Agile software development seeks to find digital solutions for users and businesses.
Its core lies in the joint creation of a work path between the technology service provider and the customer. Additionally, it relies on a flexible work culture where inevitable change and continuous process monitoring are essential. The result is high passed development projects where teams in charge know when to act immediately to solve difficulties.
Understanding this framework is more accessible through different methodologies designed to achieve specific objectives, integrating collaborative work and software operation. Here's all you need to know about agile methods for software development:
What is agile software development?
Agile software development helps IT teams conceive and kick off a work plan. After this process, the developer team will consistently complete small objectives that bring them towards the big and definitive one. This way of working means the clients can see progress all the time.
In addition, agile methodologies prioritize workflows and collaboration between team members.
Why are we talking about agile development?
Since 2001, the term agile development appeared as a response to projects that worked in waterfall methods.
The need for fast-paced, flexible, and collaborative frameworks gave rise to different approaches to agile development. The following are their core values:
Characteristics of agile development
Division of processes, breaking down every big challenge into little pieces, is essential for agile teams. Some of its key features are the creation of work units with specific goals, constant updating of results, and constant monitoring.
We can also highlight others, such as:
Communication and organization.
Visibility of a leader.
Empowerment of the tasks assigned to each member. Teamwork.
What is the difference between traditional and agile development?
In conventional development methodologies, the objective is to deliver a finished product according to the agreed specifications. In these cases, project leaders are in charge and can decide what they will prioritize, often not taking into account the business side of their projects and ignoring the client's needs.
This kind of framework also makes introducing changes a particularly challenging task. Making corrections implies going back to the early stages of the development, and often it makes projects lose momentum.
On the other hand, agile development seeks to create a line of work focused on the customer's needs. Through short and medium-term tasks, small but important goals are achieved early in the process.
An agile framework also helps a project adapt to change and incorporate improvements.
The agile cycle
Software development requires continuous actions to constantly improve and keep up with users' expectations.
Agile methodologies approach this challenge through four different stages:
Control: at this stage, teams analyze their challenge and create a clear path to reach their goal.
Development: Here, the development team concentrates all efforts on making daily or at least widespread deliveries.
Testing: partial deliveries also include tests that run in parallel to other project phases. This is an excellent way to have feedback almost in real-time.
Operation and maintenance: The last phase of the agile development life cycle. It involves monitoring but also updates proposals if they are necessary.
What are agile development methodologies?
Among the different methodologies or frameworks for agile software development, we can find variables and strategies that focus on obtaining great results from innovation and strengthening human talent and its capabilities. Among them, we can highlight:
Collaborative work is the star of this framework, and it is so because we all know it is excellent to obtain results. It has five phases: initiation, estimation, implementation, review, and launch.
The development of each project in this methodology is divided into sprints, which allow monitoring progress quickly and making decisions on the course to follow to achieve the proposed goal.
It has a visual guide, either through post-its or an activity board. The connection between different activities and how work flows through the whole process is at its core.
The most crucial thing in Kanban methodology is that progress is always visible. It is also perfect for highlighting possible funnels in the process that need to be corrected.
XP or Extreme Programming is a commonly used one, especially for development teams that require high and constant feedback from the client and 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.
One of the best examples we can find from our experience is the one we achieved with Bancolombia, where we implemented agile techniques to achieve the proposed goal of a new innovative product. When the project was over, the bank's IT team adopted several strategies, creating an agile culture in their organization. To know more about this experience, visit our success story with Bancolombia.