Agile is the buzzword of the hour among companies looking to modernize their work structure. It’s also frequently heard among those that have been developing technology for a long time. Although it seems like a modern word, agile software development is not a new methodology, but one that has been around for more than two decades.
Agile software development focuses mainly on the flexibility, changeability, and responsiveness of a process. In this way, agile makes a way of working more agile and the business itself more flexible.
But what is agile software development specifically? It’s a set of frameworks and methodologies that focus on working in short increments with frequent release cycles, instead of concentrating on a final or finished product.
What are agile methodologies and what are the most popular ones?
Agile methodologies are well known by those who work in IT these days and in WillDom we know the importance of implementing them.
Though agile teams probably understand what we’re talking about, not all teams implement the existing methodologies in the same way. Each team chooses what works best for them from the different available methodologies. That is to say, they give a twist to that framework to make it easier to adapt to their needs.
Agile methodologies are implemented in a team to drive continuous deliveries into production. Plus, it’s a way to add value to user-faced software. Through constant communications and effective collaboration among the members of the team and with the customers and users, agile software development process makes fast delivery of software possible.
There are many agile methodologies, but there are two that are the most chosen by technology companies. Among them are:
Scrum is surely the methodology you’ve heard or read about the most, and is the most used of all the frameworks that exist within the agile methodology.
Scrum proposes to speed up the delivery of value to the customer in the shortest possible time. The main pillars of Scrum are:
- Transparency. All team members must know what and how the project is happening. In this way, everyone is on the subject and can make proposals.
- Inspection. The team monitors progress from time to time to identify problems and opportunities for improvement.
- Adaptation. Team members must have the ability to adapt to possible instances of change to focus on achieving success.
This methodology relies on an Agile software development concept called Sprints: periods of time in which a software development must be finished and can last from one week to one month.
While Scrum is still the most chosen framework, Kanban has been growing in recent years within Agile methodologies. The idea of Kanban is to work on a board (Kanban board) that’s divided into columns showing all phases of software production.
As in Scrum, Kanban also has certain pillars to fulfill in order to finish a development effectively. Some of these are:
- Transparency. All team members have all the information about what’s happening with the project, improving the workflow.
- Collaboration. Constant communication and collaboration among team members is very important in Kanban.
- Balance. The different points of view and capabilities must be balanced to be effective in development.
- Customer-centered. The idea is to add value for the users, which can be internal or external to the company.
- Agreement. All team members are committed to improving the process and to generating common agreements in order to achieve the objectives.
Benefits of applying agile software development
Traditional frameworks, such as Waterfall project management, still exist. Used to develop certain products, this model is based on the ultimate objective. A certain task is completed and moves to the next phase. It is sequential and cascading, hence the name.
In contrast, agile methodology focuses on collaboration and a flexible response to any changes that need to be made. The scope is not the planning of the entire project and the result, but how it can be improved. The project is broken into smaller parts that are made, iterated and completed in shorter periods.
Within an agile team, there are different expert roles that collaborate with each other to achieve the objective in the most efficient and assertive way possible. This is one of the benefits of agile, though among other things we find:
- Better cost-efficiency in a project. Agile methodologies allow changes to be made along the way without taking too much time or cost. This framework encourages continuous deployments, which makes it possible to implement changes quickly, and at a lower cost. It also makes it possible to deploy new developments in a much easier way. In addition, it allows finding bugs and errors as a product is being assembled, which is easier to fix than trying to find where the bug is in a finished product.
- Feedback along with all the project processes. One of the pillars of Agile is the collaboration between teams and team members. That means that feedback is constant. This kind of interaction allows team members to learn from each other, which translates into permanent improvements, mistakes found on time and corrected, as well as better productivity and efficiency.
- Frequent iterations. Agile allows teams to continuously iterate products. This makes receiving feedback on how changes impact users to be quicker. A firm can make smaller but continuous improvements at a lower cost and with fewer resources.
To summarize, an agile approach empowers a company’s team to achieve, with increased adaptability to change, more transparency and collaboration between team members, as well as reduce waste and increase probability of success.
With WillDom, you can implement a self-organizing Scrum team of software developers and engineers so that you can cooperate with your organization with increased flexibility and scalability when needed. To know more about it, connect with us on LinkedIn or visit us at WillDom.com