What is Agile Software Development?


What is Agile?

Agile software development is an assortment of software development techniques based on iterative development, which means that requirements and solutions change through the collaboration of self-organizing teams of cross-functional members.  Agile methodologies or Agile processes generally advocate a disciplined management approach that promotes regular inspection and adaptation as well as a philosophy of leadership that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability. It is a set of best engineering practices designed to facilitate the rapid release of high-quality software and an approach to business that aligns development with client demands and the company’s goals.  Agile development is a method of development that aligns with the Agile Manifesto principles. The Manifesto was formulated by a group comprising fourteen prominent figures from the software industry. It reflects their experiences in determining which methods work and what does not work in the field of software development.  Find out further about the Agile Manifesto. Did you know that Agile is also applicable to hardware-related projects? 

Why should you choose Agile?

Teams pick agile because it allows them to adjust rapidly to market developments or client input without jeopardizing a year’s worth of plans. Your team may obtain input on each modification and incorporate it into plans at a low cost by doing “just enough” planning and shipping in tiny, regular increments. But it’s not just about the numbers – about its people first and foremost. According to the Agile Manifesto, authentic human relationships are more vital than strict processes, and predefined arrangements are less crucial than collaborating with customers and teammates. It’s also more vital to provide a workable solution to the customer’s problem than to provide hyper-detailed documentation. An agile team organizes around a common goal and then executes it in the most effective way possible. Each team establishes its quality, usability, and completeness requirements, and their “definition of done” then determines how quickly they’ll complete the work. Although it may be frightening at first, firm leaders discover that putting their faith in an agile team gives the team a better sense of ownership and motivates them to fulfill (or exceed) management’s objectives. Read more: What is Software Development Life Cycle? Phases and Model

What are the benefits of Agile?


Benefits for Customers

Customers report that the company is more responsive to their development requests. The most valuable features are created and implemented more quickly by shorter cycles than the long-term cycles favored by the traditional “waterfall” methods.

Benefits for Vendors

Vendors cut down on the amount of waste they produce by focusing development efforts on high-value features and reducing time-to-market compared to waterfall processes because of lower overhead and higher efficiency. A higher level of customer satisfaction leads to higher retention of customers and more positive references from customers.

Benefits for Development Teams

Team members are enthusiastic about working on development and want to see their efforts used and appreciated. Scrum helps the Development Team by cutting down on non-productive work (e.g. creating specifications or other forms of documentation that no one ever uses) as well as giving them more time to complete what they love to do. Team members also know that their work is appreciated since the requirements are selected to provide maximum value for clients.

Benefits for Product Managers

Product managers, which generally play the role of Product Owner, are responsible for keeping customers content by ensuring that the development work is in line with customers’ needs. Scrum facilitates this alignment by offering frequent opportunities to revise priorities to ensure the highest quality of service.

Benefits for Project Managers

Project Managers (and other managers) who play the Scrum Master position discover that tracking and planning are more straightforward and tangible when compared to waterfall methods. The emphasis is on tracking tasks at the task level and using Burndown Charts to display daily progress and daily Scrum meetings. Daily Scrum meetings provide the Project Manager with immense awareness of the project’s status throughout the day. This level of understanding is crucial in monitoring the project and identifying and addressing problems swiftly.

Benefits for C-Level Executives and PMOs

Scrum gives a clear view of a project’s development status regularly. External stakeholders, like C-Level executives and personnel from Project Management Office, for instance, Project Management Office, can use this information to make better decisions and modify their strategies to consider more reliable data and less speculation. Read more: What is DevOps lifecycle? Benefits and Method

How do Scale Agile Adoption?

Scaling agile is among the most challenging problems to tackle due to the many ways organizations are structured, and their needs in the commercial arena are varied. This realization brings to light the concept of context. Because of this diversity, there has emerged a myriad of scaling frameworks. The notion that “one size will fit all” is a faulty assumption. Scrum is the most popular team-based framework. Therefore, all scaling frameworks feature Scrum as their basis. Utilizing Scrum as the base to tackle scaling issues is a good idea since most of them include the ability to extend it as a method. For instance, Scaling frameworks like SAFe implement Kanban to help with scaling issues while maintaining Scrum as the core. The most critical issues to be considered when scaling above the team’s dynamic include coordination communication, coordination as well as shared and dependent activities, and the remoteness of groups or members. These are the same limitations imposed by the team-based implementation of Scrum, but when teams grow in size, they are amplified and very difficult to address. When an organization transitions from a single-team structure to multi-teams, broader problems become evident. They can be seen as the plan of action and the rationing of investment between competing initiatives that ensure the vision and objectives of the company. The size of an organization can also influence the adoption and implementation of the scaling strategies and framework chosen. A business with 300 employees or an organization with 10,000 employees will require different strategies. Another example of the “one-size will fit all” phrase. To ensure that Scrum’s organization-wide growth is a broader enterprise activity and is not confined to product management and engineering as it is when it comes to Scrum implementations.

What is the most Holistic approach to Agile Adoption?

When an organization implements agile, it is primarily the engineering services department, with little or no cooperation with product managers. This is a typical pattern and is why many companies do not believe that they get the benefits they would expect from adopting agile, thereby proving that agile doesn’t work. The company’s size, commercial needs, organizational structure and many other factors provide the necessary context to define a strategy for rapid adoption. The most successful process requires the inclusion of all aspects of a business. Systems thinking the knowledge that all company areas are responsible for value delivery are in sync and working in tandem. So asking the engineering department to receive assistance from the product management department to be agile is not the right approach. The business is likely to think about restructuring and changing management methods to ensure an organization is aligned. Most effective results occur when the management team goes entirely in with an open mind to possibilities that arise when they collaborate. Work together with a focus on value creation and work in a supportive manner, recognizing that they will change the options. A few examples include those when the accounting department moves from Cost Accounting to Lean Accounting. The human resources department is considering moving to OKRs and eliminating KPIs and MBOs. The company’s metrics concentrate on metrics that relate to the value of output over delivery. The best way to approach an agile approach is to look at your company’s context, as described in the previous paragraph. Be inclusive of the leaders and their areas of responsibility to accelerate value-added the course of output as well as utilization.

How do Amplify the impact of Agile?

Learning Organization

Is it possible to define what being a learner-centric organization means? The three fundamental principles of Scrum are inspected, adjusted and transparency. They are incorporated into the Scrum principles. They appear in all events through feedback loops. They wanted to provide the most feasible learning opportunities and be experienced as often as possible. It is essential to include the entire organization to understand these principles since the benefits of agile depend on the system approach. System thinking coupled with a focus on value delivery. We want the metrics that determine our engineering service to align with the core business goals.

Clear Purpose

The company should have people with a larger goal than the people within it and a more excellent vision than the company itself. It should touch the level of emotion for everyone and should be the motivational reason why that person is drawn to work.

A Trustworthy Environment

The aim is to provide the possibility for everyone to learn and experiment. It is different from simply making a mistake at something. When designing an experiment, some things need to be defined. The current state, the desired state, and finally, the investigation itself moves towards that desired goal. With that set of restrictions, the test results in either a valid conclusion or a non-contradictory hypothesis. Both are essential information points that will affect our future actions. In the end, agile is a corporate-wide sport that is not just an engineering-related service. Without the three components of the ability to learn organization, a clear goal and a secure environment, the benefits of agile are likely to be less effective.