23 May 2017 by Sophia Hunter-Hall
Agile Software Development. What does it mean to be truly Agile?
If you are involved in the world of technology, you will no doubt have heard the phrase 'Agile Development' thrown around; an approach to project management that is heavily utilised in software development. Allowing teams to put provisions in place to enhance the end product, we at CPS wanted to dig deeper into the characteristics, advantages and practices of the methodology.
Agile Software development in a nutshell
Put simply, Agile development is a way of managing IT development teams and projects, surfacing back in the 1970s. Credited to Dr William Joyce, the theory puts sequential development at the centre of the method, believing a piece of software should be developed like a product on an assembly line.
Using incremental, iterative work sequences that are commonly known as sprints, each phase of the project is contained, allowing developers to avoid common adoption, expansion, and implementation mistakes.
The four main principles of Agile are commonly known in the industry as the following:
While any type of project will have a brief that many believe is rigid and unmovable, Agile methodologies rip up that rulebook.
Currently, the most popular agile methodologies include Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Lean Development, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD). Though there are a variety of methodologies that come under the umbrella term 'Agile' they all share one common ethos; continuity. With a continuous approach to planning, testing, integration, and evolution Agile practices ensure constant communication between developers, testers and stakeholders.
Where are companies going wrong with their approach to Agile?
Successful Agile software development is centred on great communication, with the whole team needing to talk everyday in order to stay on the same page and employ a shared vision for the project. Even with the most finely-detailed document, the best way to identify issues and improvements is through face time. Such issues can be ironed out pretty easily, whether it be through video conference and instant messenger software or a team area at the office; simple tweaks can have huge impact on both team performance and morale.
How to set-up an agile methodology properly
If you are considering moving from Waterfall or Spiral methods to an Agile style, here are some top tips:
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