Agile methodology is a project management concept, designed to offer more efficient and flexible ways to get products to the market.
Agile itself means the ability to move and adapt quickly and with ease. Thus, making the ‘Agile Approach’ faster and more effective than other project methodologies.
With so many projects today featuring countless variables and unknowns, sometimes conventional project management methodologies simply do not work.
Without an effective project management methodology, it is difficult to document the main requirements. Besides, it is harder to adapt to any changes later on in the project.
In this article, we will help you better understand what exactly the ‘Agile’ development process is. We will also outline how it works so that you can understand how to achieve outstanding results.
What Is The Agile Development Process?
When referring to the Agile development process, remember that the agile development process uses four key pillars and 12 core principles. These help to organize projects more effectively. These values and principles aim to help improve upon the ways of developing software.
They provide clear and measurable structures, promote iterative development, and change recognition. Most importantly, they encourage team collaboration.
The 4 Pillars Of Agile Methodology
- Individuals and interactions over computerized tools and processes
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Functioning software over comprehensive documentation
- Responding and adapting to change over following a stringent plan
The 12 Principles Of Agile Methodology
- Customer satisfaction
- Accommodate changing requirements throughout the process
- Frequent delivery of functional software
- Increased collaboration between the developers and stakeholders
- Trust, support, and motivation is key to the success of everyone involved
- Enhanced communication, enabling face-to-face interactions
- Working software
- Agile processes that will support your development pace
- Attention to technical aspects including detail and design
- Organizing teams to encourage innovative architectures, requirements as well as designs
- Regular feedback and reflections on how the processes can be improved and streamlined for the next project
One can define Agile as the concept of an ongoing process of planning and executing. This will enable you to adapt and mature your plan, scope, and design throughout the lifespan of the project. What sets agile apart is its focus on frequent and consistent deliveries of functional products to the client.
With this methodology, your team will be able to deliver consistent and concrete products. These are delivered timeously, without delays or changes based on evolving requirements.
There are many frameworks that developers can use to run an Agile project. Some of the more popular frameworks include but are not limited to:
● Extreme Programming
What is most important to be aware of with regards to the Agile development process is that it is not an exact set of rules or guidelines. Instead, Agile is a set of principles. These aim to encourage more adaptability, communication, and increased overall flexibility.
By implementing Agile-based methods, your team will be motivated to work together more effectively and with more efficiency.
The History Of Agile Software Development
During the ‘90s, software development was facing a crisis. The industry became aware of the fact that it simply couldn’t move fast enough to meet customers’ requirements and demands. At that time, the average time between a business need and a full application was around 3 years.
With money being wasted and some projects never seeing completion, it was time for a new, more adaptable approach. Enter the Agile development process.
Main Features Of The Agile Development Process
● Iterative development cycles, breaking work down into smaller pieces, continuously refining the requirements.
● Collaborative teamwork processes
● Open communication with stakeholders
● Transparent processes
● Feedback and review (Inspect and adapt)
How does the Agile Development Process work?
In agile development, project leaders create cross-functional teams. These teams will include developers, testers, and analysts. Teams will meet to identify the key activities for the next 2- to 4-week cycle. They will break requirements down into tasks and hours so that they can plan the progression of the project.
These tasks are divided amongst the team members so that everyone knows exactly what they need to do. In agile, teams will have daily meetings to review progress and assess completed tasks. These meetings will also address what tasks need to be completed in the coming days and the limitations they face.
With constant reviewing and working in small increments, agile allows for a very adaptable approach.
The Benefits of Agile Development Process
There are many advantages to the Agile development process. More specifically, for the following types of projects or organizations:
● A project that will evolve over time
● A project that does not have a clear cut scope or requirements at the start
● Companies that work in fast-paced environments, or with evolving technologies
● Organizations that work closely with their clients throughout a project’s lifespan
● Companies that focus on product and process evolution and improvement (innovation)
● Projects that have many variables or interdependent tasks. These require teams to work together more frequently
● Organizations that need rapid feedback before moving on to the next version
● Organizations that create prototypes before the actual project
Disadvantages of The Agile Development Process
A wide variety of organizations could benefit from using the Agile development process. But, there are some disadvantages to using this development approach.
● Agile does not require comprehensive documentation. So, there could be some errors due to incorrect interpretation. Teams should constantly check whether they have enough information before proceeding with a task.
● Sometimes, when the requirements are unclear or vague, it can lead to problems later on. The teams will likely proceed only to find that the customers’ vision is not accurately represented. This will result in the team having to incorporate many changes into their process.
Agile is one of the most efficient and effective processes available to companies looking for a more flexible approach to product development. Through effective communication and teamwork, as well as responsive changes, the agile development process can help streamline your business process, unlike anything before.
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