Agile software development is a set of software development methods which focuses on adaptive thinking, teamwork, collaboration and cross-functionality. One of its core values is its ability to adapt and respond to change on a continual basis to better reach project goals. It was compressed into a set of principles in the Agile Manifesto in 2001, following a meeting of 17 prominent software engineers, including the two original founders of Scrum. There are, as such, many parallels between the two.
Agile emphasises the human side of project work, which is fundamentally more adaptive. It encourages sets of smaller teams to tackle a problem as a set of objectives, from which tasks can be derived. Should any issues arise, the nature of a task can be modified to suit the objective. In a general sense, agile software tries to tackle a project in a more practical way, without imposing any unnecessary limitations on creativity.
For example, when developing a new in-house program for your company, an agile approach would build a prototype to bring to the initial concept meeting. That way, those from other teams will have an idea of where to begin and would be involved and connected from the outset. Communication would be face-to-face as much as possible to avoid ambiguity. When change has to be implemented, it is done efficiently and quickly between all teams. Rather than having one perfect image of a product to aspire towards, an agile project would have iterations of the project, the objectives for which might change as time goes on.
At critical stages of a product’s development, agile developers may ‘sprint’ towards the goal, leading to increased productivity, skill-sharing and improved teamwork. Because the objective is the focus, there is not as much documentation made about a project during its development. This is often cited as a downside for the agile method, but by no means a deterrent.
Want to learn more about Agile?
If you would like to learn how to incorporate the Agile methodology in to your IT team, our Introduction to Agile Software Development course would be an ideal choice.
This 2-day course will teach you how to adopt and use the Agile method to match with organisational goals.
Agile has become the most dominant software development methodology in recent times. It can be employed to improve efficiency and productivity for any project or other aspect of your business. It can also be applied to internal processes such as service management strategy, IT infrastructure and enterprise architecture development. An Agile mindset will also make you more proactive and better able to respond to change, a constant challenge in an era of digital transformation.
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