What is Agile Methodology?

28th Jun 2019
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Agile Methodology is a process that promotes continues iteration of development and testing throughout the software development life cycle of the project. Unlike the waterfall model, both development and testing activities are concurrent. It’s also a hyped word in the IT industry where they use it to describe the alternative method of project management. A process that provides quick and capricious responses to the feedback they receive on their project. During the development cycle itself, it creates opportunities to assess a project’s direction. Assessment of the project in regular meetings is called sprints or iterations.

It’s very empowering in nature that helps companies to design and build the right product. It is beneficial for software companies because of the management process and it helps them to analyze and improve their product throughout its development which enables companies to make a highly valuable product so they stay competitive in the market.

Origin of Agile

A small group of people in 2011, tired of all the traditional approach for management of software development projects, so after brainstorming for while they came up with the agile manifesto. It is a more practical and improved method for managing the progress of software projects.

Four Important agile manifesto values:

  1. Instead of processes and tools focus should be more on individuals and interactions.
  2. Rather than comprehensive documentation, working software is a priority.
  3. Contract negotiation is a bad practice in agile, customer collaboration is more vital.
  4. Instead of the process working like a robot and following a plan, it must respond to changes.

Business advantages of Agile

Whatever the common risks that are associated with the delivery, scope, and budget of the project, it gets reduced with the help of agile management. It focuses on the encouragement of collaboration between the customer and the team, offering mutual benefits in the migration of high risks during the development of the software.

In 2009, Dr. David F Rico did a comparison between agile and traditional methods of software project management. He analyzed 23 agile processes during his research and synthesis, comparing them with 7500 traditional projects. There he found 20 projects where agile was beneficial, in terms of business value 41% were better, 83% showed quicker time-to-market speeds, Quality-wise 50% were high, 50% were inexpensive, and 83% were more productive. Since then, agile consulting services are offered to boost the performance of their software development life cycle.


Agile Methodologies

There are many agile methodologies that share similar philosophies, characteristics, and practices. Subsequently, each agile has its own practices, terminology, and tactics at the point of implementation.

Scrum

A management framework with far-reaching abilities to manage the iterations and increment in all project types. Scrum is lightweight and can be used with other agile methodologies for various engineering practices. Because of their simplicity and having a higher productivity rate scrums have grown in popularity within the agile software development.


Lean and Kanban

Lean Software development

Originally developed by Mary and Tom poppendieck, lean software development is an iteration methodology where many of its principles and practices in lean software development came from the lean enterprise movement, and Toyota was the first company to utilize it. This value-based method focuses on delivering an efficient “value stream” mechanism that gives the value to the project. This methodology works on some of the principles those are, eliminate waste, amplify learning, make decisions as late as possible, deliver results as quickly as possible, empower the team, build integrity, and envision the whole project.

It works as a first choice only the features that have real value to the system, delivering and prioritizing them in small batches leads to the elimination of waste. It emphasizes on speed and efficiency relying on rapid and reliable feedback between the customers and programmers. Ensuring Everyone’s productivity this methodology concentrates on efficiencies of team resources.

The Kanban Method

Kanban Method is used to manage the project’s creation while concentrating on the continued delivery and not over pressurizing the development team. Just like Scrum, Kanban processes help teams work together and efficiently.

Three principles of Kanban Method

  1. Visualize what you do; see all the items within the context of each other.
  2. Limit the amount of work in progress (WIP): balance the flow-based approach so teams are not committed to doing too much work at once.
  3. Enhance the flow: as soon as one task is finished start on the next highest job from the backlog

The promotion of continued collaboration is encouraged and ongoing learning and improvements to provide the best possible workflow for the team.

Extreme Programming (XP)

Originally described by Kent Beck, Extreme Programming is one of the most well-known and controversial agile methodologies. It’s a highly disciplinary method of continuously delivering high-quality software faster. To perform continued planning, the customer is actively involved with the closed knit team. The extreme programming method is based on four simple values, Simplicity, Communication, Feedback, and Courage.


Crystal

In developing software, crystal methodology is one of the most lightweight and adaptable approaches. Including Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, and other uniquely characterized methods, it’s made up of several processes. The factors which drive processes are the size of the team, the criticality of the system, and the priority of the project. There are several essential values of crystal method, they are, Team Work, Simplicity, Communication, Reflection, Frequent Adjustments, Improve Processes. Like other methodologies, this agile process promotes early and frequent working software delivery. Encouragement of high user involvement, adaptability, and eliminations of distractions and bureaucracy.

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

Firstly known as Rapid Application Development (RAD), which originated in 1994, the Dynamic Systems Development Method provides an industry standard framework for project delivery. Although the RAD approach developed in an unstructured fashion it was very popular in the 1990s. Now DSDM has evolved and matured, it provides management, execution, foundation in planning, and scaling of the agile process and iteration projects. It has six key principles revolving around the business needs, Value, Active User Involvement, Empowered Teams, Frequent Delivery, Integrated testing, Stakeholder Collaboration. Approach for delivery and acceptance criteria, DSDM uses “fitness for business purpose”. The main formula for DSDM is 80% system development in 20% time.

Feature Driven Development (FDD)

Feature Driven Development was developed by Jeff De Luca, along with contributors, A.M. Rajashima, Lim Bak Wee, Paul Szego, Jon Kern, and Stephen Palmer. It begins by first establishing the shape of an agile model, it is a short iteration process and it is model driven. Because they are small and useful, these features appeal to clients. By using these eight practices the FDD is designed and delivered, Domain Object Modeling, Development of Features, Component and Class Ownership, Feature Teams, Inspections, Configuration Management, Regular Builds, Visibility of progress and results.

Conclusion

A very exciting and fascinating approach to software development is agile management. The result is a more rewarding experience for everyone involved, by integrating the product developers and customers in the planning and implementing processes. If done properly, organizations can continuously find ways to increase the value to their customers. It produces more generous end results for the company by those who are actively working on the project and create a more positive experience for the customer. As Agile Consulting says “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”

Ouriken is a standalone web design and digital agency. We design and implements powerful solutions for small and medium businesses in technology, business, and operations.


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