Agile methods often refer to software development methodology and practices used in software industry but the elements and principles of agile methods have been used also for operational development in various organizations. In general, the agile development process means an incremental work process that promotes the importance of customer satisfaction, collaboration, communication, teamwork, good quality and planned follow-up practices. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
This paper first presents an overview of agile methods after which it addresses the most relevant ones for developing, evaluating and managing the academic library. The paper discusses the utilization of these methods in the context of an academic library presenting the case of Tampere University of Technology Library.
After a short practical experience of implementing agility into development processes, the following elements of agility can be considered the most effective and relevant: appreciating the needs of the customers, eliminating the waste, quality assurance, ability to redesign and make decisions fast and empowering the team.
The library of Tampere Univeristy of Technology made an early adoption of the methods in its development projects during 2012. The paper refers to concrete initiatives that have already been taken to improve development processes as well as discuss the challenges when applying agile methods in order to change quite traditional working culture.
The paper discusses what the library can achieve by adapting a fresh approach for developing, evaluating and managing its operations and how the library staff can benefit from the agile way of working.
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2013 QQML Conference in Rome, Italy, 4-7 June, www.isast.org/qqml2013.html
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