Hey! Glad you are here. There is lots of buzz going on globally to go agile across enterprises and within a teams. But what exactly agile means and why to go for it?
Responding to the changing business context faster was a need for software industry. Enormous amount of money and time have been wasted to fulfil the business needs in 1990s. Disruptive Change was needed to improve. That’s where agile is born.
In 2000, a group of seventeen “thought leaders,” including Jon Kern, Kent Beck, Ward Cunningham, Arie van Bennekum, and Alistair Cockburn, met first at a resort in Oregon and later, in 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in Utah. It was at the second meeting where the Agile Manifesto and the Twelve Principles were formally written. The Manifesto reads:
4 Values of Agile
1. Individuals and interactions
In the Agile software development life cycle model, self-organisation and motivation takes precedence over delegation of authority and following the “seniority” hierarchy. Team members are encouraged to take an active part in the development and planning activities. They are also “empowered” to take certain decisions on their own. The Agile team has to collaborate and share ideas to develop the product “as a whole” unit i.e. each member should support a common vision.
2. Working software
Agile focuses upon delivering “working” software through product incremental cycles over comprehensive documentation. The main objective is to develop, and deliver a product features in a continuous and sustained manner until the entire product is developed.
3. Customer collaboration
Since all the requirements pertaining to product development may not be available, or “acquirable”, at the project start up time owing to various factors, development should commence almost “immediately”, and presented to clients for verification purposes. Stakeholders and project owners “clear” the product features developed through the sprint cycles. A lot of time is saved through customer collaboration, and as a result, the project proceeds in a successful manner as the client always Okays the development keeping in mind the current market trends.
4. Responding to changes
Agile focuses upon incorporating dynamic changes in the product development cycle. Changes in the product features can be easily and effortlessly carried out by developing “user stories” – product functionality or features as defined in the product backlog. Changes can be carried out at any time while the features are being developed – even late in the product development cycle.
The twelve principles of agile development include:
Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery : Customers are happier when they receive working software at regular intervals, rather than waiting extended periods of time between releases.
Accommodate changing requirements throughout the development process : The ability to avoid delays when a requirement or feature request changes.
Frequent delivery of working software : Scrum accommodates this principle since the team operates in software sprints or iterations that ensure regular delivery of working software.
Collaboration between the business stakeholders and developers throughout the project : Better decisions are made when the business and technical team are aligned.
Support, trust, and motivate the people involved : Motivated teams are more likely to deliver their best work than unhappy teams.
Enable face-to-face interactions : Communication is more successful when development teams are co-located.
Working software is the primary measure of progress : Delivering functional software to the customer is the ultimate factor that measures progress.
Agile processes to support a consistent development pace : Teams establish a repeatable and maintainable speed at which they can deliver working software, and they repeat it with each release.
Attention to technical detail and design enhances agility : The right skills and good design ensures the team can maintain the pace, constantly improve the product, and sustain change.
Simplicity : Develop just enough to get the job done for right now.
Self-organizing teams encourage great architectures, requirements, and designs : Skilled and motivated team members who have decision-making power, take ownership, communicate regularly with other team members, and share ideas that deliver quality products.
Regular reflections on how to become more effective : Self-improvement, process improvement, advancing skills, and techniques help team members work more efficiently.
There are few methodologies under Agile – Scrum, Kanban, XP etc. Scrum is most widely adopted framework in Software industry.
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Have a look at the image below, to get insights about Scrum.