Let understand 5 characteristics of Agile software development methodology which is an intangible framework that is used for software projects. This implementation method helps to maximize the productivity as the project is divided into short iterations. It’s one of the most adapted method during software implementation nowadays as it more emphasis on people. Whether you are developing an ERP system, CRM tool, or any other software for your business/Organization.
5 Characteristics of Agile development Methodology are as follows :
- 1- Frequent Delivery
As the projects in Agile development methodology is divided into small iterations, they are also called as phases/scrum of a project. Let’s take an example here
Example 1 :
While implementing ERP solutions the Business Requirement Document contains various modules & customization that needs to be done during the execution. Every module will get divided into the given timeline of the project ie : Sales management module – 3 weeks, Warehouse management 6 weeks and so on.. and therefore delivery of these projects every month ensure that the client and the vendor both are on the same page.
Read our Article on – OpenERP Vanilla | Default | Out of the box implementation
- 2 – Quick & Good Return on your investments
As the delivery of the project happens under the given timeline for each module or iterations Agile development helps you in gaining good return on your software project investments.
Example 2 :
Agile v/s Waterfall development – “There is a company “A” who started with Waterfall development methodology for their ERP software implementation. The project timeline is 1 year. Within 8 months Company “A” decides to change few processes of their business, which means there is a rework in the ERP solutions also.”
Whereas, “There is a company “B” who started ERP implementation via Agile method for which the timeline given by vendor is 1 year and divided into 6 phases of 2 months each ie : Sales Management to be delivered in 2 months, purchase after 2 months, testing, 1 months, customizations 3 months and so on… After 2 months the company decides to change the purchase management process – it would be quite easy to update the vendor on the new flow that needs to be incorporated in ERP software.”
Read our Article on – Key factors while comparing ERP software for your business
- 3- Frequent Testing:
Another best characteristic of Agile method is that the software which the vendor is crafting for your business are test frequently. This ensures the vendor is providing the tool as per your requirements rather doing a big bang and surprises in functionality.
- 4- Collaborative approach:
Agile method is a collaborative approach where both client and vendor work together to avoid mistakes in functionality of the tool, apart from that as we said that frequent testing helps you with a Dream software for your business.
Apart from that Agile development method is useful when you don’t have clear idea of the requirements which means on a high level you can gather the modules and functionalities and during implementation you can go into more details of the features, or create a new phase for customization.
- 5- Continuous Improvement:
Agile encourages a culture of continuous improvement. Teams regularly reflect on their work and processes, seeking ways to become more effective and efficient. This might involve retrospectives at the end of each sprint to identify areas for improvement and implement changes in the next iteration.
5 Phases of Agile Development
Agile methodology doesn’t have distinct “phases” in the traditional sense, as it’s more focused on iterative and incremental development. However, Agile projects typically follow a set of key activities and ceremonies throughout their lifecycle. These activities ensure that the project stays on track and adapts to changing requirements. Here are five essential components or phases in Agile methodology:
- Project Initiation:
- Vision and Strategy: This phase begins with defining the project’s vision and strategy. It involves identifying the problem to be solved, understanding the target audience, and establishing high-level project goals.
- Product Backlog: The product backlog is a dynamic list of features and user stories that represent the work to be done. It serves as a prioritized queue of items that the team will address in subsequent iterations.
- Release Planning:
- Release Goals: In this phase, the team sets specific goals for the release, defining what they intend to achieve. It involves understanding the scope, timeline, and major features that will be delivered.
- Sprint Planning: Teams break down the work from the product backlog into smaller, manageable tasks. They choose a subset of backlog items to be addressed in the upcoming sprint and create a detailed plan for how to achieve them.
- Execution and Iteration:
- Sprints: This is the heart of Agile methodology. Sprints are time-boxed iterations (usually 2-4 weeks) where the team works on a set of user stories and features. Each sprint aims to deliver a potentially shippable product increment.
- Daily Standups: Daily standup meetings keep the team aligned, discussing progress, challenges, and plans for the day. They last 15 minutes or less and foster team collaboration.
- Review and Feedback:
- Sprint Review: At the end of each sprint, the team holds a review meeting to showcase the work completed during the sprint. This involves demonstrating the new features to stakeholders, gathering feedback, and potentially adjusting the product backlog.
- Retrospective: The retrospective, also held at the end of each sprint, is a critical self-assessment. The team reflects on what went well, what could be improved, and actions for making the next sprint even better.
- Monitoring and Adaptation:
- Continuous Improvement: Agile teams consistently monitor their performance and look for ways to improve. This includes adjusting processes, addressing impediments, and incorporating lessons learned from retrospectives.
- Product Adaptation: Based on feedback and changing requirements, the product backlog evolves. New items are added, and existing ones may be reprioritized or refined. The goal is to deliver the highest value features to the customer.
These activities are not set in stone and can overlap or be conducted concurrently. The Agile approach allows teams to adapt and modify their processes as needed to meet the project’s goals and respond to changing circumstances. This flexibility and adaptability are at the core of Agile methodology.
Popular Agile methods
- 1- Scrum –
In Scrum Agile development client priorities the requirement as per the importance and each scrum needs to be delivered in a given timeline. If the requirements are not completed in one scrum then it moves to next scrum.
- 2- Extreme Programming (XP) –
In XP Agile development the iterations period is less than scrum around 1 to 3 weeks. In XP the developer prioritise the requirements as per the importance to ensure smoothness, Iteration period is not fixed and can be increase if any new requirements come. More focus is given on the testing part
Some of the other flavors of Agile development are
- Agile Manifesto
- Context Driven Testing
- Lean Development
- (Rational) Unified Process
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