What is Agile development?

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What is Agile development?

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Agile development puts collaboration first

Agile development is a project management methodology that embraces efficiency and champions collaboration. For the last couple of decades, the method has been poured over and perfected by academics across the realm of Computer Science and other faculties to get to where we are today. Agile methodology is most commonly used by development teams in the tech industry and takes an iterative approach that facilitates collaboration with stakeholders throughout a project’s lifespan.   

The Agile Manifesto focuses on 4 key values:  

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools;  
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation;  
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation;  
  • Responding to change over following a plan.  

  

When working under the Agile methodology, work is broken down into Sprints, which contain Tasks and Stories that will guide the focus of work within a time frame. These Tasks and Stories are commonly grouped into Epics, a higher-level milestone or deliverable part of the product. At the beginning of a project, Agile teams will collate all the tasks into a backlog, which creates a bank of tasks to pull from. Tasks can then be interchangeable and completed based on what fits the workload availability for that sprint. For example, in a two-week sprint, a team developing a book library management product may use those two weeks to build and implement a search page to answer a user story of “As a librarian, I want to be able to search for a book by its Title, Author or ISBN”. 

  

Advantages of Agile Development

Adaptability  

Projects with a linear progression are often gold dust. There’s not usually a project that won’t throw a curveball or two your way – and if you’ve not had projects like this, we are envious! Embracing an Agile methodology within our projects means that we have the adaptability to adjust course when a roadblock inevitably appears. For example, if someone new joins a client team and becomes an important stakeholder that redefines the scope. Agile means that the scope can adapt on the fly, without as much disruption as other, more traditional project management methodologies.

Improved Quality  

Agile breaks large tasks into manageable sprints to allow time for testing and reviews, meaning quality assurance is present throughout. In addition, at the end of each sprint, sprint reviews are held that facilitate team reflection on performance, productivity and communication to ensure that mistakes are not repeated. Allowing time to identify blockers and drivers within our team has excelled the quality of work produced. Daily stand ups encourage teams to keep communicating blockers and reflecting on the sprint throughout the process. 

Figma template showing team standup to reflect on agile development

In addition, sprints offer the opportunity for a focused effort which means that development teams can afford to value quality over quantity, they don’t need to fixate on the bigger picture and can get engrossed in the smaller details. All these combined means results are improved compared to rigid project management structures. 

 

Improved predictability  

Within each sprint, work is broken up into tasks that matches a pre-defined scope, potentially focusing on specific functionalities or features of a piece of software. From this list, sprints are then developed based on effort points resulting in predictable workloads over a short period. Uncompleted tasks are carried over to the next sprint, and often, Agile teams will hold sprint reviews that reflect on any blockers to help improve quality by preventing repeating problems.   

  

Agile Development with Imaginative Software  

Here at Imaginative Software, we are champions of Agile development. We embraced Agile workflows to develop bespoke software efficiently while allowing us to nimbly adapt to project unknowns. Our team finds Agile empowering, giving us accountability and increasing our collaboration. In addition, we ensure communication with our clients is a priority throughout, keeping you in the loop throughout the process. Discover how we could empower your business with our bespoke software development services by getting in touch today.   

 

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