Call it a concept or methodology, Agile Software Development promotes an iterative approach to software development using shorter and lightweight development cycles and different deliverables. This concept enables one to come up with newly defined fundamental principles, thus encouraging quick and flexible response to change. By stirring up interest all over the software landscape, agile methodologies focus more on interacting, communicating, and reducing resource-intensive intermediate artifacts in order to result in best practices that will eventually change the daily work of the organization.
Why go Agile?
In any organization, it is vital to decrease engineering costs, increase software reliability, lower engineering time, ensuring applications to be bought off by the business, rather than against them. Agile methods and techniques address these issues by cutting costs as the number of mistakes that developers while application building are significantly reduced, thereby avoiding the scenario of a deployed broken application and eliminating associated risks.
The following objectives can be met by project managers upon going agile:
- Modeling desired behavior
- A common vision can be created and communicated
- Enthusiasm to challenge the status quo
- Empowering and encouraging team players
Benefits of Agile:
By offering a lightweight framework for helping teams excel, Agile development enables them to focus on the rapid delivery of business value, eliminating the overall risks associated with software development. Thanks to a constant process of planning and feedback, the delivery of initial business value gets rapidly accelerated and maximized all through the development process. As a result, teams have the ability to effortlessly adapt to varying requirements throughout the process by constantly aligning the delivered software with preferred business needs. By constant measurement and status evaluation, there exists increased transparency and accuracy in existing projects, successfully addressing business and customer requirements. Project risks are therefore significantly reduced by delivering increased value, visibility, and adaptability at a much earlier stage in the life cycle.
There are various agile methodologies and techniques which pretty much share almost the same philosophy, apart from similar characteristics and practices. But from an implementation point of view, each has its own guidelines of practices, terminology, and strategy. One of the most common agile techniques is Stand-up meetings, wherein team players get into the routine of keeping each other in the loop instead of spending hours every week in never-ending status meetings. It is a highly effective means of getting the team members coordinate their work with each other, easing out a lot of pressure.
Definition: A daily team meeting held to provide a status update to the team members. Also referred to as a type of a daily status meeting, the meeting is meant to promote follow-up conversation amongst team players so as to identify issues much before they become problematic. The motive is to encourage committed team members to quickly synchronize their efforts and identify anything that is threatening their shared goals and objectives.
- Improved communication and discovery and resolving impediments
- Reducing the frequency of redundant practices
- Scope for continual self improvement
- Identification and prioritization of system functionality
- Goodbye to reading and writing piles of status reports
- Tendency to focus only on the critical issues
- Short, concise and information-rich
Why is it useful?
Apart from the fact that Stand-up Meetings act as powerful collaboration tools, it also encourages team players to provide updates to each other and not the project manager. This way, they can easily coordinate their work and keep up-to date with their peers pace of work. This technique is most effective for small teams working on projects with enough momentum that there will be significant updates for each standup meeting.
Being one of the core practices in the Agile Software Development, a daily 10 minute Stand-up Meeting encourages courage amid team members they talk about the progress daily. Impending issues can be sorted out as early as possible as they are raised and addressed on daily basis. Transparency is the key in communication and this is justified totally as the entire project team is present. This eliminates any hint of false promises as the entire team is witness to it.
Agile development therefore enables talented people to work together and bring value back to the customers, resulting in a maximum value in minimum time. Changing business requirements are successfully addressed and the project is steered clear past any issues and associated risks.