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Agile in Software Development

DZone's Guide to

Agile in Software Development

In this introductory look into the idea of Agile software development, we explore the concepts that have made it such a success.

· Agile Zone ·
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A Brief History

In 2001, the Agile Manifesto brought to life some lightweight software development methods. And in a world of progress and change, this method continues to evolve.

Agile Software Development is a broad term that describes the set of methods and principles for software development. In this development methodology, requirements and solutions for software development evolve via the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams.

It highlights the importance of adaptive planning, continuous development, early delivery and encourages robust and flexible response to change.

What Is Agile?

Agile Methodology is the set of multiple iterative and incremental software development methodologies. In simpler words, Agile methodology entertains the need for flexibility and a degree of pragmatism in the final product.  They involve continuous planning, testing, integration and feedback throughout the life cycle of the software. The main purpose of these methods is to enable the teams involved, in communicating and making quick and effective decisions.

Agile methodologies are designed to avoid common development issues and increase overall efficiency. However, these will not work for your organization if you don’t have a concrete understanding of the Agile development process and its related techniques.

In its purest form, Agile offers a lightweight framework for helping development teams deal with a constantly evolving functional and technical landscape and focusing on continuous delivery. As a result, organizations become able to reduce the overall risk associated with software development.

In a nutshell, the solutions in Agile are built iteratively and incrementally. This type of methodology has been shown to deliver quality products in less time and improve the overall customer satisfaction as a result.

Why Go Agile?

If you decided on a whim, whether you wanted to opt to use Agile or not, then my friend, you could be in serious trouble if luck isn’t on your side. Choosing Agile depends on the following:

Clarity of  Requirements and Objectives

Are the requirements clearly outlined? Are they expected to change?

Is the Solution a Hazy Guess or Crystal Clear?

Are there multiple solutions that are equally possible?

Degree of Access to End Users

How actively can the end users be involved in the development process?

If you are unclear or expecting changes in the stakes mentioned above, then I suggest you go for Agile.

Advantages of Agile:

  • Better planning.
  • Proper allocation of resources.
  • Shorter development cycles.
  • Control of overall development process.
  • Fully integrate and execute the broader-based activities into a systematic plan.
  • Stakeholder Engagement.
  • Transparency.
  • Early and Predictable Delivery.
  • Predictable Costs and Schedule.
  • Allows for Change.
  • Improves Quality.

Everything Is Great, But Watch Out For:

  • Design and documentation: Because of an incremental approach, there is always a chance that you could miss out on the necessary documentation and designing.
  • Inexperienced Programmers: Rapid decision making is one of the core tenets of Agile. Senior and experienced programmers are more capable of making the best decisions, on-time. Unless inexperienced programmers are paired with more experienced programmers, they could do more harm than good.
  • Losing Sight of Real Goals: If the end-user representative is not actively involved, there is a high chance that you could lose track of the end product's requirements.

There are always some bumps in every road. Agile is tricky, but very effective if done right.

It's All About Agile

A survey of 601 software developers and IT professionals showed that the vast majority of organizations are adopting the Agile methodology

Apple,  Microsoft,  Amazon, and  Electronic Arts are some of the amazing companies using Agile methodologies at their best.

Why Take on Agile

Companies believe in providing the best solutions to clients, especially when they can't differentiate between what they want and what they actually need.

Companies take Agile software development through multiple stages because of which they are more able to provide what the customers need at any given time. Any alterations or prior implementations that are required to meet the client's needs can be included along with adding new features.

Download the free agile tools checklist from 321 Gang. This guide will help you choose the right agile tools to position your team for success. 

Topics:
adopting agile ,agile ,agile software development ,self organizing ,sprints

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