April 8, 2022 Shankari Das

Agile Methodology in Software Development

Agile methodology or agile technology was born to keep up with the rapid changes in the paradigm of technology. There is a notable shift in project management methods contrary to the traditional Waterfall Model.

Agile methodology is a set of techniques a team follows to develop a project or plan by dividing it into various stages. During the different stages, the teams continuously collaborate with their customers. Agile is more user-focused.


Agile Methodology Intro

Developed in 2001, the agile software development methodology is based on the most revered agile manifesto that lays down the principles and core practices. So you need to understand what agile is?
The Agile Manifesto of software development put forth an approach to delivering value by collaborating with customers. It primarily has four main values.

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The agile methodology is constant monitoring that happens at every phase of the project’s software development. It is only possible as there is a continuous collaboration with customers at every stage of the software development. The advantages of agile methodology are that both the development and testing actions can be carried out in parallel. Meaning both the processes are synchronized, unlike the conventional waterfall model.

Agile’s major four main values are:
1 Individual and interactions over processes and tools.
2 Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
3 Working software over comprehensive documentation.
4 Responding to change following a plan.

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The agile methodology is perhaps one of the easiest and uncomplicated routes to transform an idea and varied needs into feasible software solutions. You need to understand that the agile method is an iterative and incremental tactic for software design.

The technique utilizes constant planning, understanding, upgrading, team partnership, development, and delivery. In simple terms, the agile process is fragmented into separate models. Teams work on all these models and thereby encourage flexibility to changes.

This complete exercise helps resolve and clarify the customer’s project requirements by the development team.

As the project commences, the whole team starts planning and working on a complete process. These processes involve planning, implementation, and release. This entire development process is iterative, and errors are resolved in the intermediate stage of the project.

Therefore, this process enables the final deliverable product to better match the customer’s wants.


Scrum an Agile Methodology

Scrum is an agile development methodology most commonly used in software development. The scrum technique is based on an iterative and incremental process.

Scrum is an adaptable, flexible, fast, and effective agile framework that is designed to deliver value to the customer throughout the project development.

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The primary objective of scrum is to satisfy the needs of its customers through an env of transparency in communication, collective responsibility, and continuous progress. The development starts from a general idea of ​​what needs to be built. Later it is elaborated to a list of features that the product owner wants to obtain.

Scrum Model

It is perhaps one of the most popular agile methodology examples. Primarily known as the agile scrum development methodology. It depicts various cycles of development.

It is similar to the Kanban method. Scrum breaks down the development phases into cycles or stages called ‘sprints’. The development time for each sprint is dedicated and maximized. Hence only one sprint runs at a time.

Scrum and agile methodologies typically focus on continuous deliverables. Thus this method lets designers and developers adjust priorities to ensure that any incomplete or overdue sprints get more attention.

The whole Scrum Team has exclusive project roles. Meaning a scrum master and a product owner is in constant communication on the daily scrum. The activities in the scrum are harmonized – so that the team can implement the sprint in the best possible way.



Other Types of Agile Methodology

Various types of agile methodology are popular in the market to suit every project needs. Today there are different agile methodologies. But everything is based on the main principles in the agile manifesto.

Therefore, every behavior or framework that adapts these principles is named Agile. Note that the different types of agile methodologies a team implements will depend on the collaboration of all the involved parties.

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Below are a few of the agile methodologies – famous types of agile methodology that your project can opt from:

1 Kanban

This model originates from the Japanese language. It is the translation of the word ‘Kanban’ – a visual board or signboard. Initially, the Kanban concept was introduced as a lean manufacturing system but it slowly got connected to how agile software development teams work. This method primarily uses visual methods for developing and managing projects.

The Kanban method is usually organized on a board or table called the Kanban board. It is divided into columns, showing every flow within a software production project. A new ” card ” is created whenever a new task comes into play.

This Kanban methodology is also useful in individual business departments. It is used in HR and marketing – bringing the desired visibility over all the team’s tasks.

The Kanban method requires transparency and communication so that the team’s members all know exactly what stage development is at.

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2 Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) is a methodology that totally emphasizes teamwork, communication, and feedback. The method focuses on constant development and customer satisfaction. It is very similar to scrum, but this method also uses sprints or short development cycles. These sprints are developed to create a productive and highly efficient environment.

Extreme Programming or XP methodology is based around the idea of discovering – the simplest thing that will work. The concept does not believe in putting too much weight on the long-term product view.

The methodology that emphasizes values such as Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Courage and Respect. Finally it prioritizes customer satisfaction over everything else.

3 Lean Development

It is a methodology that comes directly from Lean Manufacturing. It was created by Toyota, and applied to software development. The method offers a conceptual framework and follows principles and good development practices.

Lean development forces the team to remove any activity ruthlessly – that would not bring ultimate value to the product.

4 Crystal

Crystal is one of the most flexible frameworks in the family of Agile methodologies. The method gives tremendous freedom to the team to develop their processes.

The method focuses more on individuals and how they interact. But not on the process or the tools. Therefore, communication is an essential key aspect.


Benefits of Agile Methodology

As you might be aware the agile method has gained momentum as a top choice for leaders and developers. And it is no surprise why.

As there is interaction with the client, the method ensures that each feature is not just a functional component but a valuable product for the end-users.

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Here are just a few key benefits of Agile development:

1 Greater stakeholder engagement

The agile method encourages a high degree of input and collaboration between the development team and the client. This will lead to happier clients because there is transparency throughout the process. The developers are better informed on client requirements.

2 Predictable costs and scheduling

The method breaks down the development process into iterative sprints. As a result, project managers can more accurately estimate costs and set achievable timelines.

This makes stakeholders happier because they know what to expect. They can also plan budgets and marketing strategies more precisely. In addition, it also makes the development process easier for teams.

3 Flexibility amidst change

In agile project management – teams can adapt to changes quickly while reducing costs. Agile also allows teams to pivot due to changing client needs. This process helps address product backlog so that the developers always deliver high-quality, relevant products on budget and time.

4 Higher quality products

Agile product development usually integrates testing into the development process. It allows product owners to identify issues early on and make necessary changes. The result is higher quality products that are tested properly.

5 Reduced risk and faster ROI

Agile reduces risk because it allows regular tests and allows for change mid-development. By iterating on a project step by step, the method allows teams to work on a flexible end-to-end project plan. If they discover an issue mid-project, they can fix it quickly and adjust the time rather than waiting for the whole project to end.


Agile Methodology Steps

Today’s tech companies want to remain relevant in an ever-changing, fast-paced industry, so they need to push their products forward as much as possible.

Software development teams need to make a special effort to follow the methodology to achieve better results. They need a way to push their products forward as much as possible in a short time frame.

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The agile software development methodology was developed specifically for the rapid development and deployment of software. Learn more about the stages involved in the agile software development life cycle or SDLC.

There are 6 stages of the Agile lifecycle:

1 Concept

The first step of the Agile method is to scope out and prioritize the projects. Sit with your team and stakeholders to brainstorm and identify business opportunities. The estimated time and costs to complete each project are also planned at this stage.

2 Inception

The next step is to figure out how you will complete it. What are the initial requirements? Who do you need on your team? Try creating a diagram to define team responsibilities and scope out the work that should be completed in each sprint.

3 Iteration

Once your initial project is defined and approved, the development team can start work on the first iteration.

4 Release

After multiple iterations, it is time for the team to release a final product. During the release phase, you will conduct final testing and address defects. The finalized user documentation must also get ready.

5 Production

Your product is out in the world. Your team should provide ongoing monitoring and support to keep the system running smoothly. Thus making it is easy for the end users.

6 Retirement

When your system is outdated or ready to be replaced, it goes into the retirement phase. This stage includes all end-of-life activities. Migrating the system release out of production.

Agile Methodology The Future

You should choose a dynamic approach when you want to choose the right agile methodology among the different types of agile methodology. Each project is unique and often undergoes frequent changes. So the team must find their own ways to bring it to its conclusion using the best methods.
In addition to sprint planning meetings, your team should gather for daily meetings to check the progress. Remaining flexible and open to changes will help a lot. The agile software development life cycle aims to create and deliver software as soon as possible.

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