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Why is everyone looking for agility in their processes?
It starts from a principle of flexibility to bring speed and efficiency to the product, always taking into account the requirements of the client and the market.
So, what is agility all about?
It is a set of management methods oriented to allow the adaptation of work methods to the nature of the context and of the project in particular. It starts from a principle of flexibility to bring speed and efficiency to the product, always taking into account the requirements of the client and the market. In general, the final result means lower production costs.
It consists, more than anything else, of a collaborative work philosophy that divides projects into parts with short execution deadlines, organizing tasks that follow one after the other in a dynamic way and in multidisciplinary teams.
A culture that thinks about individuals
"This culture came to remind us that we work with people and for people". Camila Bolaños, who is a computer engineer, a specialist in agile methodologies, and a speaker at ACL Academy (ACL's technology preparation institute) explains that -beyond adapting to the environment- one of the main characteristics of agile methodologies is that they take into account people to deliver value.
And that value depends on the customer; it is their perception of value that will define it for the company. This is how Alejandro Bedini, a computer engineer with a master’s degree in Software Development, explains it: "Agility, for me, has 3 fundamental axes. The Mindset change, defining the value that our customers demand and engaging employees and collaborators in the process".
Origin and implementation
Although its implementation began in the 1990s in the area of technology, it was in 2001 when a group of CEOs from the main software developers met and created the Agile Manifesto: "A model of continuous improvement in which the result is planned, created, tested and improved. Something that is constant and fast, with shortened delivery deadlines that seek to avoid dispersion and focus all attention on a given task".
This provided an alternative to traditional ways of working, which were much more structured and therefore less permeable to change. In contrast, agility allows companies to innovate in product development, in their processes, and also in their business model, thanks to the contribution of this methodology in the strategic design and operations of the organization.
Specifically, what are they for?
- Improved quality. In general, errors are minimized, as corrections are applied to each part of the process, thus improving the functionality of the product or service for the customer.
- Increases commitment and satisfaction. By promoting this work culture among members of the organization and collaborators, there is more active participation and greater identification on the part of employees with the company's values.
- More speed is achieved. By shortening production cycles, reaction times are minimized and, therefore, decisions are more timely, generating immediate corrections.
- Increased productivity. By allocating resources according to the company's priorities, production improves.
- Cost reduction. This happens thanks to the elimination of waste, which refers to resources, processes, and time.