The Agile approach to software development emerged in the 1990’s as a result of the increased usage of software by businesses, and eventually end-users. The software development processes being used before this time, while adequate for large infrastructure projects, were inadequate for developing commercial software which contained much more variation to specifications.
The Waterfall model was believed to be the first software development process model to be introduced to the software engineering industry. This belief is supported by the timeline of events surrounding the emergence of the Waterfall model - The term ‘software engineering’ was coined in 1965 by Margaret Hamilton, a developer at NASA, only five years before the first publication about the Waterfall approach.
You want your business to be running like you’re driving on an empty highway. But, at the moment, it might feel like you’re driving at 5.00 p.m. on a Monday in the middle of the city – backed up. Of course, you know that traffic ebbs and flows, becomes more congested at some points than others, as more cars attempt to push in where there’s not enough space. This is what we call a bottleneck.
Many business owners and senior managers share concerns about whether their business is currently growing fast enough. Others complain that their business is an operational nightmare!
Have you ever found yourself looking at your business and thinking the workload is getting unmanageable, projects half-complete, some late, and teams working too much overtime? It can often feel like you’re using a lot of energy just to keep your head above water.
Managers often say, “It’s all good. Everything is under control,” when that is far from the truth. Fires are occurring in their department faster than they can put them out.
The reports don’t tell you the truth! They often use individual data points which show individual trends, but the overall underlying trend is hidden underneath the ‘noise’ of daily variation.
There’s a juggling act going on in the background to try to keep dev teams and customers happy. Product development are screaming, “It’s the sales team fault we are so behind – they keep making promises we can’t keep.” Sales are screaming, “It’s the development team’s fault for not meeting the deadlines.” Finance is complaining, “We should be taking this product to market by now” Development is complaining, “We need more devs to get the backlog down.”
It’s difficult to gain visibility over the inner workings and patterns of your business while the business is simultaneously trying to keep its customers happy, keep its staff happy, and get the work finished.
If you’ve ever looked around the office and thought your business has too many different files and systems, you may have come to these terrifying conclusions:
You wouldn’t be the first to say, “Yes, my people are busy...” then question, “So, where are the results? Why do they produce so little?”
Right now, you are probably using a software system to track projects and issues within your business. If you suspect that your software or processes are not getting the job done or your projects are not running as smoothly as you would like, you may be right!