Agile development methodology is a software development approach. It is a framework of practices that adopts an iterative or incremental methodology to project management. With this approach, the solution evolves through interactions between developers and stakeholders. Earlier software development was predominantly based on the waterfall model which follows a sequential approach. Agile methodology came into practice in 2001, it uses an iterative approach to project development and provides a working model in sprints.
In Agile process, the project to be developed in divided into smaller tasks. The tasks are developed in iterations or sprints. Sprints are short time frames usually one to four weeks of development. Sprint comprises all stages of development that include planning, requirement gathering, designing, coding and testing. After each iteration or sprints, the completed task is submitted to the client or business owner for feedback. The team gets started with the next iteration. There are many releases during the course of the project. The iterations are repeated until the project is completed. This approach allows making any changes in the development reducing the risk of project failure.
Advantages of Agile methodology
- It allows rapid software development in line with the customer needs
- Increased customer interactions allowing changes to be adapted easily
- Important features are developed in a short development cycle
- Planning and tracking is easier as the application development is divided into tasks
- High visibility into each task
- Reduce the risk of project failure as interactions between developers and business owners happen on a daily basis
- Increased transparency as the client is actively involved and gets to see work in progress
- Errors are fixed then and there unlike the waterfall approach where errors have to wait till testing phase
- Better control over project cost and missed time frame
- Agile team is more productive as they focus on one task at a time
Some of the agile methods include Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Extreme Programming, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Feature Driven Development.
There are different agile practices. Daily meetings, customer interaction, close-knit teams, pair programming are some of the popular practices.
Adopting the right project methodology contributes to the success of a project. The advantages of Agile over traditional software development practices make it the best approach to software development and results in customer satisfaction.