If you work in IT or are thinking of changing your career path towards this field, it’s more than likely that you have heard of an agile development methodology. But what exactly are they, and what are the benefits of using that framework?
The use of an agile software development methodology is widespread among technology companies and it’s a very popular approach to project management. The main reason is that it offers more flexibility than traditional methods such as Waterfall. The idea of Agile is that during the development of a product, as many iterations as possible are made to find ways to improve a product.
While Agile is based on the idea that teams should be transparent and collaborative, this framework allows greater control over the project, ensuring a better result in less time, with less effort, and at a lower cost. The focus isn’t only on the final result but also on delivering value to the customer.
If you want to get this agile approach for your company, WillDom will help you implement a self-organizing scrum team of software developers and engineers; this will provide your organization with added flexibility and scalability when needed.
The 12 Agile principles
In 2001, the Agile Manifesto was created. It was designed exclusively for software development, but over time other industries adopted it.
The idea of this Manifesto was to change the way a product was developed. These principles show the core of an Agile team and demonstrate how they benefit a given project.
- “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software”.
Getting feedback as early as possible is valuable not only for customers but also for the company. This way the product is iterated and value is added.
- “Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”
The world of software and development is constantly changing. Users often ask for more from a product and constant changes may need to be made.
- “Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale”.
This principle is about constant updates. More frequent, smaller releases, with the possibility of fixing bugs that may appear.
- “Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”.
As it’s well known, Agile promotes transparency and contact between team members. This case specifically among developers and business-focused team members results in a better understanding.
- “Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done”.
Agile emphasizes that team members are independent and accountable enough to deliver high-quality results. It emphasizes giving them all the tools available for them to produce the best achievable performance.
- “The most efficient and effective method of information to and within a development is face-to-face conversation”.
Although after the Covid-19 pandemic the face-to-face is not so literal in many cases, the principle is still valid even in the virtual world. The idea is that there should never be a lack of communication between members of an agile team, nor between them and other agile desks.
- “Working software is the primary measure of progress”.
The only way to evaluate the progress and success of a project is with working software. This is why it’s always recommended to put at least a small portion of the software in production, in order to measure success.
- “Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely”.
This means that everyone involved in the development of software must be able to keep up with the rhythm at which the software is being developed.
- “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility”.
The agile team must be able to change the software as the market requires updates from it. It’s related to principle 3.
- “Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential”.
If something isn’t relevant enough, discard it. If the code has been written before, reuse it. Reducing effort saves time and money.
- “The best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organizing teams”.
An Agile team must be allowed to be self-organized and take responsibility for that.
- “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly”.
Team members should review the work done to determine if there’s room for improvement. Iterating the product is essential, and is part of the job of a mature, self-organized Agile team.
How does an Agile framework benefit a business?
The use of Agile development methodologies allows a business to be more flexible. Meaning, if a user needs a change in the product, the Agile team can respond faster and more effectively.
On the other hand, using Agile methodologies is more cost-effective. Product delivery is faster and done with less effort. In addition, they are more efficient and focused on what the end-user needs, so the products are more assertive regarding customer needs.
Plus, agile software development thrives on constant feedback from users. This is taken into account when proposing iterations of the product.
Being able to make small changes as certain features are put into production allows testing new functionalities with less risk than if the whole thing was assembled, put into production and all the bugs had to be considered together.
If you are interested in agile teams and want to know more about its key benefits, connect with us on LinkedIn or visit us at WillDom.com