Agile and Lean - A Winning Combination
Day-by-day it is becoming more clear that we are moving towards a completely software-driven world. Today, consumers are using an increasing number of software applications daily, to carry out a huge range of tasks, without even realising it. Ordering taxis, getting a takeaway delivered, doing your grocery shopping- with just a few swipes, these jobs can be carried out anywhere and anytime, as long as you have an internet connection. Elsewhere, tools such as Microsoft Office and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software has become more and more important in business operations.
As the world becomes more software driven, businesses are not just implementing third party software solutions- they are creating their own as well. This means that they have to get the right programmers, developers, and engineers on board- a task that can be as difficult and time consuming as developing the app itself.
Not only do businesses need to attract the right talent but this talent needs to be able to work more efficiently and utilise the companies assets better. This is where methodologies such as Lean and Agile come in. No, we are not describing an athlete- these are processes that can revolutionise the way a business functions as well as how applications are developed and implemented.
Innovation moves at an ever-increasing speed and businesses are required to be responsive and adaptive to any changes that can occur. Agile methodology was created as a response to this need and it is a way of managing processes in a turbulent and unpredictable market. Agile is a development process where software development is completed in sprints, with each subsequent sprint building on what was learnt in the sprint before. It focuses on human feedback and ongoing communication and allows companies to properly adapt to changes so they can produce better results going forward. For a business to become agile, the culture needs to be truly transparent, continually challenging and empowering for everyone involved. The popularity of agile methodology is increasing with more than 70% of organisations incorporating agile approaches in their operations.
Alongside Agile methodologies, a number of businesses have been won over by Lean methodologies as well. One of the biggest management concepts of the last half a century, its modern application to current business issues means that it is ever-evolving. It was famously used by Toyota Production Systems in the 1950s and 1960s and at its most fundamental level, it optimises efficiency, continues to meet customers needs, and minimises any kind of waste. A simplified way of looking at Lean methodologies is to imagine that you have no money and act accordingly, even if you have millions in the bank.
By combining Lean and Agile methodologies, businesses can benefit from a winning combination as well as delivering real business results. Whilst refining this approach can be somewhat arduous, the rewards are well worth it. By keeping your finger on the pulse of the most successful business strategies, software development transformation can impact your business, staff, and product in immeasurably positive ways. The importance of software development cannot be underestimated and businesses should be open and willing to consider these methodologies, as well as DevOps and Lean to Six Sigma, to create a blueprint for success. As software developers and technical professionals, the ability to adapt and work within one, or all of these environments can set you apart from the rest.
Authored by the Finerton.com News Team (Malta)
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