12 Oct · 4 min read
Agile methodology is a method of project management that divides a project into phases. It is an iterative, time-boxed, people-oriented, and result-focused method to software delivery in which software is built sequentially from the beginning of the project rather than together at once near the end.
Agile methodology is in accordance with the Agile Manifesto on Software Development's values and principles. The requirements, plans, and results are all examined on a regular basis, and teams are encouraged to make rapid changes based on this approach.
Three main principles were issued by the development teams in the context of a symbolic Manifesto for Agile software development:
Individual Team interaction: The importance of continuous interaction among individuals in software development cannot be emphasized. Tools are important in software development, but regardless of the tools used, great software requires a lot of collaboration.
Documentation: Users and coworkers can benefit significantly from the documentation. However, the key goal of software development is to create software that provides financial benefits rather than extensive documentation.
Customer collaboration: Development teams must collaborate closely in order to connect with customers on a regular basis. Gathering continuous feedback makes it easier for teams to grasp the needs of stakeholders.
Following the above Agile software development principles, developers made use of short, regular, and controllable iterations of work called Sprints. One short sprint (2-4 weeks) results in the formation of a full development cycle including analysis, design, coding, testing, and product release. Every Sprint adds to the already functional software solution, bringing developers closer to the final version.
Many new agile frameworks have emerged such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP) that combine practices from different frameworks followed by its uniqueness to the team.
The advantages of Agile methodology are as follows:
1) User-focused: Agile uses business-focused criteria to identify product features, which leads to faster delivery. It makes room for possibilities after each Sprint, resulting in improved beta testing opportunities and change adaptability.
2) Improved Quality: The team must focus on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration by reducing the project into manageable units.
3) Transparency: Customers have a unique opportunity to be involved in the project process throughout ensuring that the evolution is implemented at every stage.
4) Predictable Costs and Schedule: The cost is often determined by the amount of work completed by the team within a given timeframe. It's essential for customers to comprehend the approximate cost of each feature, allowing them to make better decisions.
5) Stakeholder Engagement: As per the Agile methodology, there must be a high degree of collaboration between the customer and the whole project team to understand the customer’s vision.
Despite the numerous advantages offered by Agile, it is important to be aware of the following disadvantages of Agile methodology:
1) Limited Documentation: Lack of attention to documentation in Agile might seem difficult for new team members to access the required information. As a result, it becomes less detailed and frequently falls on the contrary.
2) Poor Resource Planning: It is recommended that one must conduct extensive research to determine the best methodology to use in each case. The team must have a strong foundation and similar ability levels to meet the demands of the client.
3) Fragmented Output: In Agile, a lack of project constraints leads to uncontrollable expansion, which can further lead to the non-completion of the project. As a result, the product becomes dispersed rather than being represented as a single cohesive unit.
4) Difficult Measurement: Since Agile occurs in chunks, tracking success requires looking across cycles. This makes it difficult to oversee progress measurement.
5) Lack of Finite Deadline: Due to constantly changing needs, it is impossible to precisely estimate the amount of time and money required to finish the project. Furthermore, resulting in the unfinished product.
Agile and Waterfall are two of the most common and widely used software development methodologies nowadays. The first one is the waterfall, which is also known as the classic software development process. Waterfall refers to a method of development that is built on meticulous planning and step-by-step execution. Agile, on the other hand, is a style of Rapid Application Development that is faster than Waterfall and utilizes Scrum or Kanban to ensure implementation.
Let’s understand which one will be the best choice for your project based on the differences listed below:
Agile approaches aren't always the optimum solution for every project. They produce the best results when there is a strong contact between the developer, the customer, and a development team comprised of skilled team members. These approaches offer an iterative development paradigm in which the whole work is divided into many releases in order to meet the objectives set for each phase.