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Why More Companies are Moving to Agile During COVID-19

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Waterfall vs. Agile: which is a better methodology for your business during the COVID-19 pandemic? That’s tough to say as each methodology has its pros and cons. But in the age of COVID-19, more businesses are moving from Waterfall, a traditional method of organizing the work of software development, to Agile, a newer Rapid Application Development method. Business analysis professionals need to know why businesses are going Agile and what outcomes they are seeing from this change.


Why More Companies are Moving to Agile During COVID-19


Why companies are choosing Agile over Waterfall during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic threw businesses into a tailspin, changing the speed of digitization, analytics, globalization, automation, etc. In the blog article A Case of Acute Disruption, Deloitte explained that digital transformation was thrown into warp speed as companies were forced to go contactless or perish. “‘Slow, but steady’ doesn’t work, given the dynamics of a pandemic,” a contributor wrote. This is precisely the reason why businesses are choosing Agile over Waterfall: because embracing agility enables organizations to keep up with the rapid pace of digital transformation.

What outcomes are businesses seeing from adopting Agile during the pandemic?

The adoption of Agile in the business world was happening before the pandemic struck, which is why we wrote about a rise in Agile analysis in July of 2019, but the speed of migration to Agile has ramped up since the pandemic began. So far, the outcomes of businesses moving from Waterfall to Agile have been positive. McKinsey and Company stated,  

“Our research shows that agile companies have outperformed others in adapting to COVID-19...they have speeded up their work and adapted to new industry landscapes. The weekly and daily rhythm of agile teams has worked well in remote settings. Tools for tracking performance and health give leaders a sense of how well and quickly things are happening and where to pay more attention (exhibit).” 

This isn’t to say Waterfall is worthless and Agile is perfect. In fact, implementing Agile during the current global health crisis isn’t without its challenges.

Challenges businesses moving to Agile during COVID-19 are experiencing

Waterfall is a mature, proven methodology for organizing the work of software development. It just isn’t meeting the business needs of all companies as well as Agile is as the pandemic plays out. However, COVID-19 is affecting how quickly and effectively businesses are able to switch to and operate in Agile. A contributor to Lexology wrote,  

“...the COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges in managing Agile projects, which may now require greater effort to maintain the necessary high level of communication and collaboration by development teams.” 

For companies that have a dispersed workforce, communication in general is difficult. Lexology mentioned that additional governance processes and procedures must be implemented by businesses if Agile projects are to be kept on track throughout the pandemic.  

Companies are quickly adopting the Agile methodology. Are you ready to establish yourself as a leader in Agile analysis during this critical time? If so, the IIBA Agile Analysis certification will help you prove your expertise in this area.



About The Author:
Tiffani Iacolino

Tiffani Iacolino is a Product Marketing Manager at IIBA® and has 15+ years of marketing experience across the legal, technology, telecommunications, publishing, media, and professional services industries. She’s passionate about delivering meaningful products and solutions to the business analysis community, including IIBA’s latest offering the Cybersecurity Analysis Learning and Certification Program. Hailing from the Greater Toronto Area, she enjoys an amazing cup of coffee, running, and yoga -- between chasing her two adorable children! 



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