In this President's Letter, Frederica explores how Agile is affecting the multi-generational movement as the methodology of choice.
President, JB Homer Associates
The Multi-Generational Movement of AGILE and its Purpose
by Frederica Bolgouras
AGILE is resonating amongst all multi-generational technology professionals today as the movement which seeks alternatives to traditional project management.
In the new economy which started in 2010, the great recession had a major impact on the world's workforce. In a century, our world has shifted from The Industrial Workforce (1910), to The Knowledge Workforce (1960), to The Creative Workforce (2010). Soft skills in the creative economy are now based on generating new concepts, innovative technology, and new works of art. Today, the workforce is driven by autonomy and purpose with an eye toward planned obsolescence.
Three key performance drivers for a creative economy to flourish are first, to focus on working directly with potential customers to understand their unmet needs and to develop empathy for their issues; secondly, to create a rapid, iterative approach to discovering what solutions you might be able to provide to meet those needs; thirdly, to shift from thinking about requirements to testing different hypotheses in the marketplace before investing and developing the product.
Waterfall methodology began with a linear, fixed approach to software development by gathering and documenting requirements, design, code/unit testing, system-testing performance, user-acceptance testing performance, fixing issues, and product delivery.
Agilists on the other hand, proposed alternatives to waterfall, or any traditional sequential development. They set up the traditional Project Manager role differently. Their ability to proceed using an agile method helped the team to re-evaluate its direction of a project every two weeks and to be able to change it.
Agile is better at delivering working software, but the jury is out on delivering value to its customers. It is better for short-term vs. long-term projects depending on the size of the company. Therefore, a hybrid approach is another way in which companies are currently implementing change within the current development system.
Now the company has created a competitive advantage in the marketplace as the agile process has reduced both development costs and speed to market. Teams can actually develop software at the same time as they gather requirements. Agile empowers teams to continuously re-plan their release and to optimize product value throughout development, instead of committing to market a piece of software from scratch. Moreover, the development of agile methodology preserves a product's critical market relevance. Now the team can reconfigure and build the right product to present to the company stakeholders successfully. If you take it one step further, Cloud Computing and Virtualization can enhance the agilist's way of conducting business by creating cloud-based services, project management, and software.
Today, a nimble mindset will play a more significant role to add value in real-time development, functionality, and purpose to a budding company.
What are your insights, experiences and thoughts toward this new creative economy? What would you do differently?