What is an Agile Framework?

It is a framework for project and policy implementation that is considered highly efficient for getting work done. It was developed in 2001 and is based on 12 principles which include customer satisfaction, collaboration, adapting to change, feedback loops, breaking project silos, etc.

Why is it in the news now?

The Economic Survey 2021-22 has called for embracing this framework for policy making under conditions of extreme uncertainty. In fact, it is the central theme of the survey. It has said this framework is based on feed-back loops, real time monitoring of actual outcomes, flexible responses, safety net buffers and so on. It also adds that this framework was behind India’s informed response to the Covid-19 shock.

What was the framework that India followed earlier?

India and most countries across the world typically follow the Waterfall Approach. This involves analysis of the issue, detailed planning and meticulous implementation. India’s earlier five-year plans were based on this. Waterfall Framework is linear and is developed systematically from phase to phase. It is said that this approach works best for projects with concrete timelines, well-defined deliverables and little uncertainties.

Why is the Agile Framework preferred today?

Real time availability of data allows constant monitoring of a policy at a time when there are lot of uncertainties. This helps governments to adopt the Agile Framework. The Survey says short term policy responses can be tailored to an evolving situation rather than what a model may have predicted.

Is the Agile Framework economical to implement?

Yes. That is the case when it comes to project management. According to some studies, projects implemented through Agile Framework are four times cheaper than a similar project implemented through Waterfall Strategy. For policy implementation, too, that may be the case.