Introduction to Agile Workflow
Agile workflow is an iterative method of delivering a project. In Agile, multiple individual teams work on particular tasks for a certain duration of time termed as ‘Sprints’. “AgileWorkflow can be defined as the set of stages involved in developing an application, from ideation to sprints completion”.
Let’s understand the Agile Workflow and its stages:
The Agile application development lifecycle consists of:
1. Ideation: The very first stage of the Agile workflow is about defining the business scope for each of the project ideas and determining the time and set of tasks to execute such projects. This judgment helps in identifying financial and resource availability so as to conclude which ideas are worth executing!
2. Creation of Sprint Teams: After identifying the project and discussing it with the stakeholders, the agile team members are identified and resources are allocated so as to execute the project. These team members are assigned work responsibilities and the timeframe to complete the same for each of the sprint teams.
3. Iteration: When sprint teams are identified upon discussion and feedback from the stakeholders, the project work is resumed. The team with an objective of launching a workable product at the end of a sprint, start working on the first iteration. As the product goes through many rounds of improvement or iteration, the first iteration usually includes minimum functions. The team can put up more sprints to develop the entire product.
4. Release: At this stage, the product is ready to pass into the production phase. The quality team tests the product functionality and rectifies defects or errors if any.
5. Production: During the production stage, the team must ensure that the product is being launched successfully and guide the users on its usage. Thus, at this phase, the team offers continual support for the product release.
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6. Retirement: This is the last stage of the agile software development life cycle. As the name indicates, the product is removed or replaced with a new release. The new product is introduced when the previous product becomes redundant or does not fit the ongoing business model.
What are the Different Types of Agile Workflow?
The different types of Agile Workflow models are outlined below:
1. Feature Driven Development (FDD)
As the name indicates, FDD is an iterative and progressive workflow model for system development, primarily focusing on features. The concept of FDD is to come up with high-end features and scope, so as to develop the entire model and execute the same. The FDD goes through the five stages:
- Develop the Entire Model: Firstly, a few models are selected specifically to each domain. And these domain models are successively blended into one entire model based on the concept and scope.
- Develop the Listed features: Features are the list of requirements specific to the customers. These features are to be completed within a timeframe of not more than 2 weeks for release.
- Feature Planning: The listed features are then assigned to the developers.
- Feature Designing: The details of every feature are developed, evaluated and then finalized.
- Feature Building: After the design is inspected and improved, the entire feature is included in the main build to be delivered to the customers.
Crystal is not a set of pre-defined tools or patterns but is a set of various software methodologies. The crystal model is human-centric and considers people as the most important asset in system development, followed by the processes to meet the client requirements. The crystal process does not pre-define the tools or methods at the very start of the project but is determined based on the business and technical requisites of a project. Based on the time duration and project conditions, crystal is further sub-divided and denoted by various colors.
3. Agile Unified Process (AUP)
The unified process is an iterative and progressive method consisting of four steps. These are, ‘Inception’, ‘Elaboration’, ‘Construction’ and ‘Transition’.
4. Extreme Programming (XP)
XP is one of the popular agile workflow models, which is focused on continual improvement through customer feedback. The workflow of XP for system development is comprised of 4 stages. These are, ‘Coding’, ‘Testing’, ‘Listening’ and ‘Designing’.
Scrum is an agile workflow process based on a repetitive approach. Scrum emphasizes continual improvement for customer satisfaction. The workflow of Scrum consists of ‘Product Backlog’, ‘Planning Sprint’, ‘Sprint Backlog’, ‘Sprint’, ‘Routine Scrum Meetings’, ‘Sprint Reviewal’ and ‘Internal Scrum Meetings’.
Kanban is based on the lean development process, which is a popular methodology introduced by Toyota Motors. It is an agile method that is non-iterative and is less structured. It emphasizes on delivering quality on a continual basis by effective team collaboration. The Kanban workflow comprises of ‘Product Backlog’, ‘Requirements’, ‘Design’, ‘Development’, ‘Testing’, ‘Deployment’ and ‘Done’ stages.
One of the agile methods which have been prevailing for the longest time is also used in Non-IT sectors. In this method, the project benefits and requirements are pre-defined clearly before the actual execution. This workflow includes stages of, ‘Pre-project’, ‘Feasibility’, ‘Foundations’, ‘Exploration’, ‘Engineering’, ‘Deployment’ and ‘Post Project’.
From the above listed agile workflow models, ‘Scrum’, ‘Kanban’ and ‘Extreme Programming’ are widely used. The various agile workflow methods were designed and developed based on project suitability and requirements. There cannot be a single workflow method for all the projects. These workflow patterns do overlap in a way with certain differences in execution methods and stages. Each of these listed workflow processes has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Not necessarily, if a certain workflow practice that might have worked for a particular project, may work for some other project.
Therefore, considering the feasibility, suitability, project conditions, time limit, and many such factors, the workflow model that fits in with the expected project outcomes should be executed!
This has been a guide to Agile Workflow. Here we discussed the Understanding and different types of Agile Workflow models & frameworks. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –