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A complete guide to agile software development and its benefits

Here’s what you need to know.

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Agile software development may have started off as a technological buzzword but it has quickly become an important approach to software development that’s been adopted by developers in order to benefit their customers. By using agile software development, developers can ensure quick delivery, adaptive planning and flexible response to change. 

So, what is agile software development and what are the benefits? This is what we’re here to discuss.  

What is agile software development?

Firstly, it’s important to note that agile is the ability to create and respond to change, which is a vital part of this software development methodology. 

Agile software development is an approach to software development and project management and refers to a group of software development methodologies where requirements and solutions derive from collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. 

It’s essentially a term set for a range of frameworks and practices that are all based on the values of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. 

Some of the most widely used Agile methodologies include:

  • Agile Scrum Methodology
  • Lean Software Development
  • Kanban
  • Extreme Programming
  • Crystal
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method
  • Feature Driven Development

These methodologies share the same underlying philosophy but each one has its own practices and tactics. 

The Agile Scrum Framework

The Agile Scrum framework is one of the most frequently embraced practices. It’s a process framework that has been used to manage complex product development. It’s so widely used because it’s a project management framework that can be used to manage projects of all types. 

Implementing this practice allows software development teams to address complex adaptive problems at the same time as creatively delivering extremely high-quality products. 

The project management practice will usually cover the development of customized software, designed comprehensively from the ground up with a composite of consistent, proven structure with creativity focused specifically project to project. 

What are the benefits? 

Customers have seen more satisfaction when it comes to agile development. Due to developers being able to ensure flexibility, improvement via a continuously updated prototype, regular updates on the status and quick response if something changes unexpectedly. The project management process ensures that projects are delivered on time and to budget. 

Here are just a few advantages of using the agile model:

  • increased customer satisfaction due to the rapid delivery of useful software
  • the emphasis on people and interactions between customers, developers, and testers rather than the processes and tools
  • face-to-face conversation used as the primary way of communicating
  • daily cooperation between developers and businesses
  • special attention to technical excellence and good design
  • regular adaptation when circumstances change

Agile vs Waterfall

The agile and waterfall approaches have been compared a lot over the years. The Waterfall approach is a logical progression of steps followed throughout a project. A sequential approach which is very rarely deviated from. During the era of the Waterfall approach developers would usually work alone and complications were not usually handled very well so projects were usually delayed. 

The agile approach, however, aims to involve and inform everyone including; client, businesses, developers, and testers at every stage of the development process. In this era, collaboration and communication are just as important as the technology itself and since being implemented this framework has had a significant impact on the way that software is developed. 

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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