Agile is a well-known term in our days, especially in the IT universe.
Until just recently, Agile was seen as a set of management practices relevant to software development. It became a big worldwide movement when the firms understood that Agile is the only way to handle the chaotic customer-driven marketplace.
To be more precise, Agile is a technique of creating software alternatives with the main purpose of providing high-quality working software, while minimizing project overhead and improving the company’s value.
The Agile approach – common steps
When working on a new project it’s necessary to know the client’s vision. Agile software development projects start with a set of Discovery Sessions and research in order to understand the client’s goals, issues he could have, the business environment, customers and users. The key members of the project will take part in these sessions to make sure that everybody understands what needs to be done.
The product backlog
For the next step, that is just as important, the team works closely and cooperates to create a high-level Product Backlog. They create a list of all the features that are relevant and important to the client. After that, these features will be prioritized.
By letting the client choose the order, the entire team will be focused on delivering the biggest level features, before starting working on the lower value ones.
Only after the team fully understands the vision of their client, and after they’ve put together the highest level backlog of features, the features will be given through a series of time-boxed iterations with a fixed term of 1 to 4 weeks.
Continuing the cycle
At this point, each sprint is iterative and incremental. Considering the feedback, the implemented features can be improved and others can be added to the system.
There are different practice-oriented frameworks for Agile, but people prefer Scrum and Kanban.
Both allow difficult tasks to be divided and completed efficiently. They also place high importance on continual improvement, optimization of the work and the process.
There are a lot of benefits of using Agile:
The client is an active part in every step of the project. There is a lot of collaboration between the client and the project team. By working like this, the team can really understand what the client want.
The client can also prioritize the features of iteration planning and can propose new features. He is seeing the work in progress.
Predictability of Agile delivery
As we mentioned before, the Agile technology uses a fixed schedule Sprints of 1 to 4 weeks. In this time, any new features are delivered rapidly and often.
Cost and schedule
Considering the fixed terms, the client will not have surprises. The cost can be predictable and also limited to the quantity of work the team can do in the amount of time they agree to.
Allows for change
The general product backlog can be modified and reprioritized considering the client’s needs.
The focus is on creating value
The team can fully understand what the client desire and in this way, they can deliver the features that bring business value.
The focus on users
All features are made to satisfy the needs of real users, and because of this, it will deliver value.
The focus is on tests and feedback and the quality is improved because any problems are spotted immediately and fixed.