What is Agile Development?
- What is Agile Development?
- What are the benefits of Agile Development?
- How does Agile Development work?
- Who uses Agile Development?
- Agile vs Fixed Project
- Examples of when we recommend Agile
- Key factors when considering Agile
What are the benefits of Agile Development?Agile Development is not necessarily the next step in digital project management methodology, it's a different approach where the situation requires it.Agile Development ensures that the project is always able to present results, can adapt to changes in the environment and can also adapt to information gathered through the use of the application.Agile has a range of other benefits:
- Embraces a continual-improvement data-centric view of planning and execution
- If your company has an action-oriented management mindset, Agile can start delivering results sooner
- Allows for strategies to be tweaked to adapt to competitor movements or to improved data intelligence
- Guarantees that a working version of the project is always available
Agile vs Fixed ProjectCompared to a traditional fixed project, the Agile methodology allows for development to start faster and with less certainty about the specifics of the final solution.A pure Agile process is different from the fundamentals of the standard waterfall project methodology, and you'll need to be aware of these before considering pure Agile.The key differences between Agile and Waterfall relate to:
- Development scheduling and output
- Project scope and definition
- Costing structure
Agile Development Pros & Cons
How does Agile Development work?The planning and development of Agile projects occur in sprints. Each sprint is usually two weeks long. At the start of the sprint a "sprint goal" is set by the product owner, and tasks from the backlog are allocated to the sprint.As you can see in the diagram below, a fixed project requires less interaction with the company that the product or solution is being developed for. All functional requirements have been gathered before development starts and a functional specification will have been completed and signed off on by the client.An Agile project differs from waterfall because all features are mapped out in a "Backlog". Ideally, this backlog will contain user stories, acceptance criteria and estimates from the development team of how difficult the tasks are using a Fibonacci sequence.Development schedule: “Sprints”Sprints are (usually) a 2-week cycle of development and each cycle is sequentially executed. On each sprint, development attempts to work through planned user stories.Project scopeThe project scope is not set out in complete detail up front, rather a model of progressive discovery and enhancement is utilised.Costing structureAgile is charged on fixed blocks of hours – not scope. It is usually charged at the end of each sprint (or as otherwise agreed).
Examples of when we recommend AgileWe recommend an Agile development process when:
- An organisation has a legacy of not being able to complete large projects
- The details of the final solution are not yet known or are not yet known with a high degree of confidence
- Where the ability to react to opportunities or a change in the working environment is important
- When the need to get a working minimum viable product to market is critical such as a greenfield opportunity
Key factors when considering AgileAs you can see, being involved in an Agile project is different from a waterfall project. By going ahead with this option, you can expect to be much more involved in the ongoing definition and refinement of the project.But before you go ahead with Agile Development, there are a few key things you need to consider:
- Does the project have sufficient complexities to warrant an Agile approach?
- Is the solution to the problem difficult to define without data from working data?
- Do you have the time to facilitate project inputs and rapid decision making?
- Do you have the data in place, or can the data be put in place to assist in driving the project's direction?
- Can you get this type of engagement approved? Management tends to have a 'give me a cost and a timeframe' mentality, which philosophically does not align to Agile.
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