Until a few years back, management of a project was vertical. In this method, communication and processes flowed from top to bottom. The tightly controlled processes brought about efficiency and predictability, but at the cost of flexibility. This caused projects to be rigid, where a defined end product, not speed, was the mantra for project success.
But as projects began to get more complex, software developers felt the need for a horizontal approach where communication and processes occur in parallel. This horizontal ideology called Agile, was developed to satisfy customers by accommodating their changing scope while giving power back to the team. Agile is more of a mind-set than a process and it focuses on continuous innovation and improvisation, allowing quality checks at every stage.
With the creation of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, it has become a major force to reckon with, in software development and many other sectors. Since implementing Agile requires a shift in thinking from vertical to horizontal, organizations need talented professionals who can carry out the job; those who know the how’s and why’s of Agile and go about transforming an organization’s processes to adopt this iterative approach.
These change agents go through intensive training while undertaking certification courses like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®), which introduces Lean/Agile principles at the Team, Program, and Portfolio levels.
Once this gets implemented at the enterprise level it brings about changes like, decentralization of decision-making, Agile release trains, self-managing teams, and Agile estimating and planning; the result of which are deliverance of business benefits and transparency in the process.