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Agile Methodologies: What is the Agile Software Development Model?

Agile Methodologies

Agile Methodologies – Definition

Dictionary definition of agile, Agile is to move quickly and easily. Agile Workflow thus similarly translates to the simplest and effective method for software solutions. Agile methodologies employ a route through continuous planning while learning and improving. It also emphasizes team collaborations, development, and fast delivery.

Agile Software development life-cycle is a collection of different frameworks and practices. For day to day lives, human beings tend to follow certain values and principles, software development too uses values and principles for better functioning.

Agile emphasis on teamwork and how the work is done effectively in a team. Results are obtained from teamwork between self-organizing cross functioning groups. 

Collaboration is the keyword for Agile Developments. 

Even though there is a lot of stress on the word Collaboration, there is the presence of managers too. Teams however have the flexibility to work on their own and solve problems. The teams are cross-functional and all the required skills are found within the team. 

When a team implements Agile software development (Agile Methodologies), they concentrate on collaborations and organization of the work. Another way for it is the usage of specific technical practices that deal with developing software to help the team deal with unwanted situations. 

Agile vs Waterfall

To understand the Agile process better we can compare it with Traditional practices and see the difference. In the traditional process, work is usually done sequentially in phases that are to say in steps one after the other. This linear form of system is known as the Waterfall approach in project management. The problem that the Waterfall approach faces are that when a new request comes in. 

Read more about- Waterfall Approach

This is known as “scope creep” in traditional terms. To satisfy customers’ demands teams have to go through cumbersome processes to make a change which increases the time taken to a great deal. After the approval of the change, the team more often has to go back, redo and undo previous setups increasing not only the time but also the costs involved. 

Thus to avoid this fiasco Agile project management is implemented where small changes are made in every step. The changes when implemented are run by the customers for their valuable feedback.

Agile workflow process also deals with the management of the work. The basic aim of this is to spot the problems early and fix them effectively. This idea along with the small batch size and frequent delivery creates a successful model as per customer needs.

Difference Between Agile and Waterfall

Here’s the agile vs waterfall comparison table:

Waterfall ModelAgile Model
The process is incremental and iterative.The process is sequential.
Broken down into individual processes where designers work on.Not broken into individual processes.
The customer is given early and frequent chances to make changes in the process.Customers can see the result only at the end.
Unstructured compared to the waterfall method.Structured and planned.
Small projects can be done very quickly but for bigger projects it is difficult to estimate the time.The time of completion for any type of project can be estimated.
Error can be fixed at the middle of the project.Error can only be fixed at the end of the project.
Documentation gets less priority compared to software development. Software development has the maximum priority. 
Testers and developers work together.Testers and developers work separately. 
After every sprint user acceptance is done.User acceptance is done at the end.
Strong team work between developers to estimate the requirements and planning.Developers are not required in requirement and planning analysis.

Agile Manifesto: Principles of Agile Methodology

Principles of Agile Modeling

The Principles of Agile Modeling are:

Types of Agile Software Development Methodologies

A few of the different types of Agile software development methods (Agile Methodology) are listed below:

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)

Disciplined Agile Delivery or DAD is an Agile software delivery framework. DAD helps is the software delivery and development with a people-first approach.

The different practices and frameworks under Agile software development such as scrum and lean software development are collected and brought under DAD. 

DAD is basically a type of Disciplined Agile toolkit.

The 3 phases of the DAD framework are:

Inception: As the name suggests this phase revolves around the work at the beginning of the development process. This includes thinking of activities to help construct the project and understand its purpose. The inception is supposed to be a small phase. 

Construction: This phase includes creating a product in increments. Teams may include different agile methodology in this phase to create the solution.

Transition: in this phase the product is handed over to the customer. This phase is as short as possible. 

These 3 phases take place continuously in a loop.

In DAD, there are 6 different delivery life cycles. These are as follows:

  1. Basic/Agile lifecycle
  2. Lean Lifecycle
  3. Continuous Delivery Agile Lifecycle
  4. Continuous Delivery Lean Lifecycle
  5. The Exploratory Lifecycle
  6. The Program Lifecycle

Read More- Disciplined Agile Delivery 

Adaptive Software Development (ASD)

Adaptive Software Development or ASD is a way to build complicated software and systems. The main focus of Adaptive Software Development is human collaboration. Self-organization is also an important aspect of ASD.

ASD lifecycle mainly consists of three phases namely:

  1. Speculation: Speculation is the phase where the project starts and planning are done. The project when made focuses on the project initiation information, some of which are:
  1. Collaboration: The next phase of ASD is collaboration. Here there is emphasis on collaborations, teamwork and communication. Even though collaboration and teamwork are important aspects of this phase, individual creativity and individualism is also stressed upon to a great extent. The team mainly communicates to break barriers and be comfortable about:
  1. Learning: The members of the team may not have proper or up to date knowledge about certain aspects of the project so it is important to keep learning.

The learning process can be in 3 ways:

Read more – Adaptive Software Development 

Agile Modeling

As the name suggests Agile Modeling is used for modeling software systems. It is also used for effective documentation of such systems. It is a part of the Agile toolkit and is a collection of values and principles that enables the customer in their endeavor. 

This method is a flexible approach helping in the design and development of technology. It has proved to be a successful approach for improvement in responding to customer demands. It is an effort to explain the goals of the project to the developers, stakeholders, and decision-makers.

The four important values most important for Agile Modeling are:

  1. Communication 
  2. Simplicity
  3. Courage 
  4. Feedback

It uses the best practices to the software being created to make sure that the needs of the development team and customers are met. It provides a detailed view of the product.

Benefits of Agile Modeling

Read more- Agile Modeling 

Agile Methodology Scrum

Scrum is a type of Agile development method which specifically deals with team based development projects.

Scrum consists of 3 components:

Scrum Master: The Master sets up the team, the sprint meeting. It also removes hurdles that occur while working.

Product Owner: The Product Owner creates and prioritizes product backlogs. It also delivers the functionality at each iteration. 

Scrum Team: The Scrum Team looks after its own work to complete the cycle. 

Scrum is best suited for products and development projects.

How to use Scrum?

More about- Scrum

Kanban

How does Kanban work?

More about- Kanban

Scrumban

Scrum and Kanban are the essences of Agile Methodology. Scrum is used in products and development projects. Kanban is best for production support. Scrumban is a mixture of the best features of both scrum and kanban for maintenance projects. Scrumban is becoming very famous in service industries which includes both development and maintenance projects.

More about- Scrumban

Extreme Programming

Extreme Programming is used when the demand and requirement constantly changes. It monitors changing patterns of the product in short cycles which thus improves productivity. It also installs frequent checkpoints easing the implementation of customer requirements. Requirements are collected like stories which are stored in parking lots. The shorter cycles also called Iterations to have a span of 14 days. 

The different phases of Iterations are:

  1. Coding
  2. Unit Testing
  3. System Testing 

The phases of Xtreme Programming are:

  1. Planning
  1. Analysis 
  1. Design
  1. Execution 
  1. Wrapping
  1. Closure

To track the daily work there are two storyboards available. These are namely:

Crystal Method

One type of agile software development approach is Crystal method.crystal method focuses on team work and team building more than concentrating on processes and tools.

Crystal method focuses on 2 main assumptions. They are:

Teams have the freedom to streamline the way they work and become more efficient.

The methods for each project has to be curated separately, as each project is unique and dynamic.

The characteristics of crystal method are:

More about- Crystal Method 

Dynamic System Development Method

DSDM or Dynamic System Development Method is a Rapid Application approach to software development. The users are supposed to be involved actively in DSDM and the team has the power to make the decisions. Delivery of the product frequently is the main focus of DSDM. 

The different techniques used in DSDM are:

  1. Time Boxing
  2. MoSCoW Rules 
  3. Prototyping

The different phases of DSDM are:

  1. Pre project
  2. Feasibility Study
  3. Business Study
  4. Functional Model Iteration 
  5. Design and Build Iteration
  6. Implementation 
  7. Post project

More about- Dynamic System Development Method 

Feature Driven Development

Feature Driven Development or FDD focuses on designing and building features. FDD includes domain walkthrough, design inspection, promotion to build, code inspection, and design. FDD while developing product targets at:

More about- Feature Driven Development

Lean Software Development

Lean Software development method works on the principle of “Just in time production”. It helps in increasing the speed of software development and decreasing the cost. Lean development has seven steps:

  1. Eliminating waste
  2. Amplifying learning 
  3. Defer commitment 
  4. Early delivery
  5. Empowering the team
  6. Building integrity
  7. Optimize the whole

More about- Lean Software Development

Agile Workflow

The steps of the Agile process Flow are: 

  1. Concept: The conceptualization phase of the project. Here, the projects are envisioned and priorities are set.
  2. Inception: Team members are selected, funding is taken care of and initial discussions are done.
  3. Iteration/Construction: Time for the development team to work on a software curated for the project.
  4. Release: Quality Assurance testing, internal and external training, documentation and development, and release of iteration into production. 
  5. Production: Support of the software. 
  6. Retirement: The activities are ended, customer notification, and migration. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agile Workflow

Advantages of Agile Workflow

Disadvantages of Agile Workflow

Agile Methodologies FAQs

1. What are the steps in Agile Methodologies?

The steps followed in Agile Methodologies are as follows:

1. Plan 
2. Design 
3. Develop 
4. Test
5. Deploy 
6. Review 
7. Launch

2. What are the 12 principles of Agile Methodologies?

The 12 principles of Agile Methodologies are:

1. Early and continuous delivery
2. Frequent delivery
3. Embrace change
4. Business and developers together 
5. Motivated individuals
6. Face to face conversation 
7. Working software
8. Technical excellence 
9.Simplicity 
10. Self-organizing teams 
11. Regular reflection and adjustment 
12. All the principles matter
 
Read More- Agile Manifesto

3. What are the 3 pillars of Scrum?

The 3 pillars of Scrum are:

1. Transparency
2. Inspection
3. Adaptation

4. What is a sprint in Agile Methodologies?

The scrum team when works to finish work there are small, time-boxed periods which are known as sprints. Sprints are extremely important to scrum and agile methodologies.

5. What are some Agile metrics I can use for reporting?

Speed is used to run the business. This speed should be stable and not be changing or in flux.

6. How do I deal with distributed teams in Agile?

There can be two types of teams, one where members work remotely and the second one where the members are spread across the globe.

7. How does Agile relate with Devops?

Although Agile and DevOps have different paths they have common grounds while improving the efficiency and speed of the teams. With the help of Agile the project management skill sets are improved thus making a way for the technical teams to improve their flexibility.

8. Should I be using Scrum, Kanban or another flavour of Agile?

Scrum is more popular than Kanban today. Scrum is almost twenty years old and first originated in Toyota in 1953.