principles, which today are the building blocks for the Agile way of managing projects (not only in the software development industry).
When we try to implement Agile for project management, we need to understand that it is crucial also to internalize the Agile philosophy and mindset within the organization. We need to teach our organization that being agile is not merely applying tools and techniques and following a methodology.
What Is the Difference Between Waterfall and Agile?
The Waterfall Model, also known as Liner Sequential Life Cycle Model, is probably one of the most popular methods for managing projects. Often, it is referred to as a traditional project management approach. As it comes from its name, Waterfall is a linear approach to development. It is based on strict planning and executing the plan step-by-step.
However, this type of linear approach to development often cannot respond to the business needs in a dynamic and rapidly changing environment we live in. For example, after you finish a project, the customer can be disappointed with its results.
Because all the work on the project is based on the initial documentation, and the result may not meet the customer’s expectations. In a Waterfall project, the fixing of failures at this stage of work will require lots of extra time and cost. It will have to be re-build from the start.
The core differences between Waterfall and Agile are:
- Waterfall is suitable for projects with well-defined requirements where almost no changes are expected (building a 20-store hotel). Agile works smoothly when there is a higher chance of frequent requirement changes (making digital products).
- In Agile, project requirements can change practically daily. In Waterfall, project requirements are defined only once by the BA (business analyst).
- Waterfall follows a sequential linear approach. Agile allows us to make changes in any phase; thus, the benefits of the agility and flexibility it offers.
- In an Agile project’s description, details can be altered anytime even late in the project, while this is not possible in Waterfall, where the plan is predefined.
We can speculate a lot with the advantages of Agile as a philosophy for achieving business agility. However, in the last decade, we have seen a massive shift in all industries, from traditional project management to Agile project management.
“Why Agile” is not a one-sentence explanation. Agile must be well-understood and vastly welcomed on all levels within your organization.
Our answer to “Why Agile” is represented by 9-piece-articles, written from what we have experienced by implementing Agile in each department in our company.