Software development has changed over the years. This article will explain why agile methodology is important to improve your team’s work efficiency and success rate.
What is Agile Methodology?
Agile methodology is one of the simplest and most effective processes for turning a vision for a business need into software solutions. Agile is a term used to describe software development approaches that use continuous planning, improvement, team collaboration, learning, early delivery, and evolutionary development. It encourages flexible responses to change. That is, it is a type of project management process used primarily for software development where requests and solutions are self-organising and in which cross-functional teams and their customers develop through a collaborative effort.
The Agile Manifesto is a statement of principles expressing values and agile methodology. Consisting of four core values and 12 core principles, this practice aims to help uncover better ways of software development by providing a clear and measurable structure that supports iterative development and team collaboration.
The general values of the Agile software development manifesto are:
- Interactions and individuals rather than processes and tools
- Software that works instead of extensive documentation
- Customer collaboration instead of contract bargaining
- Responding to change rather than following a plan
12 principles of Agile:
- Customer satisfaction with early and continuous software delivery
- Meet changing requirements throughout the development process
- Frequent delivery of functional software
- Collaboration between developers and business stakeholders throughout the project
- Support, trust and motivate stakeholders
- Activate face-to-face interactions
- Software execution is the primary measure of progress
- Agile processes to support a consistent pace of development
- Attention to technical details and design increases agility
- Self-organising teams promote great architectures, requirements, and designs
- Regular thoughts on how to be more effective
Benefits of Agile Methodology
The benefits of Agile methodology are directly tied to its faster, lighter, and more involved mindset. In summary, the process delivers what and when the customer wants. Time spent developing in the wrong direction is much less wasted and the entire system is faster to respond to changes.
Faster: One of the biggest benefits of Agile Methodology is speed. A faster software development lifecycle means less time between payment and getting paid. This means a more profitable business.
Increased customer satisfaction: With Agile, customers do not wait for months or years, only to get exactly what they want. Instead, they get iterations of something very close to what they want very quickly. The system quickly adjusts and adapts to changes in the overall environment to improve the successful customer solution.
Values employees: Employees whose opinions are valued are much more productive than those who are ordered to follow a set of rules. Agile Methodology respects employees by giving them the goal and then trusting that they will achieve it. Employees are in the best position to respond to challenges and achieve the goals at hand, as they are the ones who are hands-on and see the obstacles that arise every day.
Eliminates rework: By involving the customer in more than just the need and delivery stages, the project stays on task and aligned with customer needs every step of the way. This means less turnaround and less “on the limb” time between when we do the work and when the customer proposes a revision.
- Lean Software Development
Lean software development is an iterative Agile methodology that focuses the team on delivering value to the customer through effective value stream mapping. It is a very flexible and scalable methodology, without rigid guidelines, rules, or methods.
The main principles of the lean methodology include:
- Eliminating Waste
- Strengthening Learning
- Decision Making as Late as Possible
- Fastest Delivery as Possible
- Empowering the Team
- Seeing the Whole
It builds on fast and reliable feedback between programmers and customers and emphasises the speed and efficiency of development workflows. Lean uses the idea of ”pulling” a business product through customer demand. It empowers individuals and small teams to make decisions as it has proven to be a faster and more efficient method than a hierarchical flow of control. It also focuses on the efficient use of team resources and tries to ensure that everyone is as productive as possible for the maximum amount of time. It strongly recommends writing automated unit tests while coding.
Kanban is based on 3 basic principles:
- Visualise what you are going to do today (workflow automation): It can be very informative to see all the elements in the context of each other
- Limit the amount of work in progress (Work in Progress): This helps balance the flow-based approach, so teams don’t start and do too much work at the same time.
- Improve the flow: When something is finished, the next highest priority item in the backlog is brought into play
By defining the best possible team workflow, Kanban supports continuous collaboration and encourages active continuous learning and improvement.
Scrum is a lightweight agile project management framework that can be used to manage iterative and incremental projects of all types. It has gained increasing popularity over the years for its simplicity, proven productivity, and ability to combine various container applications supported by other Agile models.
While Scrum can benefit a wide variety of businesses and projects, these are the most likely beneficiaries:
- Complex projects: The Scrum methodology is ideal for projects that require teams to complete a backlog.
- Companies that value results: Scrum is also useful for companies that value results rather than documented progress of the process.
- Companies that appeal to customers: Scrum can assist companies that develop products that meet customer preferences and specifications.
You can also click on the link and see Agile Frameworks in detail here: 6 Scaled Agile Frameworks – Which One Is Right For You?
So, Agile methodology is a concept that has become increasingly popular and preferred by companies, as it provides many benefits.