The Agile manifesto was incepted in 2001, and since then, Agile project management has always been thought of as a tool for software organizations. The Agile management methodology has always been employed by software companies to boost productivity. But what about non-software, non-IT companies? They too deserve an opportunity to gain efficiency and be more productive, don’t they? But, with the best practices being a reserve of IT companies, that hasn’t been exactly easy to achieve.
Well, the good news is that companies that are traditionally non-software or non-IT can benefit from Agile methodology too. Not many non-IT businesses are aware of that, so most are just comfortable thinking that Agile practices can only benefit companies in the IT industry. Now that you know that that the Agile methodology can do wonders for your business, what are you going to do about it?
Agile Adoption in Non-IT Sector
Agile project management, for quite some time now, has been gaining traction in the non-IT, non-software sector. Many companies outside of the software development sector haven’t tried Agile project management, mostly because they think of it as a software development methodology. Actually, there are a lot of activities common in non-IT industries that can be handled using Agile tools.
Before we get into these activities, let’s look at some statistics. Software Advice carried out a survey to understand how decision-makers in the non-IT sector view Agile tools and how far they have adopted Agile tools in those sectors. The study landed on some interesting findings. Here are some of the findings that they came across:
- The biggest challenge to more than 50 percent of non-IT Agile users is teaching their employees how to use Agile tools.
- The top three most used Agile features for non-IT projects are Scrum boards and activity streams, story mapping and analytics, and workflow tracking (most used).
- Close to 50 percent of project managers use Agile software for non-IT projects, which is a little surprising but true.
This last statistic surprised many, even if some of us already know that Agile can be used in non-software development projects. This is because deep down, we all think that the Agile methodology can only be applied successfully to the development of software products. That bit was intriguing for many, like how do these project managers do it? What features do they use?
How Agile Practices Are Used in Non-IT Sector
When you think about it, there’s so much that the Agile methodology can do in the non-IT, software development world. For instance, the Agile activity stream can do so much for a project manager. Who wouldn’t want the ability to see what every member of the project team is up to? Workflow management is yet another Agile feature that’s applicable to any industry.
There are a lot of Agile practices and features that apply to other sectors or industries that are non-IT related. There are a few challenges to overcome, but that’s expected and totally doable. Its high time that project managers in non-IT projects took a plunge and gave Agile development tools a shot.