What is Agile Software Development? Guide to Use Agile Methodology for Software Development
October 5, 2020

What is Agile Software Development? Guide to Use Agile Methodology for Software Development

Agile Software Development
What is Agile Software Development? Guide to Use Agile Methodology for Software Development
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Over the last decade, agile software development has drastically progressed from being just a trend to a significant growing part of the industry and why would it not? The agile method is developed out of the background of the leading software developers with real-life projects. Due to that, the challenges and limitations coming with the traditional software development system have completely been disowned.   

If you believe, according to the survey around three-quarters of the organizations which is more than 70% are now using agile approaches for their tech projects. Because of the capacity to build and adapt to transition, in an unpredictable and chaotic business climate to thrive, agile methodologies rely on fast and periodic partial solution deliverables that can be tested and used to assess the next steps by project teams. So if you’re also looking forward to using agile methodology for your quality software development projects, keep on reading this article guide. It explains everything from scratch.    

Introduction 

As we all know, the term agile methodology came into existence in 2001, but people and teams have already started to work together in an agile fashion in the mid-nineties. Because when in the early 90s desktop code computing started to flourish in the software industry, software development had to face a huge crisis at that time. 

What was the crisis? 

The period between validated market demand and initial implementation in software production was calculated by industry experts to be around three years. Now, the span of three years – you can imagine how huge it is – to change everything from requirements to systems. Because of this, several projects ended up being canceled, and several of those finished did not fulfill any of the company’s real demands, even if the project’s original targets were achieved. 

Now what? 

This has to be stopped at some point. You can’t lose years and money with no impact. Therefore, too many engineers, practitioners, and professionals thought that the waterfall methodology or also known as the waterfall model is heavy and not working. Then, they started combining old ideas with fresh ideas while working in teams. When the combination that finally succeeded, they created a methodology and framework to spread the idea around the world. That’s how agile software development was born – which is a completely different history of the agile alliance.

What is Agile Software Development?

The agile software development process refers to a community of iterative application-oriented software development methodologies where requirements and approaches grow by cooperation with self-organizing cross-functional IT teams. 

In simple words, the definition of the agile approach suggests that it is an incremental mechanism to plan, produce, and evaluate high-quality applications at the lowest expense and in the shortest period of opportunity. 

That means, build software incrementally instead of all at once. 

How does it work? 

The agile software development methodology suggests that the project expectations to be handled differently and that the existing methods have to be modified to suit the specifications of the project better. Therefore, the agile initiatives are divided into time boxes with an upgrade to have specific characteristics.

The entire software development process revolves around iterative development. So the working software development is delivered after each iteration. Each iteration is incremental in terms of new features and the final iteration will be holding all the features required by customers. Also, every iteration consists of planning, requirement business analysis, designs, coding, unit tests, software testing, acceptance testing, and deployment.

Remember that continuous integration is key for the continuous quality of the agile software development life cycle (SDLC). However, there’s four important manifesto for agile software which are as follow:

  • Individual and iterations over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation/store document
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Keep these values and principles in mind when developing the agile software as whichever Agile methodology the development team members adopt while designing the agile program, the outcome and database can not be entirely accomplished without the commitment of those involved.

Now, the question is how will you implement the agile in development? So, to answer that, there are various types or you can also call it as frameworks that support the agile methodology for the software development team. What are those? Let’s understand in detail. 

Different Types of Agile Methodology

Agile Methodology

  1. Scrum Methodology

    Without a doubt, scrum is one of the popular and used frameworks of agile methodology. Scrum process refers to a lightweight agile project management framework that can be used to perform all types of iterative and progressive tasks by the product owner and teams and burndown charts show the velocity of total efforts against the amount of work for each iteration. That implies that scrum generally focuses on the management piece of projects.

    Scrum Practices:

    • The product owner (role) to measure the system functionality prioritizes functions by creating a product backlog on different product lines– that includes features, bug fixes, non-functional requirements, and everything else that needs to be accomplished to create effectiveness for the working software system.
    • Once the product backlog is established, the development team leaders and scrum master would distribute a software system in increments – that is – predict and sign up over successive scrum sprints. Typically it lasts up to a month to generate potentially shippable software increments. 
    • Then, the scrum team would develop the software sprint.
    • When a sprint backlog is delivered, the product backlog is reviewed by the product owner and reprioritized with each repetition of the development cycle (Sprint retrospective), if necessary. 

    Important: The Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum Team are the main role leaders of the product backlog and agile development by Scrum. 

    Pros and cons:

    ProsCons
    • Faster distribution abilities of the product
    • High-quality software work products
    • Better productivity and outcomes
    • Low-cost solution
    • Great employee morale and experiences
    • The capability of completing complicated tasks and forces
    • It requires experienced and committed project team members than others
    • Adopting the Scrum system of large teams and in a turbulent environment faces difficulty
    • Often the regular sessions of daily scrum and product owner frustrate team leaders and entire picture
  2. Kanban

    The Japanese origin Kanban is connected with the idea of the time which is “just-in-time.” Kanban board is a tool that refers to the workflow management method and is built to help envision the amount of work together, optimize productivity, and be agile.

    Kanban Practices:

    • Begin with the experiment and ceremonies – what you do now and visualize the workflow boards.
    • Reduce the work in progress (WIP) to balance the numbers of workflows.
    • Manage workflow events and awareness from product backlogs information (info). 
    • Make sure the agile process tools, policies, and descriptions are followed. 
    • Implement customer feedback and suggestions once the software is delivered. 
    • Enhance details collaboratively.

    The best manner to see this framework is in three aspects as shown below. 

    Requested 

    In progress

    Done

    Pros and Cons: 

    ProsCons
    • Great flexibility and sense
    • Reduction of wasted time and work
    • Better productivity and understanding
    • High credibility and references
    • Focus on continuous software delivery
    • Less successful in cases of shared resources
    • Product mix or demand changes cause the problem
    • Problem with production flow and uncertainty
  3. Lean Software Development

    One of the iterative agile techniques is lean software development that generally centers the team members on providing value for user stories by efficient business value source mapping (Roadmap). This product management method offers a conceptual structure that applies standards, beliefs that common e-commerce business best practices and can be extended to an Agile approach to development.

    Lean Practices:

    • Eliminate waste by allowing users to select only the most useful features of a program and prioritize those features
    • Work to deliver fast those features in small batches
    • Make the pull system services by customer request 
    • Enhance continuously to be effective
    • Empower the agile teams
    • Optimize the whole

    Pros and Cons: 

    ProsCons
    • Eliminates the superfluous activity
    • Takes less time to deliver working functionalities
    • Easily scalable 
    • Better predictability
    • High adaptability by teams
    • Dependent on the team’s ability
    • Teams find difficulties to concentrate as tasks are divided into various elements and often indulges in distractions
    • Need effective documentation
  4. Extreme Programming (XP)

    One of the most common Agile methodologies is named Extreme Programming (XP). It requires a large degree of involvement in software development work between two parties that are clients and software developers. XP method seeks to increase the consistency and usability of the applications in the context of increasing customer needs whether you build an MVP, MAP, or a full-fledged application for your business stakeholders.

    XP Practices:

    • Game planing – plans meetings that occur once per iteration
    • Small releases – release new versions in short development cycles
    • Simple UI design – designers and architectures remove extra complexity
    • Testing and consulting – developers and vendors write a unit test for customer acceptance
    • Refactoring – restructure the system and make a transformation of software according to guidelines without changing behavior 
    • Pair programming – write code base on the one machine with two programmers, one keyboard and one mouse left
    • Collective ownership – teammates and person takes responsibility
    • Continuous integration – integrate one set of change at a time for better performance
    • Coding standards – emphasis on the set rules
    • Metaphor – user story points – authors tell the user how the system works in the simplest way

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Greater relationship with the customer
    • Fast result delivery by the team members
    • Constant testing makes the software more agile ones
    • The team works at their own pace and solutions
    • Changes can be made quickly
    • Code review is simple and clear
    • More time investment in the group event tester and discussion
    • A high cost is a challenge form
    • Need extreme self-discipline teams and speed
    • Customer participation is a must
  5. Crystal

    Crystal technique is an agile approach to software development that relies mainly on people, communication, interactions, transparency, knowledge, skills, talent while operating on an agile project over systems and instruments – which is the most significant agile manifesto. 

    However, there are different types of crystal methodologies for different variety of projects – categorized by colors and team size which are as follow: 

    • Crystal Clear – For the team consisting of 8 or fewer people
    • Crystal Yellow – For the team consisting of 10 to 20 people
    • Crystal Orange – For the team consisting of 20 to 50 people
    • Crystal Red – For the team consisting of 50 to 100 people 

    The goals of developing software with these families are to point out that each project may require a specific set of policies, agile practices, agile processes, and tools to meet the unique characteristics of the project. 

    Crystal Practices: 

    • Frequent delivery 
    • Reflection to adjust and improvement
    • Communication
    • Security and safe concepts
    • Constant focus on construction
    • Expert team access
    • Technical environment 
    • Automated tests/ test automation

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Ensures constant deliveries
    • Eliminates errors and problems
    • Syntax simplicity order
    • Adapting different technologies to changing requirements
    • Different principles for different types of projects
    • Teams and organizations need to communicate constantly
  6. Feature-Driven Development (FDD)

    The feature-driven development was initiated and proponents by Jeff De Luca in 1997 to help the development team be more adaptive and responsive to customer requirements and user stories. He has developed a model that uses five phases in short iterations to concentrate on developing features. The five phases include developing models, build feature list, plan by feature, design by feature, and build by feature. 

    Feature-driven development might not be mentioned or seen as often as other agile methodologies, but it is worth considering – especially if you use it to scale the agile creation into a long-term project with broad team accountability. 

    FDD Practices: 

    • Domain object modeling
    • Developing software by feature 
    • Individuals code ownership
    • Feature agile teams
    • Inspections of software sight and testing
    • Configuration management field
    • Regular build schedule
    • Progress report

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • Fewer meetings by team
    • Uses a user-centric approach
    • Works best with large scale project management
    • Easy to track and fix errors
    • Progressive reports and feedback loops on a timely basis
    • Not suitable for small team sizes project management
    • Does not work well with the old system and defects
    • No ways and no documentation provided to the client and everyone
    • No emphasis on shared team ownership
  7. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

    The dynamic systems development method as the name suggests is dynamic in nature. This came out of the need to create an architecture for Rapid Application Development (RAD). This is an iterative and incremental method that acknowledges the continuing participation of customers. The DSDM approach has progressed to provide a conceptual method tailoring for Agile model design, implementation, delivery, and optimizing and iterative product development projects. 

    DSDM, however, is a concept that consists of three phases namely, pre-project phase, lifecycle phase, and post-project phase.  Each phase their own principles to follow. Moreover, this method uses various aspects that we can’t ignore such as times boxing, MoSCoW rules (must-have, should-have, could-have, won’t-have), prototyping, and testing. 

    DSDM Practices:

    • Focus on the system requirements
    • Frequent delivery
    • Collaboration roles and responsibilities
    • Emphasis on product/software quality
    • Develop incrementally
    • Communicate more often 
    • Integration and testing

    Pros and Cons:

    ProsCons
    • High customer involvement
    • Functionalities are delivered faster
    • Project delivery is on time
    • Not ideal for a small project management
    • Not easy to understand
    • Restrictive and difficult to work with the method
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Which Agile Methodology is Best to Practice?

Whether you have a large or a tiny squad, a job that could take months, may take only a week to finish if the project is managed properly or vice versa. Some of the main considerations impacting the project are the method that you use to produce the solutions according to the business needs and user experience. As we have already talked about different methodologies that support Agile software, two of the most widely used agile software development methods are Scrum, Kanban.  

However, if for each methodology that can be used in which situations, we have to state in one line, follow the guide below.

  • If you want a structured, agile approach and want to benefit from frequent opportunities for reviewing and learning between sprints, Scrum is one of the preferred software development processes.
  • When you want a continuous delivery strategy, Kanban is your primary path to go. 
  • If you want to succeed with a short time-frame in small projects, then nothing is better than Lean Software Development.
  • If the development team and organization need to focus on the quality assurance of its SAP code, select XP.
  • If your project managers require a flexible framework and an independent project management tool, then in this situation Crystal is the most viable approach.
  • If your enterprise is big and you tackle a complex process, FDD will drive the change project management in the best possible way. 
  • When the organization’s goal is to evolve rapidly, execute on time and on budget, and break down hierarchy and enhance collaboration, DSDM agile framework is worth exploring.

Even though each method and example has its pros and cons, most companies tend to support different agile methods influenced by the company culture, place values, strategic vision, and industries they function in. This way the efficiency of software project management by the project manager can be maintained. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agile Methodology

AdvantagesDisadvantages
  • Better customer satisfaction as the delivery of software is rapid.
  • Face to face communication.
  • Emphasis on technical excellence and good design.
  • Frequent adoption of changing circumstances.
  • Great maintenance of organizational synergy.
  • There is a scope of innovation.
  • It is not ideal for too small development projects.
  • Lack of documentation and less effort on necessary designing.
  • It requires skilled software engineering practices and engineering teams. 
  • Agile methods involved higher costs than other methods.
  • The project can fail if it requires more planning.
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Examples of 5 Best Agile Software

SoftwareRatingsPriceDownload
ActiveCollab4.5/5$6.25/month/userBuy Now
Pros: Dashboards, milestone preview, and time tracking  Cons: Lack of integration with Git
Agilo For Trac3.3/5€10/month for unlimited usersBuy Now
Pros: Open source, easy to use, and subversion integration  Cons: New releases are hard, rolling own plugin requires python
SprintGround5/5$29.00/monthBuy Now
Pros: Optimized for Agile, free for up to 3 users, and the due date  Cons: Limited projects and disk covers more space
Targetprocess4.5/5Not providedBuy Now
Pros: Easy to set up and well-designed user interface  Cons: No option to add files to tasks, Slow UI
VersionOne4.1/5$29.00/month/userBuy Now
Pros: Great visibility to project work and easy to track issues  Cons: Learning curve

FAQ

  1. What is agile methodology for software development?

    The agile method is a technique that encourages ongoing development and evaluating replication during the project’s agile software development lifecycle. The scaled agile framework and test activities are concurrent and address the challenges and strategies through the collective collaboration of self-organization and cross-functional teams. 

  2. Is agile only used for software development?

    No. The commonly used agile principles in software development can be applied to every other part of the business people, including HR (human resources). Developing an agile atmosphere will have the biggest effect on the long-term sustainability of business agility.

  3. What is the purpose of agile software development?

    Agile software development is a process that transforms an idea into site solutions for a business need. People use agile because, on a shorter timeline, it results in applications that best meet your company needs. The Agile movement is based more simply on the overriding objective of building software for the foundation. 

  4. Is DevOps an agile methodology?

    Agile applies to an iterative method that relies on teamwork, input range from consumers, and fast updates. DevOps is seen as the autonomy of bringing together software development teams and operations teams. The core principle in DevOps is to handle end to end method development. While DevOps can be implemented without agile methods, it can not be performed without agile principles.

 

Conclusion

As we have seen software plays enormous roles in changing businesses, enterprises, but how these changes are to be acceptable for evolution and how quickly they are able to operate the project is often defined by the rate at which strategies can adapt. So it’s really necessary to use the right approach to execute an agile project effectively for the ecosystem. It can be the deciding factor of your various app ideas whether it will flourish in the marketplace or vanish. 

Therefore, when you plan to build an agile software, make sure agile principles are implemented in the app development process. And you may face some challenges for agile development, so in that situation, you can always contact us. Our expert team will reach you as soon as possible with great possible solutions.  

This page was last edited on October 5th, 2020, at 7:04 AM.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books - Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.

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