What is Agile?
Agile is an ability to adapt or to create and respond to change. It basically means to understand the changes and uncertainty in the environment and adapt itself accordingly. Keeping this thought in mind, the software developers build Agile to overcome the drawbacks of other software development models.
Agile software development is a combination of methodologies and technology. It is a collection of software development methods where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self–organizing cross-functional teams. It is based on the values and principles mentioned in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. It focuses on the people and how they work as a team. Teams have the ability to judge how they are going to do things on their own.
It builds software incrementally in short periods of time called iterations of about 1 to 4 weeks so that the development process can be changed or modified according to the changing needs. It does not produce or develop the product in a single pass. Instead, it breaks the project into multiple bits of user functionality called user stories, prioritizes them, and then delivers them one by one.
It is based on 12 principles mentioned in the Agile Manifesto:
- The highest priority is the customer’s satisfaction from starting to the end to provide valuable software.
- It permits late changes in the requirements during the development.
- Delivers working software at regular intervals from a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
- Developers and business people must work cooperatively daily throughout the project.
- Projects must be built around motivated individuals. Support and the required environment must be provided, and they must be trusted to get the job done.
- Face to face conversation is the most effective and efficient way to convey information to and within a development team.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- It promotes sustainable development. The developers, users, and sponsors should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Agility is enhanced by giving continuous attention to technical excellence and good design.
- Simplicity- the art of maximizing the amount of work not done- is essential.
- The best requirements, architectures, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- The team reflects on how to become more effective and then adjusts its behavior accordingly at regular intervals.
How does it make working so easy?
It uses some methodologies that help to develop software easily, efficiently, and as quickly as possible. Some popular methodologies are:
- Adaptive software development (ASD)
- Dynamic systems development method (DSDM)
- Extreme programming (XP)
- Rapid Application Development (RAD)
- Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)
- Agile Modeling
Agile Software Development Lifecycle
Following are the agile development lifecycle
- Concept: In this phase, projects are envisioned and prioritized.
- Inception: In this phase, team members are identified, funding is analyzed, and initial requirements are discussed.
- Iteration: The developing team works to deliver the software based on the changing requirements of the stakeholders and feedbacks.
- Release/Transition: Internal and external testing, documentation development, QA testing, and final release of the solution into production.
- Production: In this phase, ongoing support is provided.
- Retirement: In this phase, activity is known as system decommissioning or system sunsetting, i.e., removing a system release from production.
Top Agile Companies
Many companies use an agile model for their development process rather than traditional models like a waterfall. It is gaining success due to its adaptability feature, i.e., accommodation of the changes in the requirements in the middle of the development process.
It requires a framework like a scrum or scrumban and many more, as mentioned above. There are many top companies that have started using Agile Scrum, and it transformed their working style:
IBM (International Business Machines) is one of the biggest names in the technology world-famous for creating computer hardware, middleware, and software. IBM offers its management software called IBM Rational Team Concert that incorporates an agile development environment.
Agile Scrum helped a lot in improving its business operations, and hence improvements in various metrics like defect backlog, maintenance was witnessed.
Google is a big name in the tech field. It is the second-biggest tech company in the world. Google has many applications that need continuous updates before they are brought for use to users, like Google Maps, Gmail, and many more.
This is somewhat possible by the Agile-based mindset.
3M is an American Manufacturer that manufactures industrial safety, health care, Electronics, and consumer products. Initially, it was using a traditional Waterfall method for software development, but this method faced several hurdles, especially in terms of cost reduction and speed enhancement of the development process.
So they installed Agile with Scrum, which helped them a lot in the development process.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group are one of the largest banks in Australia. It adopted Agile with Sprint Framework. After using Agile, they have the agility to release new features easily and on a monthly basis.
- Multiple Opportunities for Stakeholder Engagement
- Transparency throughout the project
- Fast, Early delivery
- Costs can be predicted.
- Allows changes in the middle of development.
- The process consists of one to four-week iterations.
- High Quality
- Technical familiarity and training
- Organizational Skills
- Conflict Facilitation
- Critical and creative thinking
- Communication skills
- Automation skills
Why should we use it?
- Increased client satisfaction
- Lower cost
- Ensures changes can be made easily throughout the development process.
- Keeps project transparent to clients, developers, and management.
- Frequent delivery.
A market is constantly changing, requirements in every field change, so traditional project development techniques cannot work efficiently. Instead, agile can be used in every aspect of the organization, not only in projects.
It reduces the documentation, which is necessary for the traditional models, hence reducing time to develop and incorporate changes that motivate organizations to opt for, agile model, which will increase the jobs and career opportunities in the near future.
So it has a great scope in the future where the whole organization would run on this mindset.
Who is the right audience for learning this technology?
As you know, “Change is only constant”. It is present in every aspect of life, so this technology can be learned by any organization working in teams and aims to deliver an efficient and early product to customers to provide utmost satisfaction. People having basic Knowledge of software development concepts like requirements, coding, testing are efficient learners of these technologies.
How will this technology help you in career growth?
Agile professionals are in high demand the top companies like IBM, Dell, HP, and many more organizations.
The salaries for agile professionals normally range from $107,000 to $126,000, or it can increase as per individuals skillset and certification.
It provides advantages over traditional models, but the model must be selected according to the needs of the projects. It keeps customer satisfaction as its priority hence helps in deliver the final product faster while accommodating all changes whether they are in the starting or in any phase of development.
There is a huge scope of Agile in the future as all organizations will be working with this mindset, and many more job opportunities will open. Hence learning this technology would help you in your career growth.
This has been a guide to What is Agile. Here we discussed the working, skills, scope, career growth, and advantages of Agile. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –