The term “agile”, as many of you already know, means the ability to create and adapt to change for achieving success in a turbulent atmosphere.
The same concept is what drives this software development structure.
Putting a formal cap on it; Agile Software Development is a set of methodologies that organizes the varying phases of software development. These methodologies and practices are all based on the values & principle expressed in Agile Manifesto (Keep reading to learn more about Agile Manifesto).
At its core, agile software development approach is so flexible and fluid that it can shape the entire development of the project, while including customer interactions. Unlike what it may sound like, Agile Methodology doesn’t seal the fate of every project in stone but it embraces & adapts to incorporate projects’ ups and downs.
Agile Development is an umbrella term used for several iterative development methodologies that are focused on adaptive planning, faster delivery, continuous improvement and ability to evolve. These methods or practices include:
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
- Lean Development
- Future Driven Development (FDD)
All these methodologies might have a unique approach on an individual level but they share a single vision and core values. The common operating principle of these practices is that the feedback gathered from continuous iteration during a project is used to refine the end product, until its tested and integrated for a sophisticated software delivery.
Agile Methodology is compatible, collaborative and empowering, which makes it rather a popular choice in development circles when it comes to agile software development for businesses. According to VersionOne’s State of Agile Report of 2017, indicated that 94 % organizations practice this methodology in one way or the other, yet despite being wide-spread, it’s hardly ever exercised in entirety.
Evolution of Agile Software Development:
The late 90’s was a time when many of new methodologies surfaced and gained popularity. They focused on collaboration between the stakeholders & developers. These methodologies frequently delivered business value and smart software development. If we look at the individual elements of the agile methodology, they have been around for many years. Agile Methodology, in a way, took this haphazard customer support, engineering, and management principles and combines them to offer a path that promotes rapid development and testing of a software. You can find new and old practices in almost all individual agile methodologies.
The term “Agile” was given to this group of methodologies in Snowbird, Utah; where 17 software developers were gathered to share ideas about their software development processes. The basic principles formed the foundation for the famous Manifesto for Agile Development.
Advantages of using the Agile Approach:
- High Quality Product: In addition to being adaptive, the agile approach places an unprecedented focus on team collaboration. All elements of a project are discussed and subsequently incorporated. Through this heightened focus on collaboration, the project features (both as a particular aspect and overall efficiency) can be enhanced over the developmental time span. Also with rigorous testing, integrations, and documentation; the end product is of the supreme quality.
- High Customer Satisfaction – Another advantage of agile is the fact that the end customer’s opinion is taken into account. Rather than just surprising the customer with a software product that is already completed, you can engage customers and show them your project and ask for feedback. This way when the product is finally launched, customers are already familiar with it and breaking into the market gets easier.
- Minimized Risk – After all the careful steps are taken to ensure that each and every aspect of the software is at its best and that customers are pleased with it, the chances of product failing are lessened considerably. Also, agile approach gives a development changed to adapt the product to customers’ changing preferences without compromising the budget.
- Complete Control – All involved parties can control the project development with the periodical sprint meetings, transparency and use of the Jira (Jira Software is built for every member of a software team to plan, track, and release great software.)
- Faster ROI – Since with agile you can have a general idea of market’ acceptance of the product in the market within the few iterations. Also, because the software engineering team works within the close approximation of the product owner, they are well acquainted with what their client wants.
In this article, we enlisted a brief overview of agile software development. However, agile is not an ideal developmental structure every time and we will tell more about that in the coming articles. Stay tuned!