03 Apr 2020

If you’re familiar with the software world, you’ve probably heard about agile development. Many teams and software companies are adopting this method and leveraging agile principles to get their projects done. Almost 86% of software developers use agile in their work. 

You might be wondering: what’s special about this methodology? What makes it different from other common software development methods? We’re here to answer your questions. In this post, you’ll learn about what agile software development is and how it can help you get the best results for your project.  

What is agile software development?

Before we dig into more details about agile, it’s important to know how it’s defined. Agile software development includes frameworks such as Scrum, Extreme Programming or Feature-Driven Development (FDD). It’s also an umbrella term for a set of frameworks and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the manifesto for agile software development. These practices help teams evaluate how they get work done and how to work better together.  

Where did agile start?

The term “agile” was coined to describe this collection of methodologies in 2001. That’s when several software development practitioners met in Utah to share their approaches to software development. That discussion led to the creation of the Agile Manifesto.

THE AGILE MANIFESTO: 

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools  

Working software over comprehensive documentation  

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation 

Responding to change over following a plan 

Principles of agile software development

According to the Agile Manifesto website, there are also twelve principles of agile development. These principles are at the core of every agile project. 

1. Satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of software

2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development

3. Deliver working software frequently

4. Business people and developers must work together daily

5. Build projects around motivated individuals 

6. Prioritize face to face conversations with development teams

7. Working software is a measure of progress

8. Promote sustainable development

9. Continuous attention to excellence

10. Simplicity is essential

11. Encourage self-organizing teams

12. Reflect on how to become more effective and adjust accordingly

This methodology and these principles come together to create a software development process that customers and software development companies prefer to leverage.

Why is agile software development popular?

Agile software development has quickly gained popularity because it often leads to a better final product when compared to other development methods. In fact, data shows that agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects. Traditional methods, such as Waterfall, follow an extremely linear process with little to no feedback during development.

All requirements are defined upfront, and you don’t see the results until the system is built. Issues may not be discovered until months into the development process, and changes in requirements during development may lead to extensive delays. 

In contrast, agile software development provides value on all kinds of projects. It’s much more flexible and it allows customers to have more insight into the development process while it’s happening. This method ensures that the potential of your workforce is optimized and that the project is managed well from start to finish. Since there’s a continuous cycle of planning and feedback, the process is designed to help you meet your specific requirements. 

It directly addresses the problem that companies and developers face when using traditional methods in software projects. It also promotes a collaborative environment that helps you keep everything on track with ease.

The agile software development flow

Now, let’s take a look at how the agile software development process works in practice. The agile software development flow can be broken down into six different phases. Here’s a look at what you can expect if you adopt the agile methodology for your project.

Concept

In this first stage, you brainstorm ideas for an upcoming project. What would you like to execute? What could you accomplish with a new software product? 

Planning

Now, you start to develop the requirements for the project and identify the team members you need. This is also the time to evaluate your budget. During this time, the minimum viable product will be defined. 

Iteration

Next, your team will work together to develop the software based on your requirements and make changes based on the feedback they receive. Changing business needs can be prioritized throughout this process to ensure the delivery of the best possible product. As the Agile Manifesto says, agile developers welcome changing requirements. 

Release

Before a project releases, QA testing will take place. Then, the client can use the software and ensure that it meets all of their requirements and needs. This release may take place in a testing environment before moving to production.  

Production

At this stage, the product is released. This may happen over several phases to incorporate changes and feedback. Then, the final product becomes available to the client and all users can access the software.  

Ongoing support 

Agile development often includes ongoing support and additional development cycles to take care of bug fixes or enhancements such as expansions or new features. On-going support may happen in cycles, where developers return to the iteration, release and production stages while making improvements. 

Agile software development is the key to streamlining the development of your project and seeing it all the way through.

Want to get started with agile software development?

If you’re looking for support on your project with agile software development, Unosquare can help. Since inception, we understand the need for transparency, efficiency and more importantly, delivery. We not only have been laser-focused on finding the best talent in the world but also putting together a delivery management practice that is your eyes and ears within our organization. In a way that is fast, transparent, and efficient, we provide agile software development services and complementing talent for teams. 

With over 2,000 successfully completed projects, over 600 engineers, and more than 120 distributed teams, Unosquare is one of the leading software development companies. We know what it takes to meet and exceed project needs. To learn more about what Unosquare can do for your company, you can check out our blog. 

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