Agile started out as a software development technique, Agile methodology suits perfectly for IT companies that are looking to transform the way in which projects are managed and the way they operate as a whole.
The goal of any Agile practice must be based on principles, it must value individuals over processes, must focus on working software over documentation, must work in collaboration rather than against negotiated contracts, and most importantly must value responding to changing conditions and new information over blindly following a plan.
Many different proscriptive and prescriptive methodologies are built upon these principles. Scrum is probably the most common, with Scrum ban or Kanban a close second. To implement these methodologies, successful teams must reflect upon and validate their efforts against the foundational principles of Agile development as a whole. Blindly following Scrum without adaptation does not value individuals over processes or promote responding to change over following a plan!
Perhaps the biggest advantage Agile development practices bring to I.T businesses in general is, its emphasis on responding to change and focus on working on projects that matter when they matter. Agile methods don’t force us to attempt to divine the future in 9, 12, or 24-month projections. A properly-oriented Agile team has a list of the most important things they can work on; when they finish the most important thing on that list, they move to the next most important thing.
By using time-boxed, fixed schedule Sprints of 1-4 weeks, new features are delivered quickly and frequently,
with a high level of predictability.
This also provides the opportunity to release or beta test the software earlier than planned if there is sufficient business value
Applying Agile principles to IT approach allows us to accept the unknown and prioritize discovery and experimentation to drive out uncertainty before we fully commit to a solution.
In order for teams to be both accepting of uncertainty and responsive to change, there’s a need for rapid iteration and cyclical, comprehensive reviews as work is completed — to ensure that new discoveries are contemplated and current efforts are evaluated. Most Agile practices either time-box efforts (Scrum) or control the amount of “work in progress” (Kanban) to ensure efforts are completed within a reasonable amount of time. Those efforts are then reviewed with customers or customer proxies (such as internal services teams or stakeholder teams).