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Agile is a well-received and recognizedsoftware development framework that surpasses the traditional v model orWaterfall model. The traditional approach was too complex and did notincorporate feedbacks until the product in itself was ready. Increasingly theadoption of Agile has been observed by most firms. Its incremental approach todevelopment with an intention to mitigate the focus on documentation drivendevelopment has switched the thought process invested in the development lifecycle. In this sense, it is fair to say that the Agile approach is one thatfulfills business requirements without sabotaging the development process. Itmanages the delivery of a product in the fastest manner possible along with thepossibility of constant feedback and editing in the course of thedevelopment.
Basically, Agile can be understood as a set ofprinciples. The principles of Agile that are enlisted in the Agile manifestofocus on adaptability, effective communication, self directed teams andflexibility in the process. The principles are elaborations of the four Agilevalues which focus on working software, interactive development, customercollaboration and feedbacks and changes accordingly.
For applying the Agile principles intopractice the methodologies available become functional. The methodologiesincorporate the basis for architecture, design, testing, project management,deliveries, and development. The methodologies of Agile are also heavily reliedupon for the improvements with the individual deliveries.
Agile Development Methodologies
There are various Agile methodologies for theSoftware development process. They have a distinction in their respectiveapproaches. However, each framework follows the principles of the Agilemanifesto.
The rather concrete criteria fulfilled by theAgile methodologies would address design, coding, testing, programming, riskmanagement, modeling, etc.
The Agile development teams aremultidisciplinary. There are diverse professionals engaged. They focus on endto end management for the delivery of the product. The team builds part of theproject whether business logic, user interface or any other and demonstratesthe developed part for feedback upon the necessary changes that may be of useto the overall product. The team comprises of Quality Assurance engineers,designers, analyst or any other. This is solely based upon the kind of projectundertaken.
Agile product management tries to bring forthdevelopment changes and flexibility due to their focus on the developmentitself rather than planning or strategizing.
Traditional large methodologies required oneto select elements. Scrum, for instance, provides a prioritized list of basicelements in which further additions can be made by the team to add specificityto its intended business requirement.
Due to its challenging position with thelegacy infrastructure of large scale firms, Agile is often ascribed along theWaterfall model.
Companies also use certain frameworks in orderto scale the practice to various teams.
The most recognized Agile frameworks inpractice have comprehensive, distinct approach and methodology that makes themsuitable to the industry. It would include:
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- Scrum – Scrum framework encourages self-directed teams with the Product Owner, development team of testers and programmers and Scrum Master. The product Owner determines the product blockage which leads to the list of work to be done by the Scrum team. The team functions in time boundaries that are understood as a sprint and covers the top prioritized work. Their team reviews the backlogs and issues to determine the amount of work that can practically be achieved in one sprint. For quick updates, the teams have daily standup meetings. It involves the sprint planning, its daily review, and retrospective.
- Extreme Programming – The XP framework accounts for simplicity, respect, and feedback in the process of software development. It encourages collaborative self-directed work that deploys direct communication. The focus is to keep the design simple and develop the understood finished product without any precedent changes that are based on the prediction. Later, regular feedback assists in making the necessary changes.
- Lean – Lean is entirely based on waste reduction. It functions upon this by its division of the activities undertaken in the process as value adding, non-value-adding, essential non-value-adding. The focus is to discredit the notion of value-adding activities as they are the supposed waste in the process. Lean is a philosophy of its own and has seven principles exclusive to its methodology. Lean adoption requires the fulfillment of those principles.
- Kanban – Kanban cards are in constant use by the team members for the development project. Unlike Scrum Kanban has the capacity to accommodate additional items in the course of the development. Also, Kanban doesn’t use definitive roles as that of PO or scrum master as there are in Scrum. Product prioritized backlogs are optional. The framework is suitable because of its less organization, the absence of non value adding activities and its accessibility for change.
Advantages of Agile Development Methodology
- The customer is updated with everychange and progress made in the development through each iteration and sprint.
- Changes can be accommodated in thecourse of the development even if it has reached a rather advanced stage. Thedevelopment team has that flexibility.
- The customers are constantly indirect communication and thereby all engaged professionals are it,stakeholders, business and technology are updated with the progress.
- The sprints bring forth finishedproducts and software to the customers based on the parameters outlined by themin the first place.
- Agile developed products maintainthe business requirement and develop efficient designs.
It is often the case that some firms facedifficulty in transitioning from the conventional waterfall model to Agile.There is a lack of a degree of maturity in the adoption programs that can makethe firm sense imposition of Agile rather than adoption.
Sometimes the customer vision is notcommunicated to the team clearly and due to t,h is the team realizes changesthat may be necessary for the course of advanced development. It becomes ratherdaunting to incorporate those changes.
All in all, Agile intends to align developmentwith the business requirements. They are customer oriented frameworks that arein constant interaction with the customers for feedback. Thereby its approachto software development is most acceptable.
Prepare for PMI’s Agile Certification:
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)? Practice Tests
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