There’s no denying that adding “Retail Apocalypse” to any news headline (or blog post title) certainly provides an extra dash of sensationalism. Add the word “Agile” to the mix and things start to really get interesting. According to a survey conducted by HP, 67% of companies now describe themselves as being “pure Agile” or “leaning towards being Agile.” Although the Agile movement was originally created with the end goal of “uncovering better ways of developing software,” companies are now starting to realize that Agile isn’t just a set of methods and methodologies used to develop software – it’s a philosophy.
The Agile philosophy focuses on delivering the highest value in the shortest time possible by taking an incremental delivery approach based on the four guiding values of the Agile Manifesto with emphasis placed on:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The authors of the Agile Manifesto don’t deny the value of the items on the right, but they recognize that the value of the items on the left significantly surpass those on the right. These four guiding values serve as the foundation for the various Agile frameworks, such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, XP, etc., that have been developed over the years. These Agile frameworks provide teams with the techniques and tools needed to begin their Agile transformation. However, a successful Agile implementation depends heavily on an organization’s ability to embrace and apply the Agile mindset which requires a complete organizational shift in the way team members and management work and communicate with one another.
Some may argue that it’s impossible to successfully implement Agile within a retail environment due to the complexity of integrating antiquated legacy systems with complex cloud-based solutions requiring massive infrastructural, architectural, and operational changes. However, we at BRP have successfully applied Agile methodologies to implementations resulting in accelerated implementation times. While unsettling news stories about the death of malls, store closures, and bankruptcies will undoubtedly continue to flood our newsfeed, BRP is here to provide retailers with the tools and resources needed to survive the so-called “Retail Apocalypse” via our Agile Blog series. Please feel free to share any comments, questions, or concerns you may have below. We’d love to hear from you.