The Pros and Cons of an Agile Methodology

In a fast moving and increasingly competitive world, businesses are continually on the lookout for new ways to innovate and thereby optimise their operations. Right now, the latest trend for many organisations is a move towards an agility-centred approach, and it’s clear that adopting this methodology can offer a number of attractive benefits. However, it’s important to look at the full picture before making any changes, as there can be downsides to this approach, too.

 

Defining Agility

So what exactly is this approach? Also commonly referred to as an agile methodology, it has been around for over twenty years. It involves breaking down projects into a number of smaller, more manageable tasks, with a focus on collaborative working across different teams or departments. The aim is to approach each of a project’s composite tasks with flexibility and speed, with continuous feedback forming the cornerstone of the process. Team members are expected to continually assess the requirements, progress and results of each task, thereby enabling them to adapt and make changes as necessary.

Whilst this methodology was initially created to support software development, businesses in other sectors quickly recognised its value. This approach to project management has been embraced by those working in areas such as product and process development. In these scenarios, agility is implemented through repeated cycles (known as iterations) of review, test, build, and design, with each cycle lasting between one and four weeks, on average. By tackling product and process development in this way, continuous feedback and adjustments become a natural part of the process of product development.

 

The Pros And Cons

As we already mentioned, adopting such an approach allows teams to make the adjustments needed, when they are needed, before small issues snowball into major problems. This is ultimately beneficial in speeding up the overall time to launch. Keeping teams communicating effectively (preferably face to face) is a key tenet of the methodology, and helps to eliminate confusion and delay, as does the avoidance of siloed teams.

By focusing on smaller, more manageable tasks, this approach also helps to ensure that employees stay motivated, with tangible results quickly becoming evident and their individual feedback and input being valued throughout the process. In this way, the methodology can even help to foster a positive company culture and contribute to the firm’s ability to retain its valuable talent by reducing the risk of burnout or job dissatisfaction.

However, there can be downsides to this approach, too. The very nature of a nimble, flexible working style can mean that if the projects are not well managed, there is a risk of losing control. A lack of predictability is also cited as a potential downside: not all employees will relish this new approach and it can also make it tricky to calculate the projected costs or time scale for a new project.

The open-ended cyclical nature of such projects can mean that there is a greater risk of missing key deadlines. To successfully carry out a project with agility as the focus, it is essential that those involved are fully aware of the methodology, and can commit to working in the collaborative, communicative way necessary to drive the desired results.

 

Succeeding With This Approach

It makes sense to power agile teams with the right kind of talent and this is where rmg digital can help. Our knowledge and expertise in this methodology means that your talent resourcing will be in the best possible hands, allowing your organisation to successfully transition to this new way of working.

 

At rmg digital, we take the time to match your business with the right candidates, ensuring that each hire contributes to your ideal company culture. Why not get in touch today, and discover how rmg digital can deliver the resourcing solution your business needs for a successful future?

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