What is Agile
Updated on 22nd Apr, 21 202 Views

Companies need software competency so that they can deliver a great digital experience to their users, and the Agile process model is one of the best ways to do that. Nowadays, most technologies used by organizations practice Agile and its methodology for the process of software development. This blog talks in detail about Agile and Agile architecture so that you can learn about its basics and consider implementing it in your organization. The topics that we will discuss in this blog are listed below:

Let’s begin by reading about what Agile is and what principles it follows.

 

What is Agile?

Agile is a popular technology that allows you to build and respond to changes. It is a collection of several principles that are used in the field of project management and software development. This practice works on the continuous iteration of testing and development for the complete Agile software development lifecycle of the given business project.

Rather than making big changes at work, Agile aims to help teams work toward small goals that can be achieved, which proves to be successful in delivering customers what they need easily without having to set any big and unattainable goals. Agile requires professionals to continuously evaluate several plans, requirements, and results, and this allows them to respond to the necessary changes easily and quickly.

If you want to know a little more about Agile, you must check out the YouTube video below:

Core Values of Agile

Before reading about the principles followed by Agile, let’s check out some of the core values of Agile that are mentioned in the Agile Manifesto:

  • Individuals and interactions over tools and processes
  • The working product over comprehensive documents
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to changes over following a plan

Now, let’s take a look at the 12 principles that are followed in Agile technology.

Agile Principles

  • Focus on customer satisfaction: The first priority of Agile is to ensure customer satisfaction via the quick and continuous delivery of the necessary products.
  • Accept changes: It is important to address the changes in requirements, even if they are introduced late in the development process. Agile implements changes to help organizations gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
  • Deliver work frequently: The product needs to be delivered frequently, keeping in mind the shortest timescale for the preference of the customers.
  • Work as a team: Both the development team and the business team must work together for the entire duration of the given project.
  • Work with a motivated team: While working with the team, ensure that the members of the team are trusted and motivated that the project can be completed on time. You must also create an environment where they can work with each other and receive the support required.
  • Have face-to-face interactions with the team: Having face-to-face conversations with the team members is among the most effective methods for communicating and conveying required information to the development team.
  • Focus on the working product: The significant measure that shows progress is the working software that indicates the progress toward the final result.
  • Ensure sustainable development: Agile methods can promote sustainability when the developers, sponsors, and users are able to maintain a regular and constant pace.
  • Enhance agility: The agility of the product can be enhanced by providing regular attention to the technical details and design.
  • Have simplicity: It is important to have simplicity in your product to waste minimal time and use most of the time efficiently and get the work done.
  • Maintain a self-organizing team: The best type of designs and architectures can only be achieved through a team consisting of self-organizing members.
  • Reflect and update: The team reflects on making the product more effective regularly and further, adjusts and makes improvements in the features of the product.
Agile Principles
 

Agile Software Development

Agile software development is a compiled set of several practices and frameworks based on the core principles and values mentioned in the Agile Manifesto. Agile methodology is one of the best ways to approach software development compared to other available methods. One feature that makes it unique from the others is that it requires the team members to work together. Moreover, the results are achieved through the collaboration of cross-functional, self-organizing teams.

Just because the teams are self-organizing does not mean that they do not require managers; they do. Managers ensure that the team members have the necessary skills that the project requires, and they also offer the required environment for the project. Generally, managers allow the team members to identify how to deliver the product without interfering, but whenever the members have trouble coming up with solutions that can resolve the issue at hand, they step in.

Now that you have read enough about Agile, its principles and core values, and its role in the software development field, let’s take a look at the various types of Agile methodologies that help in the development of software.

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What is Agile methodology?

In simple terms, Agile methodology in the field of project management is the process of managing the given business project that is defined using collaboration and iterations at regular intervals so that it meets the requirements of the particular customer. Agile uses various methods or frameworks that can be implemented in the project to make it successful. Some of them include Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme programming.

You will read about them and a few other Agile frameworks in the next section of the blog.

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Types of Agile Methodology

There are numerous Agile methodologies that are used by most companies. A few of them are explained briefly further.

Scrum

What is Scrum? – Scrum is a framework used by the members of a team to form a hypothesis, put it to test, look back and reflect on it, and make necessary changes. This framework also allows professionals to adopt practices from other frameworks as per requirements. It makes the project move ahead through short-term work blocks called sprints. These sprints are often limited to an interval of 2 weeks.

Kanban

The Kanban framework helps in designing, managing, and making improvements in the flow of the system. It allows companies to get a visual of their workflow and the work that is pending and needs to be done.

Extreme Programming

Extreme programming allows team members to develop software of high-quality that makes improvements in its overall work quality. It helps in developing the software using specific engineering practices. Extreme programming is of significant use when teams are dealing with the risk that comes with handling new changes that might have been caused because of various reasons.

Lean

Lean consists of a varied range of principles and tools that identify and eliminate waste to help speed up the development process. The Lean software development framework helps in maximizing the value and minimizing waste. Most industries that produce some types of waste during SDLC use Lean to reduce it.

Crystal

What is the Crystal method? Crystal is an Agile framework that manages interactions with customers instead of focusing on processes and tools. Crystal works on the dynamic and unique nature of the project, and it is responsible for streamlining the tasks to make optimized improvements. It helps improve the team’s strength concerning continuous integration, communication, and so on.

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After getting a detailed introduction to Agile, now you will read about the Waterfall model.

 

The Waterfall Model

Like the Agile model, the Waterfall model is also a method for software development. It is an old approach in the field of SDLC that requires software development teams to follow a laid-out process and move on to the next step only once the previous and the current steps are completed. Here, before the start of any new phase, the old phase must be successfully completed.

Steps of the Waterfall Model

The steps followed by professionals while using the Waterfall model are as follows:

  • Requirement: In this step, all the requirements of the system are gathered and documented for analysis.
  • System design: In the system design step, the requirements gathered in the previous step are studied to set up the design of the system. This allows professionals to understand the hardware specifications and system requirements, along with defining the architecture of the system.
  • Implementation: Here, small programs are built on the basis of system design. These programs are units that can be integrated into the upcoming stage in the model. The functionality of the units is tested, and the process is known as unit testing.
  • Testing: Once a unit is tested, it is adopted by the system. In this testing and integration stage, after all the units are integrated, the whole system is checked for failures and faults.
  • Deployment: After the completion of the testing phase, the product is released to the market and made accessible to the users.
  • Maintenance: The last phase of the model is to deal with the issues that come up from clients after the product patches are released. Maintaining the project will help in making improvements, enhancing it. It also allows you to deliver the changes to the client.

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Further, you will read about some of the differences between the two software development methods.

 

Agile Model vs Waterfall Model

The Agile ModelThe Waterfall Model
In Agile, the life cycle of project development is divided into sprintsIn Waterfall, the development process is divided into multiple phases
It follows an incremental methodIt follows a sequential method
One of the benefits of Agile is its flexibilityIt is a structured method of developing software, often making it rigid
It can be referred to as a collection of several projectsIt is completed as a single project
The changes in the requirements of the project development can be made even after the completion of the initial planIn the Waterfall method, there is no room for making adjustments in the requirements once you begin the development

Let’s read about the advantages of the Agile model and the disadvantages of the Waterfall model that led to the creation and adoption of Agile in most organizations.

Check out the difference between Agile and Waterfall methodology in our video below:

 

Benefits of the Agile Model

  • It allows interaction and collaboration between the project team and the clients.
  • It helps in providing transparency to the clients and offering them a clear knowledge of the project development steps.
  • The product is always delivered on time or early.
  • The product cost can be estimated.
  • Changes help in making an improved product.
  • The entire project is broken down into smaller parts that offer a better quality of development and testing.
 

Drawbacks of the Waterfall Model

  • The actual software is created toward the end of the project life cycle.
  • It involves a lot of uncertainty and risk as the testing is done once the project is completed.
  • It is not suitable for long and complex projects that are object-oriented.
  • It is difficult to measure the development progress in the various phases.
  • It does not accommodate changes in the requirements.

Learn about the professionals working in Scrum in our blog on Scrum Master!

 

Conclusion

This ‘What is Agile? Introduction to Agile Methodology’ blog has helped you gain in-depth knowledge of the reasons why the Agile method was introduced and adopted by most organizations for software development. Further, you also read about the Waterfall model, one of the primitive methods used in software development. Moreover, you came across the differences between the two so that you understood how and why Agile is better compared to the Waterfall method. So, if you want to be an expert in project management, you must sign up for our Agile course and give yourself a head start.

If you have any doubts regarding Agile, contact us at our Agile Community!

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