What is Agile Methodology? (A Beginner's Insight)

VivekcalenderLast updated on April 01, 2024book20 minseyes4188

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We all must have come across various frameworks to complete the projects like waterfall, kanban and Agile. While waterfall might be an effective method for older projects with the increased complexities and requirements of a project it has become completely ineffective. Now, companies are majorly adopting an agile framework which will help them reduce the project time, allocate resources properly and finish off the project in time.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile Methodology is one of the project management approaches that prioritizes cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement. It helps in dividing the projects into smaller parts and then guiding the teams to go through them step by step. Unlike traditional modes of development, Agile focuses on development and implementation simultaneously.

Benefits of Implementing Projects Using Agile

  • High product quality

As mentioned earlier, testing is an integral part of the development cycle, which helps in constant validation to ensure that the piece of code is working throughout the development. This allows the client to make alterations if required and the squad is mindful if there are any issues.

    • Describing and expanding user stories just in time so that the product features are as significant as possible.
    • Ensuring nonstop integration and everyday testing into the development method, sanctioning the development squad to notify issues while they’re still new.
    • Making use of automated testing tools.
    • Conducting sprint retrospectives, and agreeing the scrum squad to uninterruptedly improve methods and work.
    • Completing work using the definition of done: developed, tested, integrated, and documented.
    • Software is developed in rapid cycles. Each cycle is exhaustively tested to confirm software quality is sustained.
  • Higher client contentment

The client is always involved, and the growth of development has transparency and flexibility for modification. This indicates engagement and customer contentment.

    • Representing working model to customers in every cycle.
    • Delivering products to market much quicker. The customer gets primary right to use the product during the iteration.
    • Keeping clients involved and tied up throughout development.
  • Reduced Risks 
    • Agile methods nearly eradicate the likelihood of complete project failure.
    • Gives the benefit of having a workable model, right from the beginning of the first sprint, so that the chances of failure are less.
    • It provides liberty when new modifications require to be applied. That can be fulfilled at a very low cost since the regularity of new increments that are produced.
  • Faster ROI

The fact that agile method is iterative means that the functionality are supplied incrementally, consequently profits are realized quickly while the product is still under development.

    • Development begins early.
    • A feature ‘ready to market’ artifact maybe after the first iteration.
    • Extended supply cycles are usually a tricky situation for client, predominantly those in fast-moving markets.
    • Concentrating on Business worth. It allows the customer to decide the precedence of functionality, the squad realize what is most significant to the customers’ business, and can supply functionality in the most valuable order.

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What are the four pillars of Agile? 

The Agile manifesto has determined pillars for Agile, let us discuss these in detail: 

  • Individuals over processes and tools: Agile teams believe in working in collaboration rather than working alone and completely going by the book. 
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation: the software that the Agile team has developed should work and on the other hand, the documentation is not as important. 
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Customers are a very important part of Agile teams. The customers will ultimately guide where the product should go and this is why collaboration is much more important than any negotiation. 
  • Responding to a change over following a plan: one of the advantages of the Agile framework is its ability to adapt to changes, rather than sticking to the books, the team must respond to the changes immediately. 

Agile methodology vs. Traditional methodology

To understand the scrum framework, it is also important that we know the traditional methodologies used before and what differences both of these have. We will take the waterfall methodology for instance in the traditional frameworks. When working with the traditional method like this, the team needs to follow a linear approach: requirement collection, design, build and deliver. They need to complete one phase before even moving to the second one. Therefore, if any changes came the process needed to be repeated which resulted in delaying the project and creating unnecessary chaos. 

On the other hand, in agile methodology the tasks are allocated, sent for work and then produced simultaneously so if any problem arises, the team will be able to make the necessary changes. 

Agile methodology vs. Traditional methodology

Related Article: Waterfall vs Agile

Frameworks of Agile Methodologies

Now as we are aware of what agile development is let us focus on the development methods used to implement/ adapt Agile. Agile is basically not one size that would fit all. So there are numerous agile methods, which share much of the identical values, as well as several of the matching features and process. Each organization is distinctive and faces dissimilar in-house aspects (i.e. size of the organization and promoters) and exterior aspects (i.e. clients and regulations). To meet the changing requirements of various organizations, there are many agile methods and quite a few different types of testing practiced which one can follow while working within one of those agile approaches. But from an implementation perspective, each one has its own technique of carry out, jargon, and strategies. Here is a brief of few of the major agile software development methodology contenders:

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Lean
  • XP - Programming

How to implement Agile Methodology in Project Management?

If you’re also thinking about how to apply this agile methodology in Project Management, then here is a complete guide for you: 

  • Choose the correct Agile Framework 

The first step is choosing the right Agile Framework for your organization. Here are some of the popular options that you can choose from: 

    • Scrum 
    • Kanban 
    • Scrumban 
    • APF 

It is important to consider a few factors before making a selection. You must consider the team size, project requirement and level of experience your employees have for a particular methodology. 

  • Build an Agile team 

The next thing to do is build an Agile team if you intend to apply the Agile framework in your organization. Let us see what are some of the responsibilities of a scrum team: 

    • Self-organization: One of the key factors of an Agile team is that it is self-organized. The team is supposed to self-organize and achieve the targets on its own. 
    • Cross-functional Collaboration: the teams need to relay the information in different teams and should be able to work with a range of colleagues. 
    • Iteration Planning: the team needs to decide the scope of individual sprints according to the product backlog. 
  • Planning of Project 

Once you have agreed upon the agile framework and built your agile team, it is now time to plan your project. In the Agile framework, the secret ingredient is the meticulously planned project. You can also draw a product backlog which is one of the easiest ways to determine the tasks or features to be worked on. The product backlog will also help you determine the priority of your tasks which will enhance the development process. 

  • Manage stakeholder expectations 

Before you start with the project, you must keep all the stakeholders in mind, discuss with them and keep them in the loop while ma+king any decision. Creating a feedback loop will decrease any kind of uncertainty on the stakeholder end and it allows you to make any changes if it comes.

  • Measure success 

When you’re working on a scrum project, it is equally important to keep track of it and see which method has worked for you and which hasn’t. There are various ways in an Agile Project to keep track of the activities: 

    • Daily standups 
    • Sprint reviews 
    • Retrospectives 

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Also Read: is Agile Still Relevant in this Modern Tech Environment?

Conclusion

Agile methodology is apt for simple projects, quicker delivery smaller teams and higher customer satisfaction unlike traditional waterfall model were everything is maintained as phase and customer may have to wait for the completion of the entire process to get the flavor of the product. And moreover if the customer has some changes or suggestions to the team and to get the output of those proposed changes, he has to wait until another cycle to implement those changes. So this will result in customer waiting for longer period and investing lot of money to just see a prototype. Hence as per me in today’s fast moving world Agile methodology works wonder for everyone.

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