Every IT corporation is constantly looking for ways that will help keep pace with the ever-evolving technological world. To keep up with the competition and be on top of their respective markets, companies are looking to change the fundamental ways their developers work and interact. So far, the most fitting solution to this task has been the agile approach.
The agile approach
So, what is agile? Agile in its core is a relatively simple approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver results and achieve development checkpoints as smoothly as possible. Teams that employ the agile methodology tend to break projects into smaller, more manageable pieces, enabling superior quality control and allowing the developers to respond more efficiently to change. Moreover, agile methodology promotes collaboration between self-organizing teams.
The agile manifesto, its core values, and principles
The agile approach was initially created by a small group of developers looking for a more efficient alternative to the traditional development process. In the original document called the Agile Manifesto, the group mentioned 4 core values and 12 principles that would encompass their idea and vision.
The 4 core values stated in the original document are:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan
It is clear that the main focus of the core values is to lead the development into a more collaborative and flexible mindset. Furthermore, the values prioritize the human element, trying to create something functional and people-driven that helps deliver a high-quality product.
The 12 principles written down in the manifesto are:
Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable work.
Breaking big projects down into smaller tasks that can be completed quickly.
Recognizing that the best work emerges from self-organized teams.
Providing motivated individuals with the environment and support they need and trust them to get the job done.
Creating processes that promote sustainable efforts.
Maintaining a constant pace for completed work.
Welcoming changing requirements, even late in a project.
Assembling the project team and business owners daily throughout the project.
Having the team reflect at regular intervals on becoming more effective, then tuning and adjusting behavior accordingly.
Measuring progress by the amount of completed work.
Continually seeking excellence.
Harnessing change for a competitive advantage.
Through the guiding principles, the agile methodology aims to push teams to develop a more flexible mindset, helping them adapt to unexpected change while delivering products faster.
It is not surprising that agile has gained a lot of popularity, considering the benefits it can bring. Here are a couple of the benefits of agile project management.
Greater client engagement: Agile actively encourages collaboration and contact between the software engineers and clients, leading to a more synchronized development process with high transparency. Besides improving customer satisfaction, this also helps the developers more clearly understand the client's wishes and requirements.
High-end product: One of the more direct influences of agile methodology is the inclusion of regular testing and QA amid the development, resulting in a higher quality product.
Superior adaptability: Agile software development values flexibility and adaptability, perhaps above all. The methodology allows teams to adjust to changing clients’ needs and shifts in priorities. Besides the clients' requirements, superior flexibility can help adapt to market changes and new emerging trends, helping greatly capitalize on user demand.
Employee satisfaction: As agile promotes autonomy for teams and their leaders, it often results in the generation of new ideas and increased motivation. Due to increased independence, people are more inclined to feel a sense of personal responsibility towards the project and seek to make a positive impact.
Popular agile frameworks
It is important to remember that agile is a philosophy meant to act more like a guide than a set of instructions. Many frameworks based on agile methodology have been created over the years and are being used widely in the business world. The most popular frameworks currently are Scrum, Kanban, XP, and FDD.
Scrum. Scrum is a project management framework that prioritizes teamwork and accountability. A scrum master directs small teams, tasks are divided into more manageable phases, and daily meetings are commonplace when using this framework.
Kanban Kanban is an agile model that enhances teamwork and transparency by helping visualize the project at hand. Like in Scrum, tasks are split into different stages to simplify the project and more straightforwardly track the progress.
FDD FDD is a more client-centric framework where the teams are compelled to deliver updates at very frequent intervals. This enables the teams to respond to changing requirements much more effortlessly, benefiting QA.
XP An extremely flexible framework that allows the project as a whole, including the budget, plan, and goal, to change at any time. XP emphasizes communication and teamwork.
These are some of the leading frameworks currently at the height of their popularity. Adexin, as a company, utilizes the Kanban approach as transparency is one of our core values. It is quite probable that even more efficient frameworks may come into being in the future, however, as of now, agile methodology is most certainly the correct choice.