In today's market, consumer needs are ever-rising, and traditional software methodologies are having a hard time coping with them. We need a methodology that can handle the changing requirements of consumers. This is where the agile method comes in.
According to research, 71% of companies use agile for software development. Agile methodologies enable organizations to respond more quickly to market dynamics and complete projects successfully.
If you're unsure about which methodology to use, read this article to determine why you should adopt the agile approach for your software development.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Agile methodology
- Why is agile better than traditional methodologies?
- What are the fundamental concepts of agile methodology?
- How does agile software development work?
- 11 reasons to choose agile software development
- Wrapping Up
- Organizations want to be flexible with fewer members but more dedicated teams. This way, they have a better ability to respond to change and delight their customers. The agile approach is the way to achieve this.
- Waterfall is an older methodology of developing software where you gather requirements, design, and then develop. It is a step-by-step process that has less flexibility and more rigidity while you're building the software.
- The fundamental concepts of agile methodology are user stories, epic, sprint planning, scrum, backlog.
- Agile divides a project into smaller parts known as user stories. Developers go through these user stories like a to-do list, deciding which one to prioritize and grouping them into iterations with estimated deadlines for each. Each part is delivered, and the user gives feedback. This is how the agile team creates the product.
- The agile process maintains the quality of development by focusing on the needs of customers.
- The agile approach is an iterative one and completes one sprint at a time. This helps in hastening the process of development.
- Agile teams can react better to emerging changes which limits the risk of complete project failure.
- Agile allows teams and individuals to prioritize work and features more effectively.
- Since the agile development process responds to changes, the requirements change over time. The development process works flexibly towards adapting to the changes.
- The Agile approach is highly productive because it allows everyone to stay focused on one task at a time.
- Agile projects can be less expensive because the people doing the work are more effective, resulting in more productive work being completed in a short time.
Overview of Agile methodology
Agile software development is an iterative approach to product delivery that builds incrementally from the starting of the project rather than delivering the entire product at the end.
In agile, you're not creating software for a long time, but you'll do it in multiple sprints. You'll start with phases like planning, implementing, testing, and reviewing. By this, you'll create one of the software components and move on to create the next one.
Here, you're completing the software by providing the different components of the software to customers and getting feedback. You can also change the feedback accordingly.
Agile is a flexible way to organize the four characteristics that are defined below:
In an agile approach, firstly, the team formulates a flexible strategy. You don't write extensive plans but start right away. You make sure the project continually adjusts with changes as it moves along.
An agile organization has multidisciplinary teams which experiment and can make independent decisions. They organize their work and take ownership of it without the interference of project managers.
Agile organizations also achieve results in short cycles. This helps teams to create value instantly. After every process of one or two weeks, customers give feedback so the team can adjust and improve.
An agile team visualizes their work. The team can see straightway where they want to go for the development of particular software. They can see how they are progressing and what the latest developments are.
The promise of agile is to develop the software faster, giving the members more autonomy and delighted customers.
Why is agile better than traditional methodologies?
Let's go back to the previous methodologies that were used. Traditionally, the waterfall model is the one that was used for software development.
The waterfall model consists of requirements, design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance phases.
This model promotes a very long-term development lifecycle. It was used to develop monolithic applications instead of the microservices we have these days.
And that's where the issue starts.
In waterfall, you need a long time to develop a particular software, but this is not feasible now. And once you have set the requirements, you can not undo them. This goes with all the other traditional methodologies as it works for specified user requirements.
As the demand for software is high, we need to change according to the market needs. Because of the issue, a new software methodology was introduced to overcome it, which is the agile methodology.
Agile can change and adapt to the market, satisfy the market needs in a short period. These factors make agile very suited for developing software these days.
What are the fundamental concepts of agile methodology?
The agile methodology contains a lot of different terms in the development process. These terms make the process flexible and adapt to changing requirements according to user feedback.
Let's have a glance at those terms:
A user story is a small defined piece of functionality that a group of developers works on during a sprint.
A sprint is a set period, usually one or two weeks, where the agile team works together on a set of user stories on a product.
An epic is a larger undefined user story that gets more refined and broken down into multiple user stories as a team gets closer to working on it.
Sprint planning is an event that happens at the beginning of a sprint where the agile team comes together to figure out the user stories they will be working on during that sprint.
A backlog is a list of user stories that are not actively being worked on in the current sprint.
Scrum is a framework designed for the agile process. In this approach, the team working on a sprint together will have meetings about what they have done so far and what they have to do to release the product.
How does agile software development work?
Doing agile development is a lot like running a restaurant where everyone has their specific tasks. Still, they have to work together, so all the pieces come together at the right time.
The biggest priority here is the need of customers, and the team will be successful when the product is satisfactorily delivered.
In software development, the business unit asks for the products they want to develop, providing the user stories and requirements. The agile teams take the needs and figure out how to make the product to be delivered at the right time.
In project planning, the scrum master consults with the product owner. The development team organizes the requirements into groups that can be tackled at once. The groups are prioritized in order.
Developers implement what they committed to making adjustments to deliver the desired result based on customers' feedback. The teams also give each other feedback.
In this way, continuous integration ensures that all the products are delivered at a satisfactory rate.
11 reasons to choose agile software development
There are quite a few reasons why agile is catching up as the preferred development style by web and mobile companies.
Here we are providing a list of reasons why you should prefer agile for your software development:
1. Quality of Development
The regular interactions between the client teams and agile teams help in improved quality of the application.
Since the clients are involved in the process of development, they ensure that the results are satisfactory. Due to technical focus in the process of Agile development, the testing process is refined as well.
The agile methodology maintains the quality of development throughout the whole process.
2. Faster Development Process
Agile's advantages are directly related to its faster, lighter, and more engaged perspective. In simple terms, the process ensures that the customer gets what they want when they want it.
There is far less time spent developing in the wrong direction, and the entire system responds to changes much faster.
3. Reduced Risks
Since Agile is based on the incremental development model, the client and the teams know what is complete and the issues. This reduces risk in the process of development.
Since one can quickly respond to the changes in development, any complications can be quickly resolved.
4. High Motivation
Agile teams have more autonomy and authority over their decisions because they are self-organized and managed.
Agile teams are highly motivated and self-organized to bring out better results from the development projects. The agile methodology helps plan each sprint and execute it with precision in the estimated period.
Issues and problems are discussed in daily scrums and help in a smooth development process.
5. Flexible Process
The agile methodology makes the process of development extremely flexible.
The Agile methodology is flexible as it can be applied to both small and large projects. Developers can choose the ways that best suit their team size and project requirements.
6. Higher productivity
There are various processes in the Agile methodology that help achieve a higher level of productivity in development. Quicker and more significant milestones in the Agile process ensure that the final productivity is much higher.
Each sprint and scrum is given proper importance. Technical questions are quickly resolved in the development process.
Besides, the collaborative nature of the Agile development process also makes it a highly productive one.
7. Strong Estimation
One of the key ways to build effective client relationships for software development includes the accuracy of estimates. Often, software developers do not provide proper estimates, which becomes a reason for worry for the project managers.
Since the milestone cycles are intense, the developers can learn from the estimation mistakes in the previous sprints and give more accurate estimates for the upcoming ones.
Agile ensures transparency in the development process as the client knows what you're doing. They have more trust in you because you'll be telling them what you're doing.
You'll do this by providing software components in every other sprint. So, customers know what kind of software they're getting. They provide you feedback, and you will improve upon the next iteration by using that in your planning stage.
Since an agile process is time-bound, it is also bound by a fixed project. The scope and requirements keep changing while these have to be managed within the specified budget.
This ensures that the project is delivered on time and cost-effectively.
10. Suitable for Mobile application development
Agile methodology is beneficial for mobile application development. As the method works on divided sprints, it is very convenient to make changes.
As a result, it will negatively impact the development process, and changes can be implemented quickly.
11. More Enjoyable
Teammates discuss what is best for the product and project, and the team is given the authority to make decisions.
Most people find agile development teams a much more enjoyable workplace because of their active participation, cooperation, and collaboration.
Agile is an approach to deploy an application in a much more organized way rapidly.
Everyone it seems is doing agile development, but the truth is that many organizations don't have a firm grasp on agile software development. Even if you think you're doing agile, you may not be.
Are you looking for guidance for your agile software development?
PolyUno would be the best solution for you. Book a call with PolyUno today!