Right First Time: What is Agile?

In Right First Time we explore how assuring successful change management is crucial in insurance transformational programmes. Dynamic software applications allow insurers to transact policies and enable digital platforms more effectively than ever before. However, implementation is not merely a matter of getting it done, but of getting it done right the first time, every time. In today’s blog post, we discuss Agile – and why it’s such an effective way of working.

What is Agile?

Agile is an umbrella term for a set of entwined project philosophies, practices and frameworks used in software development. Arising from incremental development methods evolved during the 1970’s, Agile is a reaction against inefficient and time-consuming project methodologies. It applies a lightweight approach to developing software, accenting the ability to deliver capable working software in a flexible, innovative environment.

Philosophy

Agile is a set of values and principles, which guide those working on a project. For the most part, these ways of thinking attempt to return natural human behaviours to the workplace. Self-organisation, collaboration and communication are the primary actions the philosophy attempts to reassert. To do so, the values and principles act as a conduit for project participants to manifest those innately human behaviours with confidence.

Practices

Agile incorporates a proven set of working practices, underpinned by the philosophy, providing spaces for defined project activities to take place. These include the eponymous daily stand-up, and the daily check-in for a team, allowing them to focus on what they are delivering and to update each other on progress.

Framework

Agile operates within a framework. The framework is the structure and components within which the practices reside. For small projects, the framework will be light-touch organisational tool. For large, or enterprise-level programmes, a comprehensive framework is employed, to efficiently administer all aspects of the project. The framework also defines each project role and its responsibilities, so that every participant understands what is demanded of them.

How this way of working helps large-scale programmes

Agile helps because it works. When brought together, the philosophies, practices, and frameworks dovetail together to allow teams of people to deliver successful software developments. JCURV report that those companies who instil a strong Agile culture, improve their commercial performance by a phenomenal 237%.

Our Agile Experience

We’ve been working in the ways of Agile for over two decades now; so it’s fair to say we know a thing or two about how it works. At the heart of it is good communication between individuals, teams, stakeholders…everyone! You can check out our case studies here – our clients can tell you how well our ways of working have worked for them and their insurance programmes.

If you need help with your Agile project, contact us today!