At Agilytics we prefer Agile methodology because it focuses on the requirement of the customer and fast delivery. The Agile principles are applicable on small software products developed by a single team, as well as big ones developed by programs that consist of more than ten teams.
The goal is to develop software at the lowest cost possible, in the shortest time, with the best quality. The right planning and management of the development process and the correct methodology are critical to achieve our business goals.
Agile methodologies have helped us respond to the evolving market conditions fast, boost customer satisfaction, and boost efficiency.
Software Development with Agile
Agile has taken the world of software development and testing by storm. Agile, in simplest terms, is a way of managing projects.
Although the approach could be used for just about anything, it was nonetheless founded originally in India. In the Waterfall approach all the requirements are gathered from the start, then the design is done, and then development is executed. The Agile method enables designers, developers, analysts, and stakeholders to work together.
Waterfall Approach Limitations
The Waterfall Model was presented first by Winston Royce back in 1970. It was called a waterfall due to its cascading activities with phases, which keep the development process going forward. Because of this nature, there is no room left for doing unexpected changes.
Making changes is difficult and it demands a lot of work as well as a waste of money and precious time. Moreover it excludes the client from the project because the focus is mainly on the internal team. Nowadays clients want to be involved in the development process as much as possible, and since the Waterfall approach pays little attention to the client involvement, this could mean high change requests in the development later on.
Agile in action
In contrast to the Waterfall Method, Agile Methodologies adhere to the iterative approach. Agile software development involves several cycles, typically called ‘sprints,’ which are individually designed, developed, and tested. Consider every sprint as a miniature project with its own phases of design, backlog, development, testing, and deployment within a predefined work scope.
A possibly deliverable product is shipped at the end of every sprint. Simply, with the completion of each iteration, new features are added to the main software, resulting in software growth.
There are some misconceptions about the Agile approach which include the following:
1. It’s totally different
Agile could be a totally new concept to an organization and the entire team. It also demands a bit of rewiring regarding how all stakeholders would remain on the same page during development. However, the companies that adopt the methodology know that the new approach runs the entire development cycle smoothly and consistently.
2. Difficult to predict
It could indeed be unpredictable at times. But it’s the same with other development approaches. Honestly, it’s entirely impossible to determine what the software should be at the start of the development exactly.
In fact Agile accepts the unpredictability and uses it to its own advantage that leads to producing better outputs.
3. All features are decided by developers
There is a misconception that with Agile, developers decide what’s relevant, what must be implemented, and when. However, at the start of every sprint, there is always an extensive sprint meeting in which all stakeholders get to participate and decide the features that would be developed and delivered.
Some people think since the Agile approach splits-up the projects into short sprints or iterations, it doesn’t consider the long-term goals. The Agile methodology, in reality, provides a lot more benefits and provides a better way. Moreover, earlier testing enables better decisions for long-term goals.
5. Works only for Software and Developers
Though it started out in the Software industry, but as it benefits an organization as a whole, it’s widely accepted even in non-software industries, such as in the field of communication, manufacturing, healthcare, and so on.
The Advantages of the Agile Methodology
Agile methodology is used to stay competitive. Majority of clients anywhere in the world demand that their software solutions should be developed using the Agile methodology due to the benefits it brings to the table. Check out these benefits.
1. Focus on Business Value
One of the important benefits of Agile is an increased focus on the delivery of strategic business value through the involvement of business stakeholders in the process. The development team understands what matters most and could deliver the features that provide the most value to the brand.
2. Quality Improvement
Another of the many benefits of Agile is the improved quality of a product. By dividing projects into manageable units, the team can focus on high-quality software development, high-quality testing, and collaboration. By creating frequent builds and doing reviews and testing on every iteration, quality is enhanced by quickly finding and fixing defects, as well as determining mismatches in the expectation early on.
3. Stakeholders Involvement
Agile provides many opportunities for the involvement of the stakeholders and the team before, during, and after every sprint. By involving the stakeholders, there is a higher degree of collaboration. The team will have better opportunities to understand the vision of a business, early delivery of working software, and it boosts stakeholders’ trust.
4. Fast and Predictable Delivery
By planning fixed, time-boxed Sprints schedule, new features are quickly and frequently delivered, with a high predictability level. This also provides a chance to beta test or release software earlier than planned if there’s enough business value.
5. Change Enablement
The key benefit of Agile is that it enables change. There is a chance to refine and re-prioritize the overall product backlog in a constant manner. New changed backlogs can be planned for the next iteration, providing a chance to introduce changes in a timely manner.
Clients can be made involved throughout the software development project. This could include prioritizing iteration planning, features, review sessions, or frequent software builds that contain new features. The customers understand that they are looking at a work in progress in exchange for the added transparency benefit.
7. Schedule and Costs
Since each Sprint is a fixed duration, the cost is predictable and restricted to the amount of work that could be done by the team in a fixed-schedule time box. Together with the estimates given before every Sprint, the company can understand the approximate cost of a feature, which boosts decision making about prioritizing the features, and the need for more iterations.
Popular Agile Methods
Let's check a couple of the most popular Agile methods: -
Evidently Agile methodology is effective in software development. The business and people’s results make the Agile methodology well worth the effort.
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