We are talking about the incremental model. Yes, this is the method that gained popularity in agile methodology.
When you want to complete a huge task it is a good practice to divide them into small jobs. By doing so it is easy to handle one work at a time. Also, it is possible to figure out the mistakes and correct them in the initial stage rather than allowing it to spread across the project.
Imagine the construction of a 4 story building in which every floor will go through all phases independently and finally come to shape.
But, there are a few questions you must answer to understand this concept. How will you know the right way to split the task? Whether you randomly divide them or is there a pattern to do so? We will answer your questions in the coming section and provide you an idea about how to do it successfully.
In other words, the secret of agile framework success is because of the incremental delivery process it follows.
Understand the term incremental model with the example given below.
All you want is to multiply two numbers. How do we do this? In steps and that is depicted in the image. Every step you append a new process. There are five steps in this in total. So you know how to divide them into modules.
Likewise, in software development based on the requirement, you need to divide them into increments. Take each module through all phases and get them ready for release. Each increment ready for release will get added to the next increment in parallel to another increment that underwent all phases. As we know agile is an iterative process this becomes easy to implement.
The entire development work will be divided into modules. Which means each module is a project. It will be independent and all the phases of software development must be completed for this one module.
The entire team will work towards building the system performing their task to complete every module. Each of these systems will be cumulatively added and that becomes a final system when it reaches the end and gets the end product as required by the customer.
However, the product owner will decide on the product backlog prioritization as each module is independent of the other. The most important task will get completed first and will be approved by the customer to build the remaining increments.
Every requirement of the increments gets frozen after it is duly developed.
Incremental model and its phases
From the above image, you can quickly understand that the chief 4 phases include
1. The software specification is collected and analyzed for the need for development and the number of increments required. Also, what must be present in each increment is identified. The priority of the increments is accessed.
2. Then high-end designing takes place for that particular module based on the specifications and the analyzed requirement.
3. Next comes coding. The required coding is executed by the developers that will help to give a shape to the product.
4. Finally, testing is done for ascertaining the system after the system gets deployed. It allows making corrections in case the testing team suggest any. Based on that the work gets back to coding or design team.
It is considered complete when all the different stakeholders complete the task and get approval from the others too. This step gets repeated for every increment and that cumulatively adds to the next increment.
It must become a habit to use the incremental model in the following situation. Initially, you might find it difficult to know when to use it. Therefore experts have suggested the following thumb rules to know when to use.
However, by exercising caution and gaining experience one can easily do away with the negatives of the incremental model and use it for effective software development.
There are two different types, namely, the staged delivery and parallel developmental. The former is used to construct only a single part of the work at a given time. Whereas the latter as the name suggests each module is completed concurrently and then added to the final system.
We call agile an iterative process and incremental too, then are they both the same and different. Both are used in agile projects under different scenarios. You can understand how they work from the table given below.
|The development process is cyclic||The development process happens in steps and every step will contain all phases.|
|Iteration and improvement happens concurrently||Improvement is suggested at the end of each increment|
|Creation of simple prototype with limited features and added to the development||Moving through the development phase starting from requirement analysis to testing.|
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