Everyone talks about Agile and the agile approach, but what does it really mean and how do you work more agilely?
The word ‘agile’ comes from the word ‘agility’, which means agile or mobile. It’s about working smarter by shifting our focus in the way we develop software. Products cannot be produced in a vacuum; they must be developed in full transparency with the end user in focus. It's about being responsive and asking for feedback from the market. At the same time, agile advocates for the people who create the processes, rather than controlling the process itself. The members of a team are individuals with unique expertise which changes as and when necessary, not interchangeable parts that keep a process going.
Changing a delivery model to agile involves a cultural shift. The company must change its mindset and methods in order to respond to changes in the market or legislation. In practice, this means that dependencies and rigid processes that exist around the product must be reduced. At the same time, the product must be developed on a proper technical foundation, which enables the service to frequently deliver value to the customer.
Cegal and Agile
At Cegal, we have embraced the agile method in our product and service development.
Products have traditionally been delivered through the classic ‘waterfall model’. There is nothing exactly wrong with this way of delivering software, but it does require a high degree of predictability as regards requirements and needs. However, this is rarely how it works. More and more actors are collaborating both internally and externally, across national borders and security walls – most systems are now part of a wider ecosystem. Product development is no longer an easy matter and you must use agile methods if you are going to make products at this level.
Given that the future is approaching us faster these days – and that needs are more changeable – most businesses today have to decide how to work with their IT portfolio. We believe that companies that fail to change course will quickly become outperformed and outdated, if they fail to deliver a timeless, "vintage" product that only gets better over the years.