What is Agile?
Agile is a philosophy put together in 2001 by 17 authors, the Scrum Alliance, and it is based on twelve principles and 4 core values, all stated in the Agile Manifesto.
This manifesto was later translated into numerous languages all over the world. The Agile set of values and principles has been broadly adopted by organizations and teams in need of more responsiveness to user needs and market changes.
Wirtek was one of the very early adopters of Agile methodologies in Romania. The main reason behind this decision was the typology of our customers, such as start-ups, small companies, companies that are about to build a prototype or a new product. This type of customer has a great need for flexibility, in terms of both budget and timeline.
In general, Agile methodologies turned out to be more easily embraced by smaller or medium-sized companies in the software developing industry. This is because Agile is all about moving quickly, being flexible, anticipating change, continuous improvement, transparency, trust and openness through the whole team.
Driven by a business landscape that is continuously changing, our clients needed the maneuverability and speed that an Agile software development team can offer, as an alternative to the traditional approaches.
Our team members were among the first Certified Scrum Professionals in Romania. Led by Adina Balea, Wirtek Delivery Manager, were the ones that worked on the Romanian translation of the Agile Manifesto.
“I am a believer in lifelong learning, embracing continuous change and challenging the status quo. It is the main reason why my work is guided by the Agile management and leadership principles. I support people by providing them the tools, processes, skills, inspiration, and motivation to do a great job. Whilst the last one is the most important to have, I encourage them all to follow my motto: “If there’s a will, there is a way!”
Adina Balea – Wirtek Delivery Manager, Agile Evangelist
Challenges with adopting Agile
But adopting an Agile work approach can sometimes be difficult at first. The dynamic and very different businesses of our customers often require us to show the capability of analyzing and constructing ingenious solutions for every step of the product building effort.
A good example is the Danish manufacturer of mink feeding machines that support the fur industry, TWINCA A/S. This is a client that required our development team to achieve a very good understanding of the product’s functionality needs. Only after we could start prototyping the new Twinca desktop app and, eventually, help farmers control the precise feed portion for each mink.
Being Agile, we also need to carefully think of the composition of our teams in order to encourage diversity, self-organization, and cross-functionally. This helped us learn to constantly adapt to the client’s work style.
Collaborative tools help us work in an Agile spirit, as well as keep close contact with the client, and this is why we embrace new solutions all the time.
As many benefits as this methodology presents, Agile is “No Silver Bullet”. It doesn’t work in all situations, being better suited for small-to-medium-sized teams, where it ensures quality communication for product development.
Agile is really a collection of beliefs that dedicated cross-functional teams, product owners and Scrum Masters can use in making decisions about how to continuously deliver valuable product development solutions.
To overcome this challenge, Wirtek counts on an organizational culture that embraces continuous improvement, frequent face-to-face interactions, transparency, trust, support and motivation for all team members. At the same time, our Nordic business leadership model has a flat and egalitarian structure and this gives it the ability to stay Agile as well.