Using an agile mindset allows us to be flexible in working with clients and deliver innovative solutions that meet business goals. To put it simply, having an agile mindset means uncovering better ways to develop software, and help others do the same. Agile isn’t a process, and it doesn’t have rules. Instead, it has values—four values, which embody the agile mindset.
While there’s certainly value in a process or tool, we value individuals more. Interacting with individuals within an organization is better than promoting a predefined and fixed process, approach or methodology, which may not fit or meet their unique needs. Instead, carefully listen to clients, and then work together to create a solution as unique as they are.
2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
Getting working software into a client’s hands early is more important than preparing labor-intensive specification documents. In reality, it’s difficult to really know what a solution should look like until someone has a chance to see it and use an early version.
So, after trying it out, clients will be in a better position to provide feedback. Then you’re able to listen to what they like, determine what needs more work and turn their feedback into an iteration (or a solution update). You can continually refine the solution with the client until they have exactly what’s needed to meet their unique business needs.
3. Responding to change over following a plan
The agile mindset for managing change actually increases project stability because change is more predictable and manageable. As new events unfold, incorporate those realities into the ongoing work. Any new item becomes an opportunity to provide additional value instead of an obstacle to avoid. Some project teams blindly follow a plan, and hope for the best.
4. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
The agile pioneers understood that collaboration produces better, leaner, more useful solutions. Because of this understanding, agile solutions are ultimately user-driven.
Using an agile mindset results in a partnership between clients—a partnership where the discovery phase fosters ideas and revisions so that learning and adjusting during the course of the project becomes routine, acceptable and systematic. By allowing changes to features and specifications as the project progresses, the client has direct control over production, as well as the costs associated, which assures that we deliver a well-tested and cost-effective solution that meets their exact needs.
Grasping an agile mindset can be difficult. It contradicts older, more traditional waterfall principles. It’s not for everyone, but, for those in the public and private sector who have adopted the agile mindset, it’s proven to be the new industry standard.