As per survey done by over 40,000 people, 95% preferred Agile Development Methodology. It promotes the cross-functional team setup and follows the iterative model. The different features of agile, such as flexibility in the development cycle, time-boxed sprints, and fast delivery, make agile the first choice for various businesses. It has replaced the waterfall methodology for software development, as it offers a number of benefits over the waterfall. The changing requirements and the regular involvement of the client throughout the development process make it better than waterfall. In this article, you will learn everything about agile methodology and how it can benefit your company.
What is Agile Methodology
Almost 70% of organizations are using agile in their projects. It is an innovative approach to software development, where speed and flexibility are the two essential factors. It has introduced an iterative and incremental approach to development and ensured accelerated delivery.
Earlier, the waterfall methodology followed by all the companies had a rigid one-way path with no scope of changing or newer requirements. Hence, Agile Development Methodology outweighs the waterfall methodology.
What is Agile Software Development?
This methodology is the most preferred and uncomplicated process to transform the business requirements into a software solution. The agile software development approach employs continuous learning, team collaboration, continual planning, improved quality, early delivery, and evolutionary development. It also encourages flexibility in terms of changing requirements.
Agile software development has four core values:
Interaction between team and individuals for tools and processes
Respond to changes while following a plan
Working software as compared to detailed documentation
Customer collaboration in comparison to contract negotiation
Types of Agile Methodology
The agile development methodology is all about adaptability to changing requirements and iterative development of the product with quality. The agile development model has its types:
It is a framework that enables users to address distinctive adaptive issues and provide a top-notch value for the products very effectively. The task gets divided into iterations, commonly called sprints in Agile Scrum Methodology. Multiple sprints get combined, making a release as part of which the product gets delivered to the end-user. Agile Scrum methodology consists of a team with 7 to 9 people, consisting of the product owner and scrum master.
It is an iterative approach that uses value stream mapping effectively and delivers value to the customers. The main principles that the lean agile development methodology uses are fostering integrity, team empowerment, enhanced learning, waste removal, and making the product delivery at the earliest. It uses feedback provided by the customers and programmers and also creates efficient and quick development workflows.
Kanban uses the workflow management strategy, which enables people to deal with the product creation and provide continuous delivery without emphasizing the software development lifecycle. The delivery takes place continuously instead of using time buckets in this methodology. It minimizes the delivery time to the customers and helps get feedback instantly.
4. Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM)
The main focus of the Dynamic System Development Method is on projects with smaller budgets and deadlines. They ensure quick delivery following iterative, incremental development. In this approach, developers design the roadmap during the early stage for the continuous delivery of the product while implementing the increment solution and utilizing feedback.
As a part of this approach, the changes have to be reversible. The system requirements get prioritized according to the MoSCoW rule:
M – Must have
S – Should have
C – Could have
W – Won’t have
5. Extreme Programming
Extreme Programming, also known as Paired Programming, is an Agile Methodology that focuses on improving interpersonal relationships for the success of software development. It encourages teamwork and a working environment while enhancing the learning of developers. In this methodology, the developers work together in pairs.
One developer performs the programming part while the other observes. Both the developers switch the rolls regularly. This approach helps get the review and feedback routinely, ensuring the notch-higher quality code.
6. Feature Driven Development (FDD)
Feature Driven Development Methodology gets utilized for projects with large teams focusing on the smaller iterations with tangible delivery of the products. The methodology includes the activity to address the communication issues and may coordination. The methodology consists of a process having five stages, with the first three sequential and the rest twp as iterative.
Crystal Methodology is adaptable that focuses mainly on the individuals and their interactions turning out through the agile project, priority of the system getting developed, and business criticality. It follows the main principles, consisting of teamwork, simplicity, and communication while focusing on skills, talents, community, and people interaction.
Let us now look at the Agile Development cycle.
Agile Development Lifecycle
The Agile Development cycle consists of the below five stages:
All the Agile projects commence with the ideation stage. The product owner in the agile development methodology combines the vision of the project following the below points while working closely with developers, stakeholders, business team, and end-users:
Define the goal and purpose of the new software
Document business requirements and user requirements
Prioritize tasks and allocate resources
After the first stage of the Agile development cycle, the teams work on the first iteration of the software. This stage consists of all the production-related tasks, including UX/UI design, Coding, and Architecting. The development of the first iteration of the software takes enough time in the development lifecycle of the Agile Methodology.
After the development stage, the testing stage comes. This stage ensures the quality assurance of the product developed. The team tests the product to ensure quality by:
Finding out the errors and bugs
Quick scanning the code to find if it is clean
Executing trial runs
If the application is error-free and ready, the team deploys the app over the server or cloud.
It is the maintenance stage, which turns out after the product release. It requires the regular maintenance of the software on the basis of the feedback and new updated requirements. The improvement gets released with future iterations.
Key Roles in Agile Development Methodology
The main aim of Agile Methodology is quick delivery while following the iterative process. It helps the developers create quality products from the perspective of the end-users.
The roles involved in Agile Methodology may vary according to the goal of this project. Below are the key professionals that form the agile software development team.
1. Product owner
The product Owner speaks for the stakeholder and is responsible for setting up the project flow. The project owner has a good understanding of the project requirements as per the stakeholder’s perspective. They have the soft skills to communicate the requirements properly to the development team. Moreover, they consider the feedback from the end-user in order to decide the upcoming action plan.
2. Team Lead
The team leader, also called the scrum master, makes sure of the coordination between the team members. The team lead gets instructions from the product owner and makes sure that all the tasks are getting performed according to the instructions. Other responsibility of the team lead consists of maintaining sprints, discipline, and commitments within the team. Besides, they follow the empirical process to figure out the best development approach.
The team members in the Agile process are people with distinct skills. The team members get different responsibilities in order to transform the requirement or an idea into tangible products. Below are the different personals of team members:
Why is Agile so popular?
In this new era, agile is gaining popularity. The technological advances in agile have affected almost every industry. It is due to the potential benefits offered by agile. The software development teams have explored its benefits for the first time and found that it has reduced the time in between the product releases.
Many companies are opting for this in order to accelerate their workflows and keep up with the latest technology in the industry. According to a survey conducted by Organize Agile, almost half of the organizations are already using the agile methodology for more than three years. To understand the increased popularity of agile, read the benefits it has to offer.
Benefits of Agile Methodology
The advantages of Agile Project Management rely on the circumstances and the project requirements. Below are the general benefits of Agile:
1. Customer Satisfaction
The customers are equally involved throughout the agile project life cycle. It allows them to share routine-wise feedback that ensures the value of their opinion. It also makes sure the final product is as per their needs. The customized deliverables ensure an improved user experience and customer retention.
2. Improved quality
In agile Methodology, the iterative approach gets followed, which means the improvement in processes every time the interval gets repeated. Improved quality is the main principle that agile follows to create a superior product.
It is another feature of agile that makes it better than other development methodologies. It makes the product development flexible as the requirements are ever-changing, and the agile team is responsible for including the changes in requirements. The teams can revisit their plans and update them to prioritize the updated goals.
Agile methodologies need teams to work in shorter time periods called sprints. These sprints with smaller durations allow the project managers to assess the performance of team members and allocate resources as per the needs. It also makes it uncomplicated to predict the cost for a short time project compared to long-term projects, which simplifies the estimation process.
5. Reduced Risk
Working in sprints increases the visibility of the project progress for the team members so that they can easily spot the obstacles if any. It helps them tackle the risk by creating a risk mitigation process that prevents escalations and increases the chances of project success.
6. Better communication
Continuous interaction is the key in Agile projects. The daily meetings are conducted that ensure that everyone is on the same page and working on the same objective. Through regular communication in Agile, there are lesser chances of potential confusion, and project objects can be achieved successfully.
Tools for Agile Project Management
To make the agile software development project streamlined, the below tools can be used:
1. User Story Maps
The user story maps improve the visualization by highlighting the features to be included in the final product. Such a type of visualization also helps prioritize the user stories and separate the must-have features from good-to-have features.
2. Product Roadmaps
The Product Roadmap is another visualization tool that highlights the prioritized user stories and status of the product under development. These make sure that all the team members are on the same page. It also takes care of the transparency of the complete project information.
3. Customer Journey Maps
It is another visual representation tool in agile that represents the customer’s steps while working on a product. Creating such a map helps figure out the bottlenecks in the customer experience.
4. Niko-Niko Calendar
It is a date calendar, which shows the mood of each team member for the day. It helps track the mood swings that decide the team morale for that particular day. The mood dynamics help understand the reason behind good or bad mood that further helps make changes required for performance improvements.
It is an activity involving all team members of Agile Methodology working together and solving the delivery-related problem of a user story. It can be performed during any development stage where all the team members collaborate and solve the prioritized tasks.
The agile development methodology is the approach followed by the software development company that has its main focus on the speed of delivery and flexibility towards the changing requirements. Most of the software being developed these days gets created using this methodology. To conclude, the agile methodology ensures the timely delivery of quality products. This article explains everything about the agile methodology that you need to know. We hope all your queries related to the agile have been resolved.