Knowledge is Power!
Q1: Why use Agile methods?
Because they work. If they don't work in your organization, there's no reason whatsoever to use them—certainly not so you can brag about being "agile."
When you do make them work, they make projects more manageable. You may or may not get quicker project completion.
You may or may not save money. But you will get better customer satisfaction, and you will stay on top of your projects and be able to predict how much they will cost and how long they will take.
You may or may not stay out of trouble, but if trouble comes, you'll see it coming in time to do something about it. That's what project management is all about.
Q2: Biggest challenge of implementing Agile methods?
People tend to prefer familiarity to comfort. It's unfamiliar, so your challenge is to manage the human reactions to change. For example, instead of pushing every team to be "agile," I like to have the management say, "Agile methods are not for everyone.
We want to start with the best qualified teams, so if you want your team to be chosen for our first trial, you will have to make a presentation to management about why you are best qualified." (In other words, what is your "story.")
This approach has worked well, so well, in fact, that in one case in Austria, the programmers' union came in and insisted that everyone be given an equal chance to try these new methods.
I have written extensively about change artistry in the fourth volume of my Quality Software Management series, "Anticipating Change."
Q3: In what environment will Agile be most successful?
The change to agile methods will be most successful in those organizations with an agile management approach to converting to agile methods.
Unfortunately, I've observed a number of organizations where agile methods are introduced like a waterfall project--a huge up-front planning effort, then an attempt to convert an entire organization at one fell swoop.
To be successful, the conversion has to be in small increments, with corrections made at each increment.
Q4: What is the future of Agile?
First we will drop the capital A. Then we will drop the term "agile" altogether. Agile methods will be successful if and when we stop seeing them as anything other than normal, sensible, professional methods of developing software.
agile will be the next standard, when people realize that CMMI is obsolete
PQA & SQA Analyst