Agile development practices enable organizations to experience the power of putting together whole teams in a specified process that embraces inclusiveness and drives productivity. It is not just one thing; it is many concerted efforts that make Agile so strong. The quality and speed with which your team produces software will make or break your business in the marketplace..
What is Agile software development?
Agile software development is based on six fundamental steps, covering the entire program life cycle: planning, requirements study, design, coding, evaluation, and documentation. In each of the interactions, the team responsible for the development does not deliver the entire software. Small elements tested and evaluated are added, which together make up the program.
Teamwork is essential. Agile development avoids the momentous meetings at the end of the project, which in many cases, slows down the software’s implementation. Instead, opt for informal meetings throughout the entire process, from the early stages of planning and studying requirements.
Developing certain software following the waterfall model implies ending a process before continuing with the next. This way of proceeding implies speeding up the work, thus reducing quality to meet the client’s deadlines.
Agile development principles
There are three basic principles on which agile development is based.
- Individuals and processes: first, human capital prevails over processes and tools. Therefore, the entire development process revolves around meeting the specific needs of users.
- Client: of course, the client’s collaboration in each and every one of the stages that are part of the process is very important. The relationship between the client and the team of developers must therefore be based on mutual trust.
- Adaptation: another of the basic principles is the ability to adapt. The 21st century marketplace is changing at an ever-increasing speed. Survival is dependent upon the ability to assess the current challenges and shift accordingly. It is precisely the market of the 21st century one of the most variable and, in addition, changes are taking place at an ever-increasing speed.
Thus, agile software development relies on early delivery, delivering programs in operation for two weeks. In addition, it responds precisely to changing requirements, both from the market and from customers. The main factor in evaluating its performance is the operation of the software.
And finally, it is worth highlighting the importance of simplification to avoid that both the software and the development process are not too complex.
Benefits of the Agile Methodology
The advantages of using agile methodologies for software development are overwhelming compared to other previously used methodologies. Companies increasingly use them for the savings they provide both in time, costs, and the improvement in team members’ motivation, which translates into a work of higher quality and efficiency.
For its part, the development process is also positively affected thanks to the use of these methodologies. The flexibility in the processes, the constant feedback with the client throughout the development, and the interactions both between team members and with the client help projects to significantly increase their quality, making it possible to eliminate unnecessary characteristics, and perceived errors or problems more quickly.
Most used Agile Methodologies.
There are various choices, but the most widely used are extreme programming ( XP), Scrum, and Kanban, all of which are influenced by the pattern set out in the Agile Manifesto by several writers who lay out the 12 principles of agile software.
Extreme Programming XP
This tool is very useful, particularly in the restructuring process for start-ups or businesses, because its main objective is to assist in employee-client relationships. The key to Intense Programming XP ‘s success is the strengthening of personal relationships through teamwork, encouraging communication, and reducing downtime.
Its main phases:
- Plan preparation for the consumer
- Development of the project
- Coding, where programmers function in pairs to produce more effective and quality performance.
- Tests to verify that the codes that are being implemented work
It is defined by the “chaos approach” focused on an incremental framework of production; that is, every period of creation of goods and/or services is broken down into “small projects” separated into different stages: research, development , and testing. In the production stage, we learn what is known as process interactions or Sprint: the final product’s daily and partial deliveries.
This strategy makes it possible to tackle difficult tasks that require flexibility and the requisite speed when delivering the results. The plan will be to deal with and normalize mistakes that could occur in developments that are too long, to ensure compliance with the objectives set by regular meetings.
The meetings are the foundation of the technique. We differentiate between planning, daily, review, and retrospective meetings, the most important of all since it is held after finishing a sprint to reflect and propose improvements in the project progress. Innovation, versatility, competition, and efficiency are the main aspects in which Scrum is going.
For project managers, the Kanban technique called ‘Visual Card’ is beneficial. This consists of constructing a table or diagram that represents, pending, in progress, or completed in three columns of tasks. This table should be available to all team members, thus eliminating the duplication of tasks or the possibility of losing any of them. It also helps to improve the work community’s efficiency and competitiveness.
The advantages provided by this methodology are:
- Task planning
- Improved teamwork performance
- Visual metrics
- Delivery times are continuous.
Benefits of incorporating Agile Methodologies in the organization: –
There are several reasons for using agile methodologies, and they are so relevant that the key benefits are examined here.
1. Agile methodologies increase customer satisfaction because they can be involved and engaged in the whole project. At each point, the customer will be told of the same successes and development, with the vision of directly involving them in incorporating their expertise and knowledge and enhancing the final product’s characteristics to gain a full view of its status.
2. Another advantage is the enhancement of the production team’s enthusiasm and engagement. But this change is not accidental: agile methodologies help all team members to know at any time the set of optimizations; therefore, all team members negotiate and accept commitments.
3. On the other hand, it should be remembered that opting for the implementation of agile management saves time and costs. Agile production operates more effectively and rapidly, and therefore strictly adheres to the budget and deadlines negotiated within a project.
4. With greater speed and efficiency, it works. One of its application’s maxims is that it operates by partial deliveries of the component. In this way, a much more efficient version of the commodity can be produced in the shortest possible time.
5. It will be possible to remove any unnecessary product functionality thanks to partial deliveries (focused on providing certain functionalities that add value first) and customer engagement.
6. Agile methodologies enable product quality to be enhanced. The ongoing contact between developers and consumers helps ensure that what the customer is asking for and wants is exactly the final product. It is possible to accept technical excellence with this strategy, thereby obtaining a technologically superior product.
7. Both mistakes and concerns can be easily notified during the project. All those issues that might occur from the beginning can be addressed, thus improving costs and delivery.
8. Finally, agile methodologies allow us to make our investments efficient. The client will have fast access to those functionalities that add value by accelerating the return on investment thanks to the realization of early deliveries.
We are working on an Agile strategy, our teams are:
- Holding meetings for stand-ups and iteration preparation where we explore, prioritize, and track storeys .
- Using pair programming to help ensure higher quality code.
- Write code and then testing and deploying it, such as Concourse, through a continuous integration / continuous delivery tool.
Our processes are tailored for individuals, large and small; individuals working in small teams who are motivated to perform at their best and produce quality results at a sustainable rate.