Introduced in 2001, the agile software development approach has transformed the way software products are designed and deployed. Unlike traditional software development approaches, also called the Waterfall methodology, following a rigid plan and control, agile team function in short iterations. Agile mainly involves working in incremental and iterative cycles, with a focus on flexibility, collaboration, and adaptability. It emphasizes cross-functional teamwork to ensure that the end product is of high quality and meets the customer’s needs.
Organizations using agile software development can feel about product quality as testing is accurately performed throughout development. This provides the chance to make alterations as needed and alert QA teams to any possible issues.
What is Agile Methodology?
Agile methodology has become popular because of its capability to respond rapidly to modifications and its ability to deliver better-quality software products. The foundation of the agile methodology called Agile Manifesto was crafted by the software developers team dated back in 2001. The agile manifesto outlines a suite of guiding standards and principles for software development that prioritize flexible planning, customer relationship, and speedy delivery of working software.
Agile Methodology: 12 Key Principles
The Agile approach is based on the following principles, as defined in the Agile Manifesto:
- Focus on consumer satisfaction through early and constant delivery of high-quality software.
- Ability to adapt to changing needs and requirements in the later stages of software or product development.
- Regular communication, feedback, and iteration between consumers and developers to ensure product quality.
- Deliver working software regularly, with a preference for short time spans to deliver value to customers
- Build projects around active persons & give them the resources and backup they need.
- F2F communication as much as possible to augment collaboration and build trust.
- Order working software as the core extent of progress.
- Maintain a sustainable work speed to maintain efficiency. Quality, and excellence.
- Concentrate on technical quality and the perfect design to improve agility.
- Prioritize simplicity and eliminate pointless work.
- Self-organized teams inspire advancement and problem-solving.
- Regular reflections and continuous enhancement, with amendments made as needed.
By following such principles, agile teams can work more competently, deliver superior-quality software products that meet customer requirements, and respond rapidly to changing business needs and market conditions.
Benefits of Agile Methodology
- Capacity to respond rapidly to changes in requirements
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- Better collaboration between team members
- Enhanced visibility and control
- Superior software products quality
- Faster time-to-market
Overall, Agile practice provides a framework that allows team members to function more efficiently, deliver superior quality products, and better meet the stakeholder’s and customers’ necessities.
Types of Agile Methodology: 8 Important Categories
Originating from the Japanese language, the word ‘Kanban’ denotes “signboard or visual board” and is associated with the notion of “just in time”! Originally, the Kanban concept was presented as a lean manufacturing system and gradually drove its way to agile development teams. This particular technique uses visual approaches to develop and manage projects.
Projects through the Kanban approach are overseen with the support of the Kanban Board, which is distributed into columns to signify the software development process flow. This, in turn, increases the visibility of teams as they observe the growth through all development phases to deliver the product “on time”! This methodology necessitates comprehensive transparency to allow the team members to be equipped with the perfect approach and has an unfailing workflow.
2. Extreme Programming (XP)
This technique was designed for agile product development projects. In this particular approach, product “releases” releases are based on shorter cycles termed Iterations and use sprints or intervals, similar to a Scrum method. Each iteration comprises stages/ steps like coding, system tests, and unit tests wherein at every single stage some major or minor functionality will be built into the software app.
3. Phases of XP (extreme programming):
There are 6 stages available in Agile XP methodology:
- Identification of sponsors & stakeholders
- Infrastructure Necessities
- Security allied information & Collecting
- Service Level Agreements & its Scenarios
- Stories Capturing in a Parking Lot
- Stories Prioritizing in a Parking Lot
- Scrubbing of stories for assessment
- Define SPAN Time for Iteration
- Resource planning for both QA and Development teams
- Breaking down of jobs
- Test Scenario research and preparation for every job
- Regression Automated Framework
- Unit Tests
- Implementation of Manual testing conditions
- Flaws Report generation
- Conversion to Automated from Manual regression test cases
- Iteration evaluation
- Closure of review
- Smaller Releases
- Reviews & Demos
- Regression Tests
- Develop new stories as per the requirement
- Process Enhancements based Iteration review
- Pilot Launch
- Production Launch
- Review SOA approach
- SLA Guarantee assurance
- Production Back up and Support
Scrum is one of the most preferred and Scrum is a well-known agile framework category, which is represented by various cycles of development. Just like Kanban, Scrum breaks down the software/ product development stages into ‘sprints’. To ensure that each sprint is handled effectively, the development team focuses on one sprint at a time, with a commitment to maximize and utilize the development time available for each sprint.
Scrum Team has distinct project roles such as a product owner and a scrum master with continual communications wherein the actions are harmonized to devise a better mode to implement the sprint. Mainly, agile methodologies and Scrum concentrate on continuous deliverables, and therefore this technique allows designers to adjust priorities to confirm that any overdue or incomplete sprints get higher attention.
The “Scrum framework” comprises an amalgamation of processes, events, roles, artifacts, and rules that are planned to direct the team as they perform the project.
Scrum Values & Pillars:
The theory behind Scrum is based on the 3 pillars
Besides three pillars, Scrum also recognizes 5 fundamental values-
- Commitment, &
The major conceptions and components of the scrum are discussed in this section, plus the roles of a scrum team, the actions that take place during a sprint, and the artifacts or sprint deliverables.
Crystal is another prominent software-specific figure for software development in the agile manifesto, Mr. Alistair Cockburn is credited with introducing this particular concept. Crystal is a suite of smaller agile development approaches encompassing Crystal Red, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, Crystal Clear, and more.
The selection of a specific Crystal Agile methodology is based on the nature of the project or the system criticality, which is classified as Discretionary Money (D), Comfort (C), Essential Money (E), or Life (L).
Crystal, like other agile methodologies, aims to accomplish rapid software product deployment, constancy, high user involvement, and customer satisfaction. Crystal’s approach family believes that each system or project is exclusive and requires a custom suite of processes, practices, and policies to accomplish optimal outcomes. This approach has earned Crystal the reputation of being the most lightweight of all the agile methodologies.
The Crystal Methodology is built upon three core concepts.
During this phase, several activities are undertaken, including building the development team, conducting preliminary feasibility scrutiny, creating an early plan, and refining the development method.
- Cyclic delivery
The primary development phase comprises two or more delivery cycles. During each cycle:
- The team updates and refines the release plan
- Executes a subset of the necessities through one or more program tests incorporating iterations
- Delivers the incorporated product to actual users, and
- Assessments of the project plan and the adoption of development methodology.
- Wrap Up
In this phase, the activities carried out include deploying the product into the user environment, conducting post-deployment reviews, and reflecting on the entire development process.
Lean development is a set of principles that focuses to identify and remove waste to speed up procedure development. The Lean agile methodology aims to maximize value while minimizing waste, and its application extends to almost every industry that generates waste in any form.
Lean methodology core principles comprise:
- Excluding waste
- Building quality
- Generate knowledge
- Defer commitment
- Deploy fast
- Respect persons
- Maximize overall efficiency
7. Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
The DSDM was introduced for a common industry framework for faster time-to-market. Revise is to be projected, and any development modifications that happen should be reversible. Like Extreme Programming, Scrum, and Feature-driven development, Dynamic Systems Development Method uses sprints. There are eight core values that form the foundation of this framework.
- Attention to the business requirement
- Deliver on time
- Collaborate and Team-up
- Maintain high-quality standards
- Develop the product, early from a strong foundation
- Continuously refine and improve the product
- Communicate clearly and constantly
- Maintain a sense of control
8. Feature-driven development (FDD)
Feature-driven development is another significant agile framework. This methodology includes creating software models every two weeks and necessitates a development and design plan for each model feature. FDD has more stringent documentation requirements than XP, making it ideal for teams with advanced design and planning capabilities. The FDD approach breaks down projects into five fundamental activities:
- Design an overall model
- Form a feature list
- Strategize by feature
- Design by feature
- Form by feature
Hence, selecting the appropriate agile methodology for your team and project requires consideration of various factors, such as team size, project complexity, and customer requirements. Evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each methodology is crucial to identify the one that aligns best with your team’s needs and project objectives.
Opting for the right agile methodology enables your team to maintain productivity, efficiency, and deliver high-quality products that meet customer expectations.
Therefore, in the current job scenario earning an agile certification can provide various benefits, including improved job prospects, enhanced credibility, and increased earning potential.
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Earning an agile certification indicates that aspirants are willing to invest in their professional development and stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices.