Why Agile Works
The first thing we want to say is that Agile is all about delivering more business value in a given time period (time box). Agile is a way of getting a lot more business value out of your investment in products or projects. Agile is both wonderfully simple and perplexingly involved (in part because people, who are complex, are involved).
Agile should lead, in some tangible ways, to a better life for you, the Team, and your customers.
Agile recognizes that software is developed by people in a team, and not developed by a process or by tools. Nor much by individuals anymore. So, it treats people right, supports them as a Team, and recognizes their greatness and their weaknesses. It recognizes that creativity and learning will make the work successful. And these common-sense insights are keys to its success.
Does Agile have to be implemented perfectly? No. It is simple to implement, in a way. But the value received is generally in proportion to the rigor and effort in implementing Agile. For all clients we have worked with, Agile involves some major organizational changes. Get a coach; get the best coach you can find and afford.
In our opinion, Scrum is the place to start with Agile. It puts in place a method for the business and technology sides to collaborate. It provides a way to focus on achieving business value. It establishes methods to organize and control the work. It releases a substantial (higher) portion of the team’s energy and allows the team to evolve toward better work practices (e.g., better engineering practices) at a pace that makes sense for the team and the work, and makes sense in the context of your organization.