“I’ve never used agile before and I’m scared it will be too hard to get my whole team on board with it.” We’ve heard it before. Too many times. And we realize agile may be new to you and your company. But while it might take a slight rewiring of how stakeholders think about projects from the onset – and how designers and developers are used to working at your firm – it quickly becomes apparent that projects consistently run smoother on agile. And better results are produced. Plus, you likely can admit that waterfall isn’t the perfect process. While it might feel like it is more under control because everything is mapped out from the beginning, projects undoubtedly take longer than they need to and cost more than they should. Waterfall also doesn’t allow the flexibility to change things mid-project as new insights come to life.
I have a fixed budget that doesn’t work with agile! Au contraire! Nothing about agile says it can’t meet a strict budget. Agile gives you dedicated resources. Generally, there is a fixed cost to a sprint that includes X team members. An agile team can estimate approximately how long it will take to complete the goals that you have outlined and that will give you a budget. As the project evolves and you choose to add a new feature, agile lets you drop a similarly sized feature so that you can stick to the initial budget.
Agile can be unpredictable. But all projects are unpredictable. It is impossible to know exactly what your end users want. Agile embraces this unpredictability and leverages it to produce better results.
Developers make all the features
Another common misconception of agile is that the developers get to choose what is important and what is implemented when. That could not be further from the truth. Before each sprint begins there is a comprehensive sprint planning meeting where all the key stakeholders determine which features will be implemented in that sprint. This meeting includes developers, designers, business people and anyone else involved in the product. Not just developers determining what to build willy-nilly.
It doesn’t care about the long term
Some people believe that because agile focuses on short-iterative releases it doesn’t take into account the long-term needs and goals. Agile actually benefits the long term. At a minimum, it is just a different means to get to the end. By having something that you can actually test earlier in the process, it lets you make better decisions for the long-term.
Requires more teamwork
Agile requires collaboration between designers and developers. Fortunately, most designers and developers love to collaborate. While there can be a bit more upfront work to get everyone on the same page, the end result is a better product, faster and for less money.