Agile software development is one of the main trends in the technological field. It was in the 80’s and 90’s when a structured methodology for software development and implementation was born, which received the name of waterfall model.
Agile development requires a cultural change in many companies because it focuses on the clean delivery of individual pieces or parts of the software and not on the complete application.
It seeks to find digital solutions that are tailored to the user and the business, with a starting point and a work path agreed upon by both parties involved, but always with the clarity that change is present and that the entire process must be monitored to know when to act immediately to solve any problems that arise in the development of the product.
What is agile software development?
Agile software development is a way of integrating the capabilities of a development team to implement a work plan that allows delivering small results to the customer in a short time, so that the customer feels comfortable and at ease with the work done.
Teamwork is fundamental. Agile development avoids the transcendental meetings that take place at the end of the project, which in many cases slow down the implementation of the software. Instead, it opts for informal meetings throughout the process, from the early stages of planning and requirements study.
Characteristics of agile development
Among the characteristics of agile development we can find the division of processes, the creation of work units with specific goals and the constant updating of results to the team to monitor the total progress of the project.
We can also highlight others:
- Team work
- Visibility of a leader
- Communication and organization
- Empowerment of the tasks assigned to each member.
Principles of Agile Development
The basic principles on which agile development is based are three.
- Individuals and processes: Human capital takes precedence over processes and tools. Therefore, the entire development process revolves around satisfying the concrete needs of users.
- Customer: Customer collaboration in each and every stage that is part of the process is very important. Therefore, the relationship between the client and the team of developers must be based on mutual trust.
- Adaptation: Adaptability, changes occur at an ever-increasing speed.
Differences between traditional and agile development
In traditional development methodologies, the focus is on delivering the finished product according to the agreed specifications, where the project leader and not the customer is the one who prioritizes. In this methodology, making changes during development is more complex and would have to be executed from the bottom of the project.
On the contrary, agile development seeks to create a line of work focused on customer needs, where through short and medium term prioritizations, results can be seen in partial deliveries that improve customer satisfaction. Adaptation to change and process improvements are constant at any stage of the project, without affecting the project as a whole.
Main agile development methodologies
Different agile development methodologies can be distinguished, each with its own characteristics and advantages. Depending on the project to be developed and the specific needs of the team of developers, one or the other can be chosen.
The Kanban method always has a visual guide, either through a board or activity board. There, the connection between different activities and how the activity flows through the whole process is emphasized: Ideas-To-Do – Doing – Complete.
This methodology seeks to make collaborative work the protagonist to obtain agile results. It consists of five phases: initiation, estimation, implementation, review and launch.
The development of each project in this methodology is divided into sprints, which allow to monitor progress quickly and make decisions on the course to follow to achieve the proposed goal.
XP or Extreme Programming is a methodology commonly used in software development teams for the realization of projects that require a high and constant feedback from the client, as well as constant changes.
The strength of this methodology is the constant communication between the team and the client, which allows the requirements to be addressed quickly and with a high level of satisfaction on both sides.
Agile methodologies have gained popularity and as more and more companies and teams adopt the methods, an ecosystem has formed that includes everyone using agile software development.
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