Importance And Benefits of Agile Methodology In Software Development

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Introduction

Today, Agile is one of the most popular ways to manage projects because it is flexible and can change over time. When the Agile manifesto was first written in 2001, its software developers were the first people to use it. Over a period, agile project management evolved and became a common pick for many project managers, no matter what kind of business they work in.

Agile, in a nutshell, is a way to manage projects that are frequent and incremental. From in-house to outsourced custom software development services, it is used in different ways and helps team members keep up with the pace of the modern workplace. All the methods are based on the ideas of flexibility, transparency, quality, and continuous improvement.

Data from 2018 shows that projects that use Agile methodologies are 28% more likely to be successful, and almost 71% of businesses use Agile on a regular basis.

Agile is very good at what it does, but why do project managers only use it, or do they use it in a mixture with other frameworks? The reason is simple. People who run projects can do their jobs more quickly and with more control when they use Agile. 

When you use the Agile approach, you have to think about both the customer’s needs and how to finish the project in a timely manner. This makes the method unique.

What is Agile Methodology?

There’s been a lot of talk about the term Agile for a long time now. It comes from the Latin word agilis, which means “nimble or quick,” and the word agere, which means “to set or keep moving.”

There are a lot of different ways to be agile. Using agile as a way to work today can be traced back to a meeting of software development experts in Snowbird, Utah. This meeting was in 2001. Those who think about how to make software better meet to talk about it.

At that moment, most software developments were done with heavy-duty methodologies that were based on stages and gates and required a lot of process and documentation.

These are four of the most important values in the agile manifesto, such:

  • People and interactions are more important than the process and tools that go with them.
  • Working software is better than detailed instructions.
  • Over contract negotiations, customers work with each other.
  • Following a plan isn’t the best way to deal with changes.

Key Components of Agile Project Management

1. User stories

A user story is a high-level description of what a person wants to do. It has just enough information for the team to make a reasonable guess about how long it will take to complete the request. In this short, simple description, written from the user’s point of view, you explain what your client wants (their goals) and why.

2. Sprints

Sprints are short iterations that usually last from one to three weeks. During this time, teams work on the tasks they agreed on during the sprint planning meeting. As you move forward, the goal is to keep repeating these sprints until your product has all the features you want to add. There are many ways to improve a product or service after a sprint is over. You look at the product to see what is and isn’t working, make changes, and start a newsprint.

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3. Stand-up meetings

It’s a good idea to have daily stand-up meetings, which are also called “daily Scrum meetings.” This way, everyone can stay up to date and stay on track. These daily meetings are called “stand up” because the people who are there have to stay standing, which helps keep the meetings short and to the point.

4. Agile board

You and your team can use an Agile board to keep track of the progress of your project. This could be a blank sheet of paper with sticky notes, a simple Kanban board, or a feature in your project management software that lets you see how things are going on.

5. Backlog

As you get project requests through your intake system, they become stories in the backlog that need to be worked on first. As part of the Agile planning process, your team will figure out how many storey points each task will have. At the start of a sprint, stories in the backlog are relocated into the sprint so that they can be worked on during the iteration. Handling your backlog is an important job for project managers who work in an Agile way, like Scrum.

Most Popular Agile Methodologies

There are a lot of different types of agile methodologies on the market, so you can find one that fits your project’s needs. Even though there are many different ways to be agile, it’s all considered as the primary principles in the agile manifesto.

Every framework or behaviour that follows these principles is called “agile,” and no matter how many different types of agile methodologies a team uses, the benefits of agile can only be fully realized with the help of everyone on the team.

Below is a list of some of the most popular types of agile methodologies that you can choose from.

1. Scrum

One of the most common examples of agile development is the agile scrum development method, which is shown by different development cycles. The development process is broken down into stages or cycles called “sprints” in Scrum, like Kanban. The amount of time spent on each sprint is maximized and dedicated, so only one sprint can be managed at a time.

It’s a good thing that scrum and agile methodologies focus on continuous deliverables because this method lets designers change priorities so that any incomplete or overdue sprints get more attention.

The Scrum Team has project roles like a scrum master and a product owner, and they communicate constantly during the daily scrum. They work together to figure out the best way to incorporate the sprint.

2. Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) is a way of working that emphasizes teamwork, communication, and giving feedback to each other. It focuses on always improving and making sure customers are happy. This method, like scrum, has short development cycles called sprints. This is made by a group of people who want to make their workplace more productive and efficient.

Extreme Programming is very helpful when there are always new and different requests from customers. People who work on a project are more likely to accept changes in the customer’s needs even if they come up at a later point in the process.

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In Extreme Programming, the project is tested right from the start by getting feedback from people who use the system. This helps improve the system’s output. This is also a good way to make sure that you can easily meet any customer needs.

3. Lean-Agile Process

There are many similarities between Lean development and Agile development. Lean development is not the same thing as Agile development, but it does have some of the same values. The main principles of the Lean method are:

  • Eliminating waste
  • Build quality in
  • Create knowledge
  • Defer commitment
  • Deliver fast
  • Respect people
  • Optimize the whole

4. Kanban

Kanban is a word that comes from the Japanese language. It means “visual board or signboard” and is linked to the idea of “just in time.” Kanban started out as a way to make things more efficient in the factory. It then moved on to agile software development teams. This method is all about using visual methods to build and manage projects.

With the assistance of the Kanban Board, which is split into columns to show how the software is made, projects are kept track of through Kanban. In order for teams to be more visible, they can see how the project is progressing through each stage of development and prepare for the next steps so they can deliver the product on time.

In this method, there must be a lot of communication and openness so that everyone on the team can be ready for any stage of development at any time and work together at all times.

Benefits of using Agile Methodology

Because Agile is a good way to manage projects, these are some of the best and most important reasons and benefits:

1. Superior quality product

As part of Agile project management, testing is a part of the project execution phase, which means that the quality of the final product is better. The customer is still a part of the development process, and he or she can ask for changes based on market realities. Because Agile is a process that goes back and forth, self-organizing teams keep learning and growing and keep getting better.

2. Customer satisfaction

In Agile, the customer is always a part of the decision-making process, which leads to more customer loyalty. In traditional project management, the customer is only involved in the planning phase and doesn’t have any say in how the project is done, which makes the project less flexible and adaptable. The customer will be happier if you keep them updated and make changes based on what they say. This will also make sure that the final product meets their needs.

Another benefit of Agile Project Management is that the time it takes to go to market is cut significantly. This lets the person who owns the product make the most of the chance and, in some cases, get the first-mover advantage. People are only going to come back to you for more work when they enjoy these benefits because of your work.

3. Better control

There are a lot of ways Agile helps project managers keep an eye on the project because of its openness, Integration of reviews, and tools for quality control. During the project’s project execution, all stakeholders are kept up to date on the project status through advanced analysis tools and techniques.

4. Improved project predictability

With more information, it’s easier to predict risks and come up with effective mitigation plans. More ways to find and predict risks and plan for the project to run smoothly are found in the Agile framework.

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Scrum, for example, uses sprint backlogs and burndown charts to make the project more visible, which allows managers to predict how well the project will go and plan accordingly.

5. Reduced risks

In theory, if you use an Agile method on a project, it should never fail. Agility is a way to make things happen quickly. It works in small sprints with the goal of making things happen every day. When something doesn’t go as planned, there is always a small piece that can be used in the future.

6. Increased flexibility

When a project team is truly Agile, they can be as flexible as they want to be. Teams work in smaller chunks and get help from the person who owns the product all the time. Changes in other project management methods usually take a long time and cost money.

Agile, on the other hand, breaks the project into short sprints that are both manageable and flexible enough to let the team make changes on the fly. This way, the team can make changes quickly. Agile is one of the best ways to work on a project because it allows you to be as flexible as you want to be.

7. Continuous improvement

One of the 12 principles of the Agile manifesto is to work on self-reflection and keep improving. So each sprint will be better than the last one and mistakes won’t happen again. This is because the method works in “iterations.” A team can learn from each other’s mistakes and improve as a group thanks to Agile methodologies, which encourage an open exchange of ideas.

8. Improved team morale

They have more power and autonomy because Agile teams are self-organized and self-managing. When the project manager is in charge, sponsors and management don’t bother the team.

The teams are also made up of people from different fields, which helps them learn new project management skills and grow in their current jobs. The team meets often to talk about problems and progress, which makes it easier for them to work together. Agile allows teams to be close-knit and have a wide range of team structures because the size of the team is small.

9. More useful metrics

Agile teams use more accurate and relevant metrics to estimate how long and how much a project will cost and how well it will work than traditional teams do. Agile emphasises getting things done and improving performance, while the metrics in Waterfall show how well the project is meeting its budget and time frame.

In Agile, important metrics such as lead time, cycle time, and throughput are used to measure how well the team is doing. These metrics help the team find bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions about how to fix them.

Conclusion

A lot of businesses now use Agile as a way to run their businesses. It’s not just a method anymore. So, if you want to use this idea in your business, this detailed blog will be your best friend. It will give you ideas and help you through the process. If you want to start a new business or give your current business a boost, this is the best way to do it. Agile is a new technology that allows people to work alone, keep track of projects and costs, improve business value and revenue, and manage expectations from teams and clients.

Samuel Jim Nnamdi is the CTO of Foxstate, a platform that powers digital infrastructures for Real estate financing globally. He has over 8 years of Software Engineering and CyberSecurity expertise.

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