In the modern world of software development, there are many different ways to maximize your output so that you can have high-quality software within the fastest development time. There are many different methods out there to optimize the development cycle. One such technique is the agile methodology, which 71% of the companies are utilizing as we speak.
Today we’re discussing the definition of agile development methodology, the agile manifesto, and everything about agile methodology. But first, let’s start with a basic definition.
Definition of Agile Methodology
Agile methodology, also referred to as the agile scrum methodology, is a continuous iterative process where software developers develop and test a product repeatedly until they have the desired result. It’s much faster than traditional methods since the traditional method is weighed down by documentation methods.
The agile method focuses on delivering smaller increments rapidly rather than staking it all on the “big launch.”
Definition of Agile Software Development
Agile software development focuses on the fastest prioritization path to turn a business idea into a fully functional software product. Agile software development provides value to the customer or clients by continuous update iterations based on previous experience.
Agile software development focuses on the following:
- Continuous planning
- Improvements based on the learnings
- Team collaboration
- Evolution through development
- Faster delivery
Core Values of Agile Software Development
The agile software development method has four core values. These are:
- Individual and team interactions over processes and tools
- Functional software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Response to change over following a plan
Roles In Agile Methodology
There are a few key roles in agile development, which always starts with the users.
Users play the most important role in the agile scrum method. The user persona shapes the product through an agile, iterative process. The workflow of the method will change based on different customer needs and behaviors, and other roles will be set accordingly.
A product owner acts as the voice of the customers. The product owner should always consider the potential user since eager users can become potential customers. As we all know, customers are kings.
A product owner combines all the necessary insights and feedback to turn it into a product vision. No matter how brief or elaborate the product vision is, it will always mirror the needs of the users and the value they will get through the product owner’s vision.
The product owner has to work with the development team to turn that vision into a real, tangible thing in the form of a full-fledged product. The development team may create the product, but it’s up to the product owner to instruct the team to build it in the desired shape.
The main focus of agile scrum is to deliver a fully functional product in the form of software. So, the team has to focus on creating complete end-to-end functions. To ensure every function is working properly, a developer team should also include the following:
- Additional Roles Based On The Project
- Automation Engineers
- Data Engineers
- User Experience (UX Designers)
The team leader’s objective is to partner with the product owner. As a product owner, you have a vision that you want to turn into an actual product. The team leader’s task is to collaborate with the team leader and translate his vision into the product.
To do so, the team leader has to create the following estimates:
- Non-Functional Acceptance Criteria
- Security Concerns
- Technical Considerations
- User Story Mapping
Scrum masters work as a coach for new teams who are not familiar with the agile method. They coach the team leaders, as well as team members, on agile methodology. They can review each progress block to determine the overall progress and develop strategies for improvement.
The business also partners with the product owner to review all the test results for the different development iterations. Business analysts can be very helpful when they have software development knowledge and can analyze even the microservices implemented within the product.
The Agile Manifesto
Agile Manifesto is a collection of principles set up in 2001 by 17 professional software developers. The professionals in question were already practicing different agile methods and decided to create a general manifesto of principles for all methods across the board. We have already discussed the four core values of the manifesto, so let’s look at the agile principles.
Principles of Agile Manifesto
- Customer Satisfaction: satisfy the customers through early delivery of software in development.
- Welcome Change: Welcome all changes for competitive advantages, even in the late development stage.
- Deliver Frequently: Deliver working software frequently. A short timescale frequency is preferred.
- Work Together: Manage collaborations between business members and developers through the entire development cycle.
- Motivated Team: Build the projects around motivated individuals. Motivate them regularly with a friendly environment and support their needs. Have faith in the developers to get it done in time.
- Face-to-Face: Always prioritize face-to-face conversations to make it the most efficient method to transfer information between team members.
- Working Software: Measure the progress of work by the amount of functional software that has already been completed.
- Constant Pace: The pace of development has to be constant, and the consistency must be sustained over a long period.
- Good Design: Enhance team agility by keeping constant attention on good design.
- Simplicity: Always keep it simple. Maximize the number of things you don’t have to do to streamline the efforts.
- Self- Organization: Self-organizing teams to determine the best architectures, designs, and requirements.
- Reflect & Adjust: Regularly reflect on the progress, and adjust development behavior for continuous improvement.
10 Key Agile Methodologies For Software Development
There are various iterations of the agile approach. Now, we’ll be talking about 10 of them, which have proven to be the most efficient.
Here are the ten key agile methodologies for software development:
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Lean Method
- Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
- Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
- Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
Scrum framework is a multi-purpose method. It can be used for different project management scenarios besides software development. Scrum methodology is organized into different roles, events, and artifacts.
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master/ Scrum Team Leader
- Scrum Development Team
- Daily Scrum
- Sprint Planning Meeting
- Sprint Review
- Sprint Retrospective
- Product Backlog
- Sprint Backlog
- Sprint Goal
Extreme Programming (XP)
Also known as Pair Programming, this is a method developed by Kent Beck in the early 90s. The XP method promotes frequent releases of a software product after each short development cycle.
This way, the development process creates checkpoints for the software, where the project team can easily implement all customer feedback.
An extreme programming approach to software development is the most suitable when:
- The requirements are constantly changing
- The teams are working on a tight deadline
- Stakeholders want to reduce risks under the imposed deadlines
- Teams can automate unit and functional tests
The crystal method is one of the most lightweight agile methods that rely on people and their interactions throughout the process. Crystal method is based on three core concepts:
- Chartering: this phase includes multiple activities such as: creating the development team, performing feasibility analysis, creating plans, and fine-tuning the development method.
- Cyclic Delivery: This phase includes multiple cycles, which are:
- The team updating and refining the plan
- Implementing requirements after testing
- Delivering the integrated product to real users
- Reviewing the development plan and adapting accordingly
- Wrap-Up: This phase usually concludes with deployment and post-deployment activities.
Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
DSDM takes a Rapid Application Development approach. Sounds pretty RAD, if you ask me (pun intended).
An important aspect of DSDM is that it requires direct user engagement. DSDM has four main phases:
- Feasibility And Business Study
- Prototype Iteration
- Design & Build Iteration
Feature Driven Development (FDD)
FDD is another user-centric development method that requires status reports across all levels during development. FDD is the best method when you want to remove confusion from within the team and prevent reworks of the same iteration over and over again.
Feature-Driven Development has eight steps that it follows:
- Object Model Development
- Development by Feature
- Component Ownership
- Feature Teams
- Configuration Management
- Regular Builds
- Visible Results of Progress
Lean software development is not just a method; it’s a mixed set of tools and principles. The lean method aims to remove excess procedures and speed up project development speed while reducing costs as much as possible.
Here are the seven steps of the lean method:
- Removing Waste
- Amplifying Learning
- Defer Commitment
- Early Delivery
- Team Empowerment
- Integrity Building
- Development Optimization
The focus of the Kanban method is effective teamwork. Taichii Ohno, an industrial engineer at Toyota, defined the method. Kanban has three principles:
- Visualize the workflow
- Limit the amount of work in progress
- Organize the entire workflow based on priority.
Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
Dan North created the BDD method in 2003 as an evolution of the Test Driven Development (TDD) method. Dan created the method to bring non-technical people together with universal language concepts to eliminate failures. These failures were caused by the inability to convey the product ideas and miscommunication between team members from different walks of life.
Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
This method is also known as Adaptive Project Management (APM). This methodology was based on factors that can appear anytime during development without warning. This methodology is applied to IT projects where traditional project management cannot bring results.
This framework is based on the idea that any resource related to the project can change anytime, whether it’s budget, available tech stack, or the timeframe. Instead of focusing on the resources a project needs, APF focuses on the resources it has to make the best of them.
Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
The core concept of ASD relies on continuous adaptation to different resources and requirements. ASD method allows the developers to utilize continuous learning during the development cycle.
The methodology has a non-linear structure, so the team members can run all three phases of this method simultaneously. Constant repetition of the three steps can enable faster problem detection and deployment of a different iteration that can solve the problem.
Pros And Cons of Agile Methodology
|Frequent Delivery||Shortage of documentation can create confusion|
|Direct communication with all clients||Lack of documentation can create issues during maintenance|
|Efficient design||The methodology has been highly modified over time to suit individual company owners.|
|Best for fulfilling necessary business requirements||The lack of technological implementation makes it less convincing for the higher-ups|
|Frequent changes can be made|
|Changes are acceptable during any phase of the development cycle.|
|Reduces overall development time|
To Wrap It All Up
Agile project management may have become a bit more diluted due to the modern-day meddling of various experts. However, continuous delivery is still a highly efficient method to get the most out of any project. As you can see from the table above, the pros of the methodology outweigh the cons.
In an age where development culture is equally important to technical implementations, the agile framework can put some pep in your step to give you a competitive edge in software development.
Agile methodology is a continuous iterative approach to product development where it’s constantly tested and improved till the final product is out.
Everyone plays an equal part in an agile scrum development cycle. The product owner has to provide an idea, a team leader has to convey the idea to the team, and scrum masters have to take the team through rapid development.
The agile manifesto has 12 principles.
One scrum master is enough for a development team to reach maximum functionality.
Different agile methodologies are suitable for different organizations and development scenarios. So there is no sure way of declaring one of the many agile scrum methods as the most effective.