Agile Definition - Invensis Learning

In today’s digitized era, there are assorted tools and techniques out there to maximize business value. Among various options available, Agile Methodology is one of the most commonly used and widely accepted. It helps the team to work in small increments and make the changes quickly. Before we get started, let’s understand the Agile definition.

“Agile methodologies are 28% more successful and almost 71% of the organization use Agile with varying frequencies.”

Agile Definition: What is Agile?

Agile is a collection of principles used for project management and software development. The main focus of Agile methodology is to deliver customer requirements in small increments and frequent delivery through cross-functional and self-organizing teams. The process enables regular customer feedback and corrective measures as needed.

Agile Approach - Agile Definition - Invensis learning

Agile overcomes the challenges faced by the traditional waterfall approach, where each phase needs to be completed before moving on to the next. Thereby reducing the project failure percentage as shown below.

Agile Statistics - Agile Statistics - Invensis Learning

Now you have an idea of what exactly agile methodology is. In the next part of this ‘Agile Definition’ article let us explore how Agile differs from the Waterfall approach.

Agile Vs. Waterfall Model

 The waterfall model has the following drawbacks:

  • Less Visibility

Since the waterfall model is a step-wise approach, you will never know where you are in the process. Until the completion of all phases, the final product will not be released.

  • Changes are Difficult

The major drawback of the waterfall method is, that changing requirements cannot be accommodated for prolonged projects. To adopt any changes, you will have to start from the initial phase. Doing so will not only lead to increased cost but delayed delivery as well.

  • Poor Quality

When the project runs out of budget and time, the enterprise has to cut the time to invest in testing and budget, which gradually leads to poor product delivery.

  • Risky

As long as your project is not tested, you will know whether you are on the right track in the process. You will not be able to test until the completion of all the phases. To accommodate any changes, you will have to start from the very beginning costing your time and budget.

On the other hand, the Agile approach follows continuous activities making the process efficient and flexible.

  • Less Risky

The Agile approach is relatively less risky as you will get feedback immediately after each phase and change can be implemented at the next stage.

  • Good Visibility

When you have completed implementing half the customer requirements, you are halfway through the project. You will have an idea of where exactly you are on the project.

  • Easy Changes

Since Agile is a continuous approach, you can implement change at any phase without costing a budget. In the next part of this ‘Agile Definition’ article let us learn about the role of Agile in the product development process.

How Does Agile Help During the Product Development Process?

Involving customers in all the steps reduces mistakes and output will be delivered adhering to client’s schedule and requirements. Here are a few factors using which Agile methodology can address the issues faced in waterfall methodology:

Features Agile Methodology
Client involvement High engagement
Customer Involvement Customers are involved in every phase as soon as the work starts.
Process or product Focus less on formal methods, so it involves less documentation.
User requirement Agile takes detailed and interactive inputs.
Managing escalations The team works together to resolve the issue at the earliest
Testing Comprehensive test planning is done before product delivery
Review and feedback A review is done immediately after each iteration and feedback is implemented immediately.

 

What is the Agile Manifesto?

Agile Manifesto’s concept came into existence to find a common platform for Extreme Programming, Scrum, Kanban, and other frameworks. Agile Manifesto outlines four core values and   12 principles of Agile that embody the entire process.

Four Core Values of Agile

Agile Values - Agile Definition - Invensis Learning

Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools

Software development focuses on quality interaction amongst the team members and emphasizes teamwork. Although tools are an essential part of software development, making great software depends on the collaboration between the team members.

Working Products Over Comprehensive Documentation

Comprehensive documentation of a product serves as an excellent reference for the users. The software development process’s major focus is to come up with working software that provides business benefits.

CSM Certification Training - Invensis Learning

Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation

The software development process involves the team communicating regularly with the customers. And implementing timely feedback from customers will help the team to get a clear understanding of customer requirements.

Responding to Changes Over Following a Plan

Changes are inevitable in a software development process. A well-designed project plan must be flexible enough to incorporate the change made as per the situation.

Agile Principles

The highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software

Customers are satisfied when they receive the software frequently instead of waiting for a longer duration. Every delivery should provide a valuable update to the customer/stakeholders.

Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage

During software development, when a requirement request changes, a delay should be avoided during the process. Agile supports changing market conditions, stakeholder requirements, and competition when required.

Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale

Delivering the newer version of the software within a shorter timescale. The agile development cycle is often called “sprint” or “break down” of a product into small chunks.  Smaller release involves fewer bugs and changes can be incorporated within the time.

This has become much more radical over the period and organizations have started giving weekly releases.

Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project

Communication is considered to be the vital component behind a project’s success.  A successful product release requires collaboration and communication from the technical and business sides, which develops trust and transparency.

Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done

The agile approach empowers the team through trust and motivation.  The Agile team should be responsible enough to include the right people with the required skill set to produce quality software.  Providing proper motivation,  a working environment, and tools will empower them to put all their efforts into accomplishing a project.

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

Effective communication between the team members and clients means it favors more for real-time human interaction. It is quite common for asynchronous communication to cause misunderstanding, which might hamper the work process.

Though remote working seems good enough, it can never be like 100% real-time interaction.  Globally teams are proving remote communication can still be successful and Agile.

Certified Scrum Product Owner - Invensis Learning

Working software is the primary measure of progress

Agile methodology reminds us that developing working software should be our major focus.  Well-detailed documentation finished analysis, and completed models have pretty less meaning if these haven’t been converted into working software.

The final step to measure success is the working software/product that customers require. If the working software is not shipped, then it’s not entirely ready. So, no progress can be measured.

Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely

Having high expectations will need you to be more demanding and keep up with the rapid release schedule. Nevertheless, Agile allows you to be realistic and clear about your expectation with each release.

Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility

The agile approach mainly focuses on sprints, regular release, and maintaining things tidy to avoid issues later. Nonetheless, giving importance to technical aspects and good design ensures maintaining proper pace, sustaining frequent changes, and improving the product.

Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential

Agile encourages doing the things that have maximum impact on organizational objectives and making prioritization decisions. Removing irrelevant procedures and automating the manual work allows you to focus more on delivering customer value. This is a continuous effort to be handled by the organizations.

The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams

Agile methodology focus on using self-organizing teams where the decisions are taken as a group rather than as individuals. Employees with skills and decision-making power should communicate regularly with all the team members to develop a successful product.

At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly

None of the teams run correctly. The teams should make time regularly to look at how they work, make changes accordingly, and take necessary actions to improve the process. There is a need to create trust and transparency, which encourages openness and feedback sharing. In the next part of this ‘Agile Definition’ article let us look at the advantages of the Agile methodology.

Benefits of Using Agile Methodology

Here are a few benefits of implementing Agile methodology:

Focus on Business Value

Agile provides an increased focus on delivering business value by involving customers during the development process.

Eliminates Re-work

The significant benefits of involving customers at all the phases of product development will help to remain in -tune with the customer requirements. By doing so, you will have to spend less time on the customer suggestion revisions.

Transparency

Another perk of implementing Agile methodology is, that it provides an opportunity for the stakeholders/clients to get involved in every phase of the development process like review sessions, iteration planning, and other such features. It provides customers with an overview of the work in progress.

Better Control

Implementing Agile provides the project managers better control over the projects due to varied reasons like feedback integration, quality control features, and transparency.

Easy Change

Unlike the waterfall model, the Agile methodology allows for change. The product development process involves regular refinement and prioritizing of the features of the product. The new features to be updated can be implemented for the next iteration within a few weeks.

Predictable Delivery Time

Agile allows delivering new features regularly and quickly. It provides a predictable time to release the software than planned.

Enhanced Customer Satisfaction

Agile methodology keeps the customers in the loop and makes changes according to their feedback. Employees whose thoughts are valued at the workplace are more productive than those being ordered to follow the rules. They are the ones who encounter problems day-to-day at the workplace, respond to challenges, and meet their goals.

Conclusion

That’s it, guys. I hope you found this article on ‘Agile Definition’ interesting. Please share your thoughts in the comment section of this ‘Agile Definition’ article. To learn more about various Agile methodologies like Scrum and Sprint, one should consider pursuing popular Agile certification courses from an Accredited Training Organization. P

Some of the popular Agile Certification Courses that individuals and enterprise teams can take up are:

Previous articleScrum Master Skill Report – Scrum Master Skills, Jobs & Salary Trends
Next article14 Key Benefits of Agile Project Management
Billie Keita is known for her exemplary skills in implementing project management methodologies and best practices for business critical projects. She possesses 10+ years of experience in handling complex software development projects across Europe and African region. She also conducts many webinars and podcasts where she talks about her own experiences in implementing Agile techniques. She is a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) and PMI Project Management Professional (PMP)®, and has published many articles across various websites.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here