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6 Agile Trends in 2019 to look out for mid-year.

How ‘Agile’ is 2019 going to be. 

Agile! The word conjures up the image of the Savannahs, with a sprightly antelope or two swiftly sprinting away as the powerful pride of lionesses gives chase. But then antelopes are built to behave that way; otherwise, they would be dead meat! The lion is a whole different game, though. Wondering what do antelopes and beasts have in common with, say a developer sitting in his very much manmade cubicle punching away furiously? Well, both are capable of great Agility if they want to achieve something.

In the present scenario, the technology invented months earlier is becoming obsolete, with newer, more innovative concepts and approaches published daily. And the good news is that all these super-smart gadgets require software, the lifeblood of technology.  The IT industry is at the centre of this revolution that is already taking the world by storm. But what is most certainly a boon to the sector has also become its bane, since the industry is not entirely equipped to take full advantage of this global demand. And that is where Agile comes into play. What is Agile? The Agile manifesto is a well-defined approach to software development that is being adopted by organisations to achieve enterprise-wide agility. This methodology equips developers to respond more effectively to the unpredictability of coding and software development. There are so many advantages that AGILE offers over the more conventional form of software development and testing. For a more detailed explanation of Agile and its implementation in software, there will be a follow-up article soon.

For now, we shall delve into what are the latest trends that are making the rounds, mid-2019.

1) Leaders are getting Agile– Seventeen years after the Agile manifesto came into existence, companies are finally realising the role of leadership involvement while undergoing an Agile transformation. Most issues at the core begin, not with just the team that is floundering but also because of problems higher up the corporate ladder. A good leader leads, but a great leader leads from behind. Meaning, the boss should know the ‘What, How and When’, of all procedures being followed, all the while handling the inevitable issues that will crop up. When an organization is getting Agile ready, there will be major shakeups and a lot of ‘dirt will get aired’ during this transformation; however, when the boss is truly involved with the team they are leading, and when a company has committed to becoming Agile in the true sense of the word, then, they will be a force to reckon with.

Some key areas that organizations are looking to change are:

  • Structural changes
  • Culture driven behavioural changes.
  • Streamlined decision-making processes initiated by the leadership.

 

2) Rise in implementation of Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) – More and more companies are heading over to the side of SAFe®, which is fast gaining recognition. This is advantageous for large organizations with thousands of employees, managers and top-level leaders, where the more sedate SCRUM (used at the team level) may not be exactly viable. However, organizations are yet to see significant results with SAFe®. A decade earlier, there was a scramble to implement SCRUM at the team level as a result of competition, but this did not find purchase in the long run. Now organizations are once again set to make the same mistake with SAFe®. SAFe® only works when the focus shifts from ‘practice’ to ‘outcome’. Meaning, an organization must become ‘product-driven’ and look at the outcome that a client requires. So, what does this translate to, incorporate jargon?

Companies should have clear objectives, what they want to achieve using SAFe ® and how to use it to ensure success in accomplishing what they want. Only then will SCRUM or SAFe ® or anything for that matter, work in the corporate set up.

3) Agile goes non-IT – Organizations are elementally, a lot of human beings working together towards a common goal. So it goes without saying that there are many aspects to a company other than its technical section. As of now, Agile is being implemented in the software domain. However, it is being noticed that resounding successes with Agile implementation in technical teams are getting stifled by bureaucratic lethargy and outdated processes. So, why not get the whole company up and running and Agile? Top managements are looking at Agile implementation across other domains such as Operations, Marketing and HR. With the emphasis on continuous improvement while also empowering teams, companies are looking to get a complete Agile makeover, rather than in a few key areas.

4) Distributed Agile – With the advent of high-quality Internet access even in the most remote locations all over the globe, many companies have different teams operating from many regions that are culturally and linguistically diverse. Many time developers and testers are not even in the same time zones. However, if each of these teams is Agile oriented, they will be self-organized and collaborate seamlessly with each other. So, making software that is truly global becomes that much easier.

5) Cloud-based Agile solutions – More and more companies are looking at Cloud-based solutions rather than the conventional methods being used until now. This ensures reduced costs because of the decrease in time taken to develop, test and deploy software. Reduced costs and time frames of Cloud-based solutions, means increased efficiency while also making world-class enterprise technology more accessible to everyone involved.

6) Risk management through Continuous testing – In an Agile development project, it makes sense to implement continuous testing in the delivery process at every level. This ensures that functionality is being tested regularly in the form of multiple virtual test environments. Modifications are easier to implement while regression rate and testing efforts are reduced. This improves overall productivity within the team.

In the growing competition between market leaders to gain an advantage over each other, it makes sense to employ every conceivable tool in the trade to muscle your way in. Like the antelope, success can be elusive, one must be alert and responsive and AGILE, in this case to market trends. But if you want to change the game and be a King in the business world, it is time to adopt a different approach. What are you waiting for then? Get AGILE and watch your business transform into corporate magic.