The Agile methodology has evolved to meet the changing requirements of customers and clients. Today, businesses are seeking agile solutions for their software development activities. An agile product development team ensures that a product is developed within a set time frame with minimum cost and scope limitation. In an agile environment, a team of highly skilled professionals applies the proven development methods followed by the Agile methodologies, which have proved very effective for many organizations.
The Agile development process contains five main phases: pre Conceptualization, Planning, Development, Testing and Post Implementation. Within each phase, agile methods apply the principles of extreme programming or rapid application delivery with a focus on the smallest scope of development. During the planning stage, it is essential to identify the basic requirements of the product and the business need. This enables the development team to specify the scope of work required. Once these are identified, the team can plan the release date accordingly and work to achieve these goals.
Planning enables you to develop a list of deliverables and tasks relevant to the product and provide you with a range of possible delivery dates. Once this is done, the next step involves conceptualizing the product in your mind. Here, the developers work together with the customer in a spirit of partnership to come up with a concept that can be executed. As a result, you get a fully functional product, which meets your requirements, within a given time frame. With a concept, a schedule is generated and the product is ready to be launched.
The next stage of development involves the Testing stage. This is the most dreaded part of software development, as no software development team can ever be successful unless all the testing is successful. Here, the team makes extensive use of various test automation tools and methodologies. This facilitates faster testing cycle and reduces cost incurred at the same time. With continuous testing, the software is improved continuously and the quality is ensured.
Agile methods are known for their flexibility and scalability, as they allow a certain amount of experimentation while developing software. Since they enable a maximum level of flexibility, the process never gets disrupted. Moreover, since the process includes reuse of code, the programmers do not have to change old code and waste time in doing so. This results in significantly decreasing the overall development cost of the software project.
One of the most important, agile methodology advantages is that it encourages the collaboration of different departments. In an agile environment, the development cycle relies heavily on the input from diverse stakeholders, including the client, the business analysts, the QA professionals, the designers, and the staff. Together, they validate the requirements of the customers, look for glitches in the functionality, and conduct quality checks to identify potential problems. Because of these agile principles, Agile has the potential to deliver sustainable results, irrespective of the size of the project.