Agile methodology, in the world of software development, is an adduced term used by the IT industry to define a method of project management.
What exactly is the Agile Methodology?
Agile is a methodology that helps development teams administer fast and predictable responses to the feedback received on their projects. It creates the liberty to evaluate project’s direction during the development cycle. The project is evaluated in regularly scheduled meetings termed sprints or iterations.
Agile is an extremely empowering process that allows companies to design and develop the right product. The management process is favorable for software enterprises since it enables them to analyze and refine their product throughout the development phase, allowing enterprises to construct a valuable product that affirms and strengthens their position on the competitive market.
Agile methodology is based on the following principles:
- Continually developing the software and satisfying client requirements
- Embracing alterations in requirements for the competitive advantage of the client
- Concentrating on frequent deliveries of the working software
- Coordination and communication between the development team and business team throughout the project
- Transferring information between parties in face-to-face conversations
- The primary measurement of progress is working software
- Promoting sustainable development
- Boosting agility through constant attention to excellence and quality in technical design and development
- The best architecture, requirements, and designs are produced by teams that are self-motivated
- The teams will regularly reflect on ways of becoming more effective and attune their behavior accordingly. This is retrospection that takes place at the end of every sprint
There are many different agile methodologies that promote the above principles; Scrum and XP being the two most common and well-known examples.
Agile Project Management:
Agile project is concluded in small sections called iterations or sprints. Tasks are analyzed and investigated by the project team, which includes different stakeholders. Understanding gathered from the evaluation is used to decide on the next steps of the project.
The primary advantage of agile project management is the capacity to address issues as they occur throughout the course of the project. Making mandatory alterations to the project at the exact time will save resources and will eventually help to deliver the project within the defined time period and also help to keep the development costs in check.
What is Agile Project Management Methodology?
The agile project methodology divides projects into small sections that are completed in sessions that run from the design phase to the testing and quality assurance phase. Sprints are generally short, typically two to four weeks.
The agile methodology allows teams to deliver tasks as they are completed. This continuous delivery schedule allows teams the successful demonstration of segments and facilitates quick response to flaws if necessary. This process curtails the chances of large-scale losses because there is regular improvement throughout the project’s lifecycle.
How does Agile project management (APM) work?
Agile teams incorporate swift feedback, constant adaptation and best practices of quality assurance into the iterations.
They follow practices like continuous development (CD) and continuous integration (CI) and use technology that mechanizes steps to hasten the delivery and use of products.
Furthermore, APM calls for teams to constantly evaluate the development time and development costs as they proceed through their work.
APM does not necessarily call for the participation or presence of a project manager. Although in traditional approaches like the waterfall methodology, the success of the project depends on the essential presence of the project manager, his role under the APM is assigned equally to the team members.
However, the presence of a project manager in APM is not antiquated. Many businesses still use them for larger and complex agile projects but they are placed primarily as coordinators, with the product owner taking responsibility for the overall fulfillment of the project.
Given the shift in the paradigm of project managers to agile teams, APM requires the team to be able to collaborate with each other as well as with the client. Effective communication on their behalf is necessary to keep the project on track. They should feel empowered to take the necessary actions and to keep up with the momentum of delivery schedules.
Benefits of Agile Project Management – How does it favor the client?
- Stakeholder Involvement and Gratification: The agile process allows for constant involvement of the stakeholders through each sprint, which allows the team to have clarity regarding client’s requirements. Delivering high quality software helps the client develop a relationship of trust with the team.
- Clarity: The agile process gets the client actively involved in all aspects of the project including, among others, planning the sprints or regular reviews. However, it is important for the clients to realize that they are looking at work in progress, not the end result.
- Scheduled Delivery: The duration of sprints is fixed which allows predictability, since new features can be delivered frequently..
- Predictable Expenses: Because of fixed schedules, the development costs are predictable. Based on this, better decisions can be made when prioritizing features and adding new iterations.
- Flexible Prioritizing: Agile allows for flexibility, so the development team has more control over the delivery unit within each sprint, which facilitates easy progress until the final product is achieved.
- Scope for Change: Although the focus is on delivering the agreed subsets of product features, the agile process creates an opportunity to constantly refine and reprioritize the product backlog. These changes are added to the next iteration to ensure timely introduction.
- Focus on Users: User stories are generally used to describe product features. By focusing on user’s needs, every feature delivers real value. Valuable feedback can be obtained by beta testing the features after individual sprints, to accommodate necessary changes.
- Quality Improvement: Breaking down the project into small, manageable units makes it easier to focus on quality, testing, and collaboration in the software development phase. The overall quality of the product can be enhanced by creating builds and conducting tests, regular reviews and detecting defects and mismatches early.
- Gives the Team a Purpose: Agile processes create a sense of ownership and common goal for all the members of the team. This gives the team a purpose rather than a sense of urgency, making them more productive.
Agile is an appealing approach to software development. By accommodating the development teamand the client in all the phases of planning and execution, the result becomes more gratifying for everyone involved.
When conducted effectively, businesses can constantly find ways to create better value for their customers.