Are you wondering what is Agile and why do you hear about it so often? There are dozens of posts on the internet that discuss Agile software development, but all of that information can be a little bit technical for somebody who is just starting to understand the Agile methodology.
This post covers everything you need to know to get started with agile software development and its applications.
So, let’s get started.
The word agile means to move quickly in order to adapt to the changing environment. Being agile means being proactive to respond to change and succeed in changing circumstances.
Defining Agile Software Development in Layman’s Term
Agile software development is a software project management method where the project is divided into small tasks and different divisions and phases. These tasks go through constant reassessments and adaptations according to requirements.
The agile method defines a set of values for software development. Under these values, the project requirements and the solution for those requirements evolve with self-discipline and collaboration of the cross-functional teams designated for the project.
When different teams are put together for a single project, they plan and execute faster and deliver fast results, which is something not possible through the other development method usually known as the Waterfall method.
Agile vs. Waterfall
Generally, there are two methodologies to handle software development projects, namely Waterfall or the traditional method where work progress flows in one direction, and the Agile method, usually implemented through Scrum, where progress in multi-sided with rapid action plans and adaptations.See the following image.
With Agile, you can get results that are consistent with latest technology and methods in development as the teams consistently analyze and improve. In Waterfall, the progress is collectively measured at the end with limited or no revisions during the process.
How does Agile Project Management Works?
In Agile development method, small, co-located and cross-functional teams plan fixed project iterations. These iterations are completed by a deadline and are tested for stability and performance according to the project requirements. If changes are required, the teams make the necessary changes and then move to the next iteration.Each iteration is constantly measured for performance through testing and is treated as a project of its own as compared to the traditional method where project flows in a single direction with testing reserved for the end stage.
As a result of agile development, the teams are capable of delivering a value-driven result that offers a quality product. Software created using Agile methodology are tested for quality and are usually delivered in a short period of time.
Agile software development is an umbrella term with numerous methodologies under its shade. Scrum is one of its most utilized technologies. The other technologies under Agile include XP, ASD, Lean, Crystal, Kanban, FDD and DSDM.
What exactly is Scrum?
Scrum is an Agile management framework with the aim to deliver new and improved software capabilities in a specific time period. Usually, the period ranges from 3-4 weeks. The framework works through a set of principles and values that are geared towards developing quality software in minimum time.
Benefits of Scrum Project Management
Recently, many companies have adopted Scrum as their primary project management framework to reap tremendous benefits which can include:
- Higher productivity
- Cross-functional teams and productive team dynamics
- Improved stakeholder/partner satisfaction
- High-quality tech products
- Reduced delivery time
- Better ROI
- Satisfied clients
Why Companies need Agile Software Development
Agile project management is based on constant and consistent improvement. Which means that teams that work through Agile management are much more proactive and flexible as compared to teams using traditional project management methods. In agile management, cross-functional teams are always adapting to technology and improved techniques to increase business value. This ensures that businesses have a quality product that can generate an increased return on investment.
In an ecosystem where competition is tough and resources are limited, agile methodologies help businesses create a better value.
How is Scrum related to Agile?
Scrum is a part of the Agile methodology.
Agile project management has a specific set of principles and values that define a team’s day-to-day work. The Scrum methodology uses the Agile values with further specifications and definitions according to specific software development requirements.
Why Companies are Drawn to Scrum Project Management?
Remember that all Agile methodologies have different frameworks and a set of values. Scrum is the only methodology in Agile that offers increased transparency. Scrum addresses complex information transparently so teams can easily adapt based on the changing requirements. This essentially allows development teams to address the problems that cannot be solved through the traditional method.
Scrum ensures that there is complete transparency in developing standards to create a product that was expected. Teams using Scrum frequently inspect progress and identify problems and changes to ensure that adjustments are made along the way. This ultimately gives the teams the power to create an up-to-date product. The Scrum events that monitor inspection and progress include:
- Sprint planning
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
How to Know if you are Agile?
Agile teams are capable of delivering business value quickly and for a long period of time. These teams are always proactive, adaptable and flexible which allows them to create consistent value throughout the product development lifecycle. Agile methods are quickly becoming a part of businesses around the world for their flexibility.
Teams who are agile are usually open to changes and continuously investigate risks and technological changes to quickly adapt to deliver a product that is up-to-date. Being agile means you have to be open to training and education and are committed to trying new techniques and tools. In addition, agile teams have an open communication that breeds trust and transparency.
Agile assessment can help you analyze how agile your team is. See what makes you agile in the figure below.
Full stack agile software developers can make a great team for your next software development project. Learn how to hire a full stack developer here.
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