What is Agile?
What is Agile?
Agile is still the buzzword in IT. It’s an alternative to traditional waterfall software-development lifecycles. Agile’s history is at least two decades old! The classic waterfall model has been used to guide software development for decades. It has its phases of Requirements Design, Coding, Testing, and Release. Customer communication would be sparse during the Release and Requirements phases. The typical release cycle would take between one and two years. After providing their requirements, the customer would wait anxiously to see the product. This often led to dissatisfaction and a hard hit on business plans. Change opposing nature of the waterfall model is another problem that can hurt customer and business community. This prevents customers from being able to adapt to technological changes, user preferences los, and market forces for business advantage. While the majority of software developers used the waterfall model, there were a few independent thinkers who began to develop alternative models to overcome the major drawbacks. These people met in February 2001 to discuss their models. They realized that all of the models (also called methods or methodologies) share key similarities like light weight processes and iterative delivery. To represent all the different light weight methods, they created an umbrella name called Agile Alliance. The agile alliance has created an agile manifesto to reflect their philosophies. Twelve principles were developed from that manifesto. The agile manifesto is as simple as it gets: We are discovering better ways to develop software by doing it and helping other people do it. We have learned to value: People and interactions over Software development. Comprehensive documentation. Contract negotiation. Responding to changes. Scrum, Extreme Programming and Crystal were the first agile methods. Recent additions to agile include Kanban development and Lean software development. There are many agile methods, but Scrum and XP are the most popular. Scrum’s strength is its simple process framework, while XP’s strength comes from its excellent software engineering practices. Many agile adaptations today are hybrids, drawing from the strengths of Scrum and XP. Agile allows for small, fixed iterations to produce shippable quality product increments. The most common iterations are between 1-4 weeks, with 2 weeks being the most popular. The product increment is shown to the customer at the end of each iteration for feedback. Agile encourages continuous customer collaboration with the Product owner as part a team. Product owner is responsible for maintaining product backlog and prioritizing. The product owner is responsible for maintaining the backlog and its priority. This is called grooming. Agile methods are a boon for customers and business communities. They offer faster time to market (TTM), better return on investment (ROI) and smaller releases every 3-6 months.
Customers can dynamically shape product through product backlog grooming, feedback and iteration demonstrations.
It’s no surprise agile is still a buzzword in the IT industry.
Author : SrinivasanVenkatachalam