Agile software development is highly effective as it can help teams achieve greater focus and productivity. Thanks to agile methodology, your project can be easily emphasized task differentiation and collaborative processes.
However, settling for a daily workflow can be tough, especially with numerous projects on the agenda and different personalities clashing to be heard.
But how do you apply Agile software development to an up-and-coming software startup? What is the different between traditional and Agile methodology? What is the agile software development lifecycle or agile SDLC?
Let’s find out!
Table of contents
- Step By Step Guide To Agile Project Management
- Why Agile Is Important In Software Development?
- How To Apply Agile Methodology To Software Development?
Step By Step Guide To Agile Project Management
Have you ever wonder how Microsoft releases brand new versions of every single one of their projects every three weeks? Or why Google can update their desktop and mobile applications every week or two while other companies take years?
Benefits Of Agile Software Development
According to Project Management Institue, agile companies finished projects on time 65% of the time, versus 40% for non-agile companies. Moreover, agile firms grow revenue 37 percent faster and generate 30 percent higher profits than non-agile companies.
- Help teams in an evolving landscape while maintaining a focus on the efficient delivery of business value.
- Improve efficiency throughout the organization as teams work together and understand their specific roles in the process.
- Feel confident that they are releasing a high-quality product since testing is performed throughout development.
12 Principles Behind Agile Methodology
- Satisfy customers through early and uninterrupted delivery
When clients have to wait long for a product to get delivered, they will get fidgety. So that, it’s much better to deliver product on time. Therefore, your customers always feel happy and satisfied.
- Break big work down into smaller tasks
Agile techniques are easy to modify throughout the entire development and workflow process. This is also one of the significant advantage of agile software development. Still, keep in mind that project managers should reduce the time between the birth of an idea of change and its implementation.
- Deliver work more frequently
In traditional software development life cycle, software is delivered monthly or even weekly. Agile allows users to accomplish this by reducing the emphasis on planning and documentation and instead focusing on development, yet.
- Communicate regularly
The developers, including technicians and engineers, work in a closed loop with the stakeholders. This enables improved decision making and success of the overall business. Employing task management software can be particularly advantageous.
- Support team members and motivate individuals
When you motivate and empower the team, they likely easier continue to arrive at the desired goals.
- Face-to-face communication
Sitting down together across the table is way more effective than using other means to communicate. This may be to share an idea or finding some answers to a problem.
- Measure the work progress
In agile software development, a prototype is a critical requirement. Regardless of the time invested in development, a customer only cares if the product is working.
- Keep in mind on development process
Agile approach resolves the problem of being stuck in one monotonous project for a long time. This is done by establishing an achievable pace and a formula that is effective and can be repeated organically.
- Design to achieve agility
Attention to excellent designs and expertise play a crucial role in the success of a project. It makes the succeeding attempts more successful with time.
- Measure progress by the amount of completed work
The idea is to keep the workflow management system simple and the workload doable. Not only does this make the work more effective, but it also gets completed within a given timeframe.
- Continually seek excellence
Self-organizing teams are more confident in coming up with new ideas and innovations. This confidence allows them to make better decisions and ultimately produce high-quality products.
- Reflecting regularly to enhance efficiency
This is necessary to identify weaknesses so that the team members understand how and what needs improvement. This also keeps project managers abreast of the ever-changing trends without becoming obsolete.
Agile Methodology Step By Step Process
The Agile software development cycle can be broken down into six steps: requirements, design, develop, test, deploy, and review. It may seem wasteful with the number of meetings involved. However, agile methodology saves a lot of time by optimizing the development tasks and reducing the errors during the planning stages can have.
Overwhelmingly, the world is going agile. 90% of agile projects have faster time to market than the average for traditional project management.
So, what are key contributors to the success of agile?
The first step identifies the initial documentation as well as an estimation of the time and work that will be required to complete the project.
- What is the end result of the project?
- What are features worth pursuing based on technical and economic feasibility?
- Or the features will not initially support.
Note: At this stage, everyone should have a clear picture of the scope of the project, budget, resources, and deadline, as well as possible risks and quality assurance requirements.
There are two ways to approach design in the software development – visual design and architectural structure of the app.
- Description of the elements of the system. For example, the team discusses how to tackle requirements to achieve the best result. What is programming language, and frameworks?
- Implementation. On further iterations, the developers contains general information about the main stages of work necessary for the implementation of the project.
Note: Besides all information about the resources and technologies, don’t forget information on possible risks, how to prevent them, and ways to recover the system in case of a failure.
During this SDLC stage, the designers create a mock-up of the UI.
- The user interface and user experience are most important.
- Review competitors what they are doing right, and especially what they are doing wrong.
★ Keep reading: Top 8 UI/UX Design Trends For Mobile App Development For 2020
3. Software Development
Next, the development phase is all about writing code and converting design documentation into the actual software. Actually, it is the longest as it’s the backbone of the whole process.
- Divide coding tasks between the team members.
- Front-end developers work with an interface and servers.
- Database administrators add the necessary data to the database.
- In other word, developers write and implement code by using various tools.
After development team complete programming software, the quality assurance team ensures the code is clean and business goals of the solution are met.
- Functional testing
- Performance testing (such as its speed, responsiveness, and stability).
- Security testing
- Usability testing
Note: During the further iterations of this SDLC stage, the quality assurance continues until the software is completely free of bugs and meets the requirements.
When the software is completed, it is shipped to the market for beta testing.
- Team collects feedback of users.
- If any bugs come up, developers will fix it.
After all, the development team reviews the progress made towards completing the requirements. If there are any problems, team introduces their ideas toward resolving them.
Why Agile Is Important In Software Development?
According to the 14th annual State Of Agile report, Agile is still the most widely SDLC in the technology industry. At AgileTech, we also apply Agile SDLC model to develop software products for our clients. And here’s why.
Both software development life cycle models have pros and cons. Traditional software development depend closely on proper requirements analysis and planning. Therefore, it’s hard to implement changes in predictive methodologies. Because the development process sticks very closely to the plan.
While Agile software development requires the ability to make changes immediately. Changes can be made at any stage of the development process.
Below, you can see a comparison table that explains where it is better to use the Agile SDLC model and what projects would benefit from the traditional SDLC methodology.
How To Apply Agile Methodology To Software Development?
Agile means moving quickly, which means not everything will be planned beforehand. Hence, you need to know whether or not your environment can handle this kind of change. We’ve broken down 5 steps.
1. Define Your Vision
Want to implant an agile project management approach? At the beginning, let’s start with planning! To create this strategy, you need to take a big picture look at your project.
- What problem are you addressing?
- What outcome are you hoping to achieve?
- Which team members will be crucial in making sure this project is successful?
Next, based on these goals, follow these steps to plan the release:
- Discuss the needed features.
- Decide how much work as your team completes for each sprint.
- Add an iteration as well as stories until reaches the maximum capacity.
- Share the plan and ask for feedback
Note: In Agile, you can easily do both back-end cod and UI integration. This leads to a higher quality of end product as well as the retention of software developers.
2. Set Daily Standup
Daily team meetings are crucial to ensure that everyone is onboard with that day’s focus and milestones. Every day, gather the entire team and have every team member report on their status:
- Encourage brevity with standup meeting.
- Status can only be “done” or “not done”. If not done, how many hours remaining.
- Each member to report: “what I did yesterday”, “what I’ll do today”, “what’s in my way”
- Assign work to each team member.
Note: Changing the daily routine with new types of meetings can be tricky. But it will help your team follow the new framework by applying agile software development.
★ Keep reading: 6 Essential Tips To Successfully Manage Outsourced Remote Teams
3. Sprint Planning
In fact, running a a great sprint planning event requires a bit of discipline. In order to set the scene for the sprint, each product owner should prepare and combine the lessons from the previous sprint review.
However, for most teams, it’s better to get the team together to review and refine the backlog prior to sprint planning.
- Discuss the previous sprints and lessons learned.
- Analyze the release plan and update it according to recent sprints, changes to priorities, or new features, etc.
- Make sure user stories are well defined.
- Assign tasks to team members and confirm that they can finish it right time.
- Track the progress of all tasks (who is responsible for completing each task, estimated time to complete it, and remaining hours.)
Note: When you break down users stories into specific tasks, it can be back-end implementation, and front-end development of the interface. Additionally, keep each tasks small, no more than one work day.
4. Emphasize Collaboration
Implementing agile software development helps maintain healthy teamwork. But, it’s always difficult to assign work to specific team members. And, it never gets easy.
Accordingly, the secret is to lump people into splinter groups and have them collaborate without your constant watch. There is no excuse for anyone to work individually and not bounce their ideas and progress back to someone else. Collaboration should always take precedent.
5. Settle For Something
According to Smallbiztrends, 23% of small startups cite “not the right team” as the leading cause for their failure. As a result, team motivation should remain high.
With that said, software developers can apply an agile software development to their projects and shift between tasks without burning out. Alternatively, avoid team exhaustion and friction at all costs through agile workflow in order to get more things done in a shorter time.
All software begins with requirements gathering and goes through such steps as architecture design, development, testing, and deployment.
After all, modern software development like agile methodology may at least guide you in the right direction. Make sure to test an agile methodology such as Scrum to see whether or not it suits your team.