Agile isn’t just for software development in 2021. In fact, it has gained universal acceptance and can now be used even in childcare. As a result, one may argue that it has become a buzzword. However, each methodology, in my opinion, should be used in a reasonable and controlled manner.
That’s why I’ve decided to write about Agile software development. In this short essay, I’ll go through the fundamentals of the Agile approach, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of using it.
The Agile Manifesto contains 12 principles on which the Agile way of working is built. I’ve gathered for you the list of Agile essentials you can find below.
1. Having a highly collaborative and transparent development approach.
It entails frequent internal team communication as well as communication with clients. That is why it is critical to hold regular meetings!
2. Creating iterations for the project.
Iterations are a series of work phases (timeboxes) with clearly defined tasks and meetings at the end (retrospectives).
In most circumstances, an iteration lasts between 1 and 4 weeks and is fixed for a specific project.
3. Adding story cards and product backlog.
The story cards describe the product’s story and demonstrate why a feature is important and how the user will utilize it. In turn, the product backlog is a prioritized list of tasks that must be completed. It enables a flexible yet measurable development process.
4. Allowing a definition of done from the beginning.
Customer requirements can change at any point during the Agile process. They are not, however, put into an ongoing iteration because they will be incorporated for the next run.
The thing is, the team should focus entirely on the agreed-upon scope of work during an iteration. As a result, it won’t be modified due to a lack of time.
Considerations for Agile approach
These days, agile development methodologies are all the rage. It does, however, have its advantages and disadvantages, just like any other project management technique. Let’s talk about them.
Benefits of Agile
There are 7 major benefits to using Agile methodology.
1. Prioritize quality
It’s easier for project teams to focus on testing and reviewing each iteration when software development is broken down into little chunks. Agile teams can also find and fix software bugs fast.
2. Prioritize customer
The goal of Agile is to provide high-quality software on a regular basis. Customer satisfaction and feedback have a direct impact on product development in this case.
3. Prioritize transparency and communication
Agile software development stresses user interaction and cooperation. The software is actively reviewed by stakeholders from all project areas.
4. Prioritize flexibility
Even if priorities change every week, project managers may quickly adjust priorities and clarify what’s crucial for the product. That’s why goals that haven’t been met yet can easily be carried over to subsequent iterations.
5. Prioritize speed
Software engineers can always have a part of a final product thanks to incremental delivery. We couldn’t agree more that Agile’s most valuable asset is speed.
The quicker product introduction is the most often stated advantage of Agile methodology, according to the 9th State of Agile Survey.
6. Prioritize risk reduction
Iterations can be used by project managers to adapt to a changing software environment. Bugs and difficulties can be found early on using incremental software updates before the product is even released. As a result, bug fixing is no longer as tough.
7. Prioritize managing budgets
It’s easier to anticipate costs when projects are broken down into smaller chunks(commonly referred to as sprints). Additionally, teams may get paid as soon as specific releases are completed.
Drawbacks of Agile
Agile is an excellent choice for many software development teams, but it isn’t for everyone. You should be aware of the potential drawbacks of the Agile methodology before implementing it.
1. Agile isn’t optimal for government agencies and major enterprises
Agile methods require complete transparency, therefore detailed documentation is incompatible with them. The Agile technique can consequently be more of a disadvantage for firms that are less flexible.
2. Pending deliveries may take precedence over quality in terms of long-term projects
When new software iterations are frequently expected, it might have an impact on long-term project quality assurance.
3. Change costs are overlooked
Often, errors that were straightforward at the beginning become more and more difficult to fix. It happens because the source code is constantly changing.
Errors that appeared to be simple at first became increasingly complex and hard to fix. It occurs because the source code is continually changing.
4. Agile doesn’t work well with teams that require constant supervision
Agile is an excellent product development methodology for small teams that collaborate well. The IT department, on the other hand, can have a big number of employees. Also, keep in mind that the weakest link in the chain is often the reason for the entire system failing.
5. Agile requires a lot of practice
The latest State of Agile Report shows that a lack of skills and experience is one of the main Agile adoption challenges.
The thing is, waterfall methods for project management can be used intuitively. Whereas, learning Agile methods takes some time.
The Agile approach is more than a project management trend. It’s a project management discipline with distinct benefits, particularly for IT teams. However, keep in mind that Agile takes time to master. One of the leading causes of Agile project failure is a lack of relevant expertise and experience.
Since 2012, Vilmate has been delivering thriving software development projects. Furthermore, our staff understands how to make the Agile approach benefit our clients — and not cost them.
Also, if you want to learn more about the pros and cons of Agile, read our full article: CTO’s Perspective: Pros and Cons of Agile Approach. Here, I also explain why Vilmate continues to use Agile software development.