In the last few years, Agile has become one of the most famous software development approaches. It’s not just a framework, it’s a mindset under which IT teams achieve success and deliver it to the clients. The approach has already shown its efficiency in countless instances – Agile can benefit both users and developers. Let’s explain how and what actually the agile software development methodology is.
Agile software development refers to methods, principles, and practices that provide value quickly and efficiently to customers. According to this mindset, self-organizing and cross-functional teams work together to create solutions. Agile software development means splitting development tasks into smaller, manageable parts called iterations. Iterations are built, tested, and deployed in time-box periods. Requirements evolve through collaboration. Agile software development stands in contrast to the once-dominant Waterfall methodology. It helps sidestep the risk of wasting money based on mistaken assumptions of functionalities and features users need and want.
Putting all together, the approach is based on two main principles: iteration and collaboration. Instead of setting large development goals, developers focus on implementing new features one by one, over a short timeline. Digital products evolve iteratively, and, thanks to close, cross-functional collaboration, businesses avoid implementing features that are of little value to users. It is said that the Agile software development methodology is the key to surviving in the modern market, especially in dynamic and highly competitive industries.
Software development teams generally prefer to work with an Agile methodology because it usually leads to better processes and better software products. Here are the most important benefits of implementing Agile methods in your development processes.
As the Agile software development life cycle is based on sprints, you get the deliverable by the end of each sprint. Each sprint ends with a clear and tangible result that improves the quality of your product.
Customers receive a well-designed and thoroughly tested digital product The team can precisely identify problems without hassle. Application enhancements and updates are implemented much faster.
Thanks to manageable application update cycles, the risk is reduced. As you collect feedback after each iteration, the chance of creating an unwanted product nobody needs is minimized.
Especially when compared to the rigid Waterfall methodology. You can introduce changes at every step of the way so you can easily adapt to the newly emerging needs. At the same time, the integrity of the development process is not put at risk.
In the Agile approach, different people are involved in each iteration. All parties can come up with ideas and verify how the work is going. Agile promotes collaborative efforts and creativity between team members.
As you can see, it is worth switching to Agile methods. What about the cons, then? Does Agile methodology have any?
Planning iterative update cycles takes more work than identifying a large number of features to implement over a broad timespan. Collecting feedback is also time-consuming.
When you constantly implement minor new features, there is a chance you never add up meaningful application change.
When you switch to Agile, you have to accept a certain level of uncertainty. Sometimes, it may cause anxiety, especially if your business relies on the successful completion of the project. There are no specific deadlines and costs so it’s difficult to clarify how long each iteration will last and how much a total project will cost.
The Agile software development life cycle usually consists of 6 phases:
There are different types of Agile methodologies – Agile encompasses frameworks and practices that represent various nuances of how the methodology is approached. There are over fifty formally detailed Agile frameworks but let’s focus on the most established ones.
This framework is based on a repetitive approach. It emphasizes continual improvement for customer satisfaction. The workflow consists of the product backlog, planning sprint, sprint backlog, sprint, routine scrum meetings, sprint reviewal, and internal scrum meetings. Scrum is the most used Agile process framework in the context of software development.
This workflow is based on the lean development process. Kanban isn’t iterative and it’s less structured. The framework focuses on delivering quality continually through effective team collaboration. Kanban is a framework for ‘just in time’ work processes. In software development, Kanban is a visualization system with a Kanban board that consists of three workflow states: to do, in progress, and done.
FDD is an iterative and progressive workflow model that is primarily focused on features. It goes through the 5 stages: develop the entire model, develop the listed features, feature planning, feature designing, and feature building.
It’s a set of various software methodologies. Crystal is human-centric – it considers people as the most important asset in system development. The framework focuses on individuals and their interactions rather than processes and tools. Also, it offers guidelines for collaboration and communication.
XP focuses on continual improvement through customer feedback. It comprises four stages: coding, testing, listening, and designing. It’s not a traditional Agile framework because it focuses on the technical aspects of software development and the implementation of specific practices.
When you decide to switch to Agile methodology, you should have the following best practices in mind:
Agile is not for everyone. However, it works perfectly for startups because it’s flexible and customer-oriented. It suits adaptable projects managed by teams with strong leadership skills and fluid communication styles. If you want to implement Agile methods in your organization, we’ll be happy to support you.
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