When comes to project management and innovation, agile methodology is number one among the trends, driven by the acceleration of digital transformation. In fact, agile methodology makes processes simpler, faster and more flexible, and also helps businesses not only to save time and money, but also to speed up their deliveries.

In Latin American countries alone, investment in agile projects grew 30% over a four-year period (2017-2021), according to the Agility study, conducted by Everis, a consultancy firm, in partnership with the MIT Tech Review magazine.

Huge companies participated in this survey, with the following results:

  • 68% said that the risks had decreased
  • 94% reported increased delivery speed
  • 52% confirmed cost reduction as a benefit

See below the key agile methodologies and their characteristics:

Key agile methodologies

1. Scrum

Scrum is one of the key methodologies (frameworks) used by agile teams to manage software products.

In Scrum, well-defined roles are involved to increase the team’s agility. One of the co-creators of this concept, American author Jeff Sutherland, has written a book called “The art of doing twice the work in half the time” – a title that reveals the main goals of Scrum by itself.

The Scrum team is composed by the following roles:

  • Product Owner: Known also as “PO”, this professional directs the team through the execution of what is required by the project. He listens to the customers and represents them to create priority lists (usually called backlogs).
  • Scrum Master: Person in charge of removing obstacles for the development team, being then a facilitator of Scrum processes; this person leads and trains the development team, in order to promote productivity and delivery quality.
  • Development Team: group of software engineers and programmers in charge of developing the actual project. It’s a multidisciplinary and organized team, with self-reliant people in decision-making processes.

2. Lean

Actually known as the leanest of all methods, it’s widely used in the universe of startups and entrepreneurship. But its origin is far from recent: it was created by Toyota in the eighties, with the purpose of accelerating vehicle production.

One of Lean’s principles is the identification and efficient elimination of waste within a project or organization, to improve team productivity.

The idea behind this methodology is to decrease costs and task complexity, along with delivery optimization, performance increase and information sharing.

In the supply chain, it’s usual to implement a pull system, one of Lean principles – which triggers production only when there is a real demand.

The Lean Institute Brasil (LIB) is leading the dissemination of this concept in the country, and offers proper training for methodology use in several sectors, such as logistics, construction and healthcare.

To have just an idea of the relevance of such concept in Brazil, an initiative by the Ministry of Health and Sírio-Libanês Hospital, called Lean in Emergencies, uses Lean to reduce bed occupancy in public hospitals.

3. Kanban

Kanban is a Japanese term that means “billboard”. This method is the most used and simplest of frameworks to control and optimize a team’s tasks. It’s integral part of the just-in-time concept – or, in other words, ‘doing what must be done when it must be done’.

There are two types of kanban: movement and production. The movement flow is the one that best fits to supplies, for instance, considering that those involved in the procurement process (such as buyers, managers and suppliers) must collaborate to conclude a purchase.

The production flow is divided in three columns: to do, doing and done. It’s basically a physical or virtual billboard, which allows following, in a visual way, the tasks that must be started, those that are in progress and those that have been already completed.

4. Smart

SMART methodology allows creating real and tangible goals. Each letter of this acronym has an interesting meaning: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based.

This means that goals must be well defined, measurable, realistic, meaningful to the company, and with proper end dates.

In practice, Smart can be applied to any goal, such as earning more savings or procurement planning, for instance.

In this post, we’ve seen the key agile methodologies and how they can drive innovation, productivity and collaboration of procurement teams.

Is your company using any of these processes? If so, tell us in the comments field and inspire other professionals in the industry.

If this content has been useful to you, and you want to stay updated on the news from the B2B market, just register your e-mail below.