Agile Development Methodologies: An Essential Guide
By Somosree Roy, Community Contributor - November 11, 2022
“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.” ~ Bill Gates
At the end of the day, it’s all about efficiency.
Today, businesses are always looking for strategies to stay up with the rapid speed of changing markets and technology. Additionally, development teams have to be more fluid and adaptable than ever before when speed is the word of the game.
The Agile technique is the latest go-to word when structured, organized, higher adaptability and cross functionality is the need of the hour for the organizations. Agile product development approaches are those that follow the tenets and ideals defined in the Agile Manifesto for software development. Agile testing is a mandatory prerequisite for the Agile software development process.
- What is Agile development and Agile Testing?
- Benefits of Agile Software Development
- Key Agile Methodologies
- 1. Scrum
- 2. Extreme Programming (XP)
- 3. Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
- 4. Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
- 5. Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- 6. Kanban
- 7. Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
What is Agile development and Agile Testing?
Before jumping straight into agile development methodologies, let’s understand what agile development is. In simple terms, it is a set of principles which are incorporated as an approach leading to iterative development of a product. This helps vertical and horizontal teams collaborate and incorporate customer comments and accommodate evolving requirements.
Agile testing, an important component of agile development, starts right at the onset of the product development or the kickstart of a project and goes in tandem with the development stages where it offers constant feedback through iterative stages. Know more about Agile testing challenges and the solutions to have a seamless software development.
Learn Agile development methodology, technique and how it may support your team in consistently developing products that are quicker, better, efficient and stronger by reading on.
Read More: Debunking Myths about Agile Testing
What is Agile methodology?
A team of software designers who felt that the conventional development process was overly complex and burdened by documentation requirements came up with the agile development methodologies as a better alternative. Agile development methodology ensures that any changes and improvisations with respect to the original model are successfully taken care of to culminate into a better software.
While customer requirements might deviate, the procedures and development plans might see some variation from originally planned estimates. Agile development methodology accommodates these changes and implements them efficiently.
Continuous integration is a pivotal element in agile methodology where the software development is broken into iterative small pieces of code, which are continually adopted into the main body of the code.
The group outlined 4 ideals and 12 rules that govern the Agile mindset in a foundational document known as the Agile Manifesto:
Four Values of Agile Software Development
- People and interactions above procedures and equipment.
- Working software is preferred over thorough documentation.
- Collaboration with the customer during contract negotiations
- Following a strategy over reacting to change.
These ideals contribute to the direction of a development procedure that consistently produces high-quality products and satisfies consumers by addressing their wants and adjusting to change more effectively.
Benefits of Agile Software Development
The Agile Software Development Methodologies have become increasingly popular among both leaders and developers, and the reason is obvious.
Among the many advantages of Agile development Methods and Agile project management are the following:
- Increased collaboration and involvement of stakeholders
Agile promotes extensive development team and client participation and collaboration. Since there is clarity throughout the procedure and software developers are more aware of the needs and desires of clients, this results in happier clients.
- Better-quality goods
Regular testing is incorporated into the development procedure in agile product development. The item owner will find it easier to detect issues early and make adjustments as crucial as an outcome. The end outcome is more higher-quality and relevant products that have undergone thorough testing.
- Adaptability to change
Flexibility is the cornerstone of agile project management, which enables teams to quickly adapt to changes while saving money on sunk costs. Agile gives teams the flexibility to adjust their plans in response to changing client needs, evolving market dynamics, or shifting product requirements. So that they can consistently deliver high-quality, pertinent products on time and within budget, this allows teams the freedom to adjust and reprioritize the item backlog.
- Lowered risk and quicker ROI
Agile lowers risk as it reviews frequently and consents modifications in the middle of development. Teams are able to dependably develop successful products by iterating on a program step by step (instead of going forward with a fixed end-to-end project plan). Instead of learning that there are problems at the end of the whole project, they can rapidly change course if they identify a problem in the middle of it.
Agile is also more user-focused. Therefore throughout the process, Agile teams base their decisions on client feedback, testing results, and user stories. This guarantees that each feature is a valued product for end users as well as a functional IT component.
Together, these procedures reduce risk and speed up value delivery for teams, accelerating ROI.
Key Agile Methodologies
Agile is a covers a number of techniques and procedures. The most common Agile Methodologies are as follows:
It focuses primarily on how to handle tasks in a team-based development setting, and it is an agile development methodology. Scrum basically evolved from activities that take place during a rugby round. Scrum promotes operating in small teams and thinks that the development team should be empowered (say- 7 to 9 members). Three roles make up Agile and Scrum, and their duties are described below:
- Scrum Lead: The scrum master is in charge of organizing the team, the sprint meeting, and removing roadblocks.
- Product creator: The product owner builds the product backlog, organizes it by priority, and is in charge of delivering features at each iteration.
- Agile Team: Team coordinates and oversees its own work to finish the sprint or cycle.
Product Backlog in Scrum
The number of requirements (user stories) that need to be finished for each release is tracked in this repository. The Product Owner should keep track of it, prioritize it, and share it with the scrum team. The team may also ask for the addition, modification, or elimination of a new requirement.
Scrum methodologies’ workflow:
- A sprint is one iteration of a scrum.
- The list of information needed to produce the final product is called the product backlog.
- The most important user stories from the Product backlog are chosen and added to the Sprint backlog.
- Working together on the specified sprint backlog.
- Team verifies everyday work for accuracy.
- The team provides product functionality at the end of the sprint.
2. Extreme Programming (XP)
The Agile framework for software development processes most closely resembles XP. It strives to build high-quality software while also simplifying the entire process for the development team. XP places a high importance on feedback, communication, simplicity, bravery, and respect.
It works best when,
- The criteria are always shifting.
- Team deadlines are constrained.
- Stakeholders desire to lower risk while meeting timelines.
- Unit and functional testing can be automated by teams.
Breakdown of software development methodologies practiced worldwide in 2022
3. Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
In the first decade of the 1990s, Sam Bayer and Jim Highsmith built adaptive software development (ASD). It comprises the notions of continual adaptation, or how to adopt change rather than avoid it. Learn, collaborate, and speculate is the term of the dynamic growth process that is utilized in ASD. Because the business setting is continuously changing, this process is concentrated on close customer and development engagement and ongoing learning.
ASD offers a non-linear iterative life cycle, in contrast to most software development methodologies, which use a static life cycle, i.e., Plan-Design-Build. Each process can iterate and be altered while another process is being carried out. It suggests rapid application development, which places an emphasis on speed of development to produce a high-quality, low-maintenance product that involves the user as much as possible. The following are the primary traits of ASD:
The major objectives and aims of the project must be established during this phase of its beginning by comprehending the constraints (risk areas) within which it must work. Maintaining coordination between teams during this phase ensures that what is learned by one team is communicated to the others and does not need to be acquired again by other groups from scratch. This phase is where the majority of the development is concentrated.
The last stage involves several collaboration cycles, and the goal is to record all of the lessons learnt, both good and bad. The prosperity of the project relies on this stage.
4. Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM)
A group of specialists and vendors in the sector of software development built the Dynamic Software Development Method in 1994. Software programs with budgets and constrained schedules are the primary priority of DSDM. It accentuates regular product process delivery, and growth is iterative and gradual.
With the Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM), a roadmap of continuous and early deliveries can be created for the project. This allows for the implementation of an incremental solution, adaptation in response to feedback received along the way, and verification that the anticipated benefits are being realized.
The DSDM is an agile model that may unquestionably assist companies used to operating on projects to alter their mindset and method of operation in order to increase their ability to create value and shorten time to market.
5. Feature Driven Development (FDD)
The key component of this methodology is “designing & creating” features. FDD, in contrast to other Agile development techniques in software engineering, outlines very precise and condensed work phases that must be completed separately for each feature. Domain walkthrough, design review, promotion to build, code review, and design are all included. FDD creates products with the target market in mind.
- Visibility of progress and results
- Regular Builds
- Configuration Management
- Feature Teams
- Component/ Class Ownership
- Development by feature
- Domain object Modeling
Without adding to the stress of the software development lifecycle, Kanban is a highly visual workflow management technique that enables teams to actively supervise product creation, with a focus on continuous delivery (SDLC). It has gained popularity among groups that use Lean software development techniques.
The three fundamental tenets of Kanban are to visualize the workflow, reduce the amount of work that is in process, and enhance the flow of work. The Kanban technique is intended to aid teams in collaborating more effectively, much like Scrum is. It promotes an atmosphere of active and continuing learning and growth by encouraging continuous collaboration and attempting to establish the ideal process.
7. Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
A behavior-focused agile system development methodology is called behavior driven development (BDD). It was created by Dan North in 2003 as an extension of the TDD methodology. Dan North tried to include non-technical people when creating the system’s technological functionality. Inadvertently leaving out business principles that are already part of the functionality when developing software can occasionally lead to repeated and even serious defects.
BDD uses universal language concepts to facilitate communication inside a software project between persons with and without technical expertise. The BDD development process is built on the writing of test cases and features. These provide the guidelines and requirements for proper system operation. It defines what is necessary for the functionality to start, what will happen next, and what the results will be after it has been completed. Teams who use BDD are better able to communicate needs clearly, find bugs quickly, and create long-lasting software.
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