What is Agile?

Agile is what exactly?


Agile is a business methodology that revolves around a Build, Measure and Learn cycle, because this type of methodology allows for changes to happen at any point of the production cycle, it’s given is name Agile. Agile focuses on learning, building fast and making an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Agile helps teams respond and work to unpredictability through incremental & iterative work and empirical feedback. Agilists propose alternatives to waterfall which is a traditional business method. Within Agile, businesses work typically in 2 week ‘Sprints‘ during this sprint, the entire team work constantly to achieve product goals set out before a sprint has started.

Agile the perfect business methodology for business startups as you don’t require a large team (5 – 10 people) to start and you don’t need as many resources as traditional business methods.

Agile focuses around 12 principles that are vital to a products success;

  1. Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development
  3. Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
  4. Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  5. Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  6. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  7. Working software is the principal measure of progress
  8. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  10. Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
  12. Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective, and adjusts accordingly

 

Build – Building an MVP so that we can test our hypotheses and questions

Measure – We use our MVP to test and we measure it with metrics and stats to see if our MVP answered our hypotheses an questions

Learn – We look at our metrics and check what we learnt from our MVP and what we should change etc.

 

Agile follows a ‘Small batch Method’ which means that instead of delivering large chunks (If not even a whole product) all in one go, we deliver small bite size pieces so that we can constantly test and validate our little chunks rather than the entire product, for example, I wouldn’t deliver a full app that tracks public transport. Instead I would deliver the tracking feature, then the journey planner etc. This allows us to constantly test to make sure that this is what the customer and the client wants.

 

What is an MVP and why build one?


Before building an MVP you must need something to test, whether it be your MVP will be a good fit in the market or whether customers really want a product like this. An MVP is something that a business builds as part of the build, measure & learn cycle, MVP tells us to build something in the most minimalist form but still tests our hypotheses. For example, if I wanted to build an app around locating the whereabouts of local public transport, I would include a bus tracker, however, I would not include a journey rating system. This is because in an MVP, only necessity parts of the product are built, anything else is considered waste and should not be built until after the MVP has been built.

This is because, before you create an MVP you have hypotheses or questions that you set out to answer by building an MVP, anything that you build that won’t help answer your hypotheses or questions is considered waste because why build it right? It won’t help you in your learning journey. Building an MVP allows a fully working product to get into clients hands quickly compared to more traditional business methods, because of this, clients can see the product and check to make sure that they are happy with the product and they can decide what they would like to change, this makes it a change for the better in comparison to traditional methods where a user/client would receive a product only at the end of the production cycle, which could be complete garbage and then after all that hard work and effort the product fails.

Now that you have a basic understanding, why don’t you check out my other blogs where I go more in depth about the Build section of the Build|Measure|Learn cycle!