Ever since its original principles were established in the Agile Manifesto, the popularity of the Agile has been on the rise. Recent surveys have shown that Agile Methodology is becoming the norm in IT, with professionals both leaning towards and using pure waterfall methods account for less than 10% of the software development world.

Another insight provided by the findings is that most companies are inclined to adapt to either an approach leaning towards agile or even a hybrid method. This would suggest that companies are willing to make the shift to Agile but they still need to work on implementing the methodology to the specificities of their business in particular.

Nevertheless, we’ve come a long way since 2001 and the original of the Agile Manifesto. The demands of the job market have changed significantly while the bar for efficiency has certainly been raised. You could also argue that impressive steps have been made towards better customer satisfaction.

The great thing about agile becoming so popular is that we can expect for it to evolve faster. More companies are adapting to it, meaning it’s being put to the test more often in different scenarios. We are getting a much better idea about what works and what doesn’t every single day. Combine that with the advancements in technology and you can bet there’s plenty of fresh ideas and improvements for Agile Methodology we can look forward to.

agile methodology

Agile Beyond Software Development

People tend to look over the fact that applying Agile Methodology principles to software development affects the rest of the company as well. The point being made is, if a portion of a company is agile, that segment will inevitably impact other processes and aspects of that particular business. Areas most commonly affected include organizational structure, overall management, customer support and so forth. Teams that are reluctant to find a way to deal with these consequences usually just end up getting frustrated and don’t ever get to experience the real benefits of agile.

One of the potential solutions to this conundrum has also become a big trend in the last couple of years. Many companies see the solution in spreading the basic principles of Agile Methodology beyond the boundaries of software development and integrating them into the work of other departments. This approach has resulted in the rise of concepts such as agile marketing, agile HR, agile sales and so forth.

While some fear this may be just a temporary fad and that it could actually hurt productivity, others believe it’s the proper way to move forward. It makes sense that the core principles could be applied in different areas and if this is the best way to create a complementary approach, it will surely be another great win for agile. Following this thread of thinking, we could be one-day discussing some sort of organizational agility methods that will boost effectiveness across all departments.

New Integrated Toolsets

If the latest trends continue, Agile methods will become a common thing for more than just one segment of the company. So the standard conditions will change, meaning other aspects of work need to be adjusted as well. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for integrated toolsets could which could play a key role in providing this new set of circumstances with the appropriate structure. They will hopefully utilize this opportunity for increasing effectiveness and raising agile processes to a new level. These new tools should bring a new era of cross-departmental collaboration and communication, improving performance anywhere from requirements to release.

Agile Education and Educating for Agile

By this point, we shouldn’t be surprised that Agile Methodology has made its way into education in the form of modern educational practices and classrooms. Agile Education is another attempt to redefine the traditional education system. It hopes to make a shift towards learning-in-sprints while placing a focus on values such as teamwork, innovation, and self-assessment. It also encourages students to develop a problem-solving mindset which is a standard in most workplaces and also a must for any modern professional.

The whole idea of reinventing education is not only there to enable superior learning methods. That’s just the first part of the story. If Agile Education becomes customary, the next generation will not only be learning better, but they will also learn relevant skills that will prepare them for the jobs of the future. This should help with the troublesome transitional period today’s graduate’s experience once they finish their education and try to get a job. Their skillset is not well-adjusted for the way modern workplaces operate which is why many young workers struggle to get a paying job straight out of college. However, these agile-inspired changes to the educational system could help bridge the gap.

Adding AI Into the Mix

These days, when we’re discussing future of anything really, we need to address the elephant in the room which is Artificial Intelligence. Advancements in AI and machine learning will certainly change the game but we can only speculate on the potential long-term consequences.

At this point, there are no valid arguments as to why AI would be incompatible with Agile. In fact, researchers are already working out ways to facilitate certain aspects of agile project management by making AI assistants. Areas in which AI could definitely be of enormous help to agile teams include automatic coding refactoring, analytics and error handling, and rapid prototyping to just name a few.

Powered by the amazing capabilities of domain-specific AI tools and empowered by principles of Agile Methodology, there’s absolutely no way to predict what that world might look like, aside from one thing that is certain. The boundaries of what we conceive to be possible will be moved and they will move a fair amount.

Conclusion

Improvements discussed so far are somewhat ordered chronologically but you can definitely expect certain deviations. In order for Agile Methodology to progress to the next stage, people need to develop a desire to understand the principles upon which it is founded a lot deeper. The most common reason why people have bad experiences with agile is because they haven’t given the implementation process enough thought. Bottom line is that the implementation of Agile Methodology is a big deal and people are probably right in saying that it isn’t for everyone. Even though it could be.

AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.