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Agile Methodology: A Boon For The Software Developers in 2020

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We all know what is Software Development? What is the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)? We are also familiar with some software development methodologies like Agile Methodology, Waterfall Methodology, etc. 

But today, we will learn the Agile Model or Agile Methodology in depth. But, for that, let me present an overview of Software Development and SDLC.

Software development is a process through which we create software using certain tools, languages, etc. During the development of particular software, a pre-defined life cycle is followed by the developers. We term this life cycle as the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This cycle specifies the work performed at every stage of the development process. 

Success at every stage determines the quality of the end product/software. And for this, there are various methodologies like Agile, Waterfall, etc.

Agile Model/Methodology

In common terms, Agile is a set of guidelines following which a complex project is delivered effectively. Agile comprises various models/methodologies. These methodologies help software development companies with the software’s design, its development, testing, and deliveries. 

How to practice Agile?

To practice Agile, there are various Agile models/methodologies. And these are:

  1. Scrum
  2. Lean
  3. Kanban
  4. FDD
  5. Crystal 
  6. Extreme Programming 
  7. ASD

All these methodologies focus on effective and efficient software development with a scope of improvement at every stage of the life cycle. 

Out of these, the most common and important ones are:

  1. Scrum
  2. Extreme Programming 
  3. Kanban

So, let’s learn about these methodologies, one by one.

Scrum

Scrum is the oldest and most important framework to implement Agile. To understand this, understand how rugby is played. In rugby, the players move in an interlocked manner. They can play defensively or offensively as per their needs. 

Likewise, this Scrum framework believes in a team with only three specific purposes. These are: 

  1. Product Owner (PO): One who represents the customer’s side.
  2. Scrum Master (SM): One who ensures the productiveness of the team.
  3. A team of programmers and testers.

They work in iterations and deliver the product for review within pre-defined intervals called Sprints. 

An easy way to remember the entire Scrum process is to remember the 3-3-5 framework. Here, there are 3 roles, 3 artifacts, and 5 events. These are:

3 Roles: The merchandise owner, the scrum master, and the development team.

3 Artifacts: The product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increment.

5 Events: Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective.

Kanban

Kanban in Japanese means cards with work to be done on the software visually present over it. That is, with the help of these cards, every team member gets to know about his duty. 

Kanban is almost similar to Scrum in terms of working and objectives. But there are two differences between the two. 

The first difference in Kanban is that the items to work upon can vary according to the project requirements. In Scrum, it is not possible. 

The second one is that in Scrum, the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the development team possess their pre-defined roles. In Kanban, there are no such roles. So, in Kanban, there is less need for the organization of the activities. 

Extreme Programming

XP or Extreme Programming is another most sought after the Agile framework. There are 5 XP values for a better Agile implementation: Communication, Simplicity, Feedback, Respect, and Strength. We discuss these below. 

The XP teams communicate with the programmers who start with the code from day one itself. The feedback helps the team in coming up with better performance and respect for each other. This motivates them and makes them believe that they have produced a better product. This is helpful for projects where the requirements may change. But the feedback helps the XP team to incorporate these changes with courage. 

So, these are the three most common methodologies of Agile with their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the Agile Methodology:

  1. The customer gets to look into the process at every iteration.
  2. The development team can incorporate changes at any stage with courage.
  3. Two – Way communication ensures that the customer, stakeholders, and business analysts are involved at every stage of the process.
  4. The end product meets the business requirements and satisfies the customer.

Disadvantages of Agile Methodology 

  1. Sometimes, the requirements are not clear. So, after a particular stage, the team needs to incorporate many changes. This leads to a delay.

So, this is what Agile method is all about. Proper implementation of this method is a great way to ensure the effectiveness of the end product. 

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