Agile software development is a process that very few people understand properly, and even fewer are capable of implementing it with the utmost efficiency. Therefore, let’s take a brief look at some of the most important aspects of agile software development so that we can identify the concept and implement it with quantifiable success in a real project.
What is Agile Exactly?
Agile methods or processes are based on the idea of dynamic management, which means that all aspects of the ensuing agile software development project will have to share the following features:
- Scope for scaling and other changes
- Dynamic, nonlinear planning
- Evolutionary design core and subsequent developments
- Early completion
It is to be noted that agile is not limited to software development only, although that’s where it all began. The core concepts of agile, as mentioned above, are extracted and implemented in various other industries today with massive success.
Result Focused Software Development
Things have changed a bit for agile development in the last few years, which is why result-focused software development needs some attention here. Whereas previously, the development team used to set their own guidelines and goals for the project, now the directions regarding those come from the executives. Agile software development has seen the best results when the following few rules are followed closely while planning and working a project:
- Executives and project managers will have to determine and change the goals, objectives, and deadlines
- Software developers should work in perfect sync with those parameters
- Programmers should be able to show measurable results, in accordance with the goals set for them
- Test-driven development (TDD) is ideal for maximizing each development cycle
Seamless Communication Lines with Continuous Delivery
Another core aspect of agile app development is continuous delivery, which is a continuous loop of development – feedback – an improvement on the consequent builds, throughout the entirety of the project. This is the adaptability of agile application development which was mentioned in the definition earlier. It makes for a software development team that is always in sync with their executives and clients in communication so that they can add updates as necessary and as soon as possible to the current software build. The more seamless this process of continuous delivery, the better.
Implementation of Modified, Productive Agile Metrics
Continuous Development is a great tool for agile, but it comes with the risk of being misunderstood, as it has been many times in the past. Speed and quantity cannot be prioritized over the need for quality in the field of software development, because erroneous codes and faulty infrastructures will lead to complicated problems down the line, most of which will be beyond solving after a while. Therefore, whereas speed and volume were once considered to be important agile metrics, they are secondary to quality now.
Kanbanize explains that agile metrics and traditional project management KPIs are often not the same, and especially in the modern setting, older PM KPIs cannot be considered viable in most situations. Check out the official Kanbanize website for information on the six most important, modern agile metrics in project management today, such as Throughout, WIP and blocked time. They have a detailed guide on how to monitor, utilize and maximize each of the agile metrics to create a truly agile process for your project.
Automation and Better Hardware
In order to understand the relationship between automation, latest hardware, and agile development, one has to outline the following goals which are common to all agile projects:
- Reduction of wasteful steps to boost speed and agility
- Elimination of slow down or time block elements
Automation and better hardware are both essential, as they aid in timesaving and remove time blocks respectively. If the developers do not have access to fast computers and tactile keyboards, their coding and processing speeds will be affected, so that’s a time block. On the other hand, if the programmers are wasting time on data entry and data management work, which could have been easily automated, it’s a waste of workforce, time and finally, money. Without speed, adaptability expected from an agile project just cannot be achieved.
Expect Open Problems and Make It a Part of the Next Development Cycle
Open problems are ones that the team knows about, but cannot address in time before the current development cycle comes to an end. Instead of stretching the deadline, the problems should be noted and worked on during the next production cycle. It’s an effective strategy in Continuous Development and embraces the philosophy of agile software development perfectly.
As a last tip, it would be worth mentioning that one should be careful about scope creep in particular. Agile development can lead to scope creep, due to the frequent changes in goals and scale, alongside short, multiple development cycles. It is entirely possible for the project to exceed budget, without that fact being registered in time. Proper planning and budgeting at the end of every development cycle, however, should be able to handle that effectively.