Technologies

What is Agile? Methodologies’ overview

By PlaysDev
Published: Oct 26, 2023

Currently, managers use a variety of services, tools and methodologies for effective project management. Agile is one of the most popular approaches.

Most well-known companies use Agile practices: Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple have adopted Scrum to focus on customers and improve the quality of services.

Agile is a flexible project management methodology that allows you to adapt to market and customer needs.

Simply put, Agile is not about reporting, documenting and a clear plan. It stands for constant communication with the client and the willingness to quickly respond to changes during the project.

Agile can be applied to anything. You can use Agile methods to improve personal task management, optimize workplace efficiency, or unite software development teams around product development.

In recent years, Agile methods and management principles have spread to many industries that want to emphasize continuous improvement and growth.

Agile’s point is reflected in the Agile Manifesto; it can be briefly formulated as follows:

  • work in short cycles (iterations), lasting 1-4 weeks;
  • at the end of each iteration, the customer receives a visualization of the work done;
  • the development team cooperates with the Customer throughout the entire project;
  • changes in the project are welcomed and quickly put into work.

What are the advantages of the Agile development methodology?

  • To show the client results in a short time.
  • Allows you to quickly launch a product, ahead of competitors.
  • For flexible business management in an ever-changing world.
  • Motivates the team without resorting to material incentives.
  • Helps to establish processes in the company.
  • According to the Agile methodology, the manager does not control the team, but sets boundaries, indicates goals and provides enough freedom in decision making.
  • Helps identify defective areas that may delay work.

Popular Agile methodologies

There are many different methodologies that are based on the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. Commonly used methodologies are Kanban, Scrum, Lean and XP.

Agile

Kanban

Kanban is a visual approach to Agile.

Teams use online Kanban-board tools to visualize where certain tasks are in the development process. Tasks are represented by cards on the board, and stages are represented by columns:

  • Need to do;
  • Doing;
  • Done;

For virtual teams, a Kanban-board looks like an online resource that everyone can access. This helps the team agree on actions.

If anyone is wondering what the most important task of the day is, they just need to check the Kanban board.

This method is a good way for teams to identify obstacles and visualize the amount of work being done.

Trello – resource for creating an online Kanban-board.

Scrum

Scrum is extremely popular in Agile software development. It’s a complex process, but its basics are focused on iterative sprints, each is oriented towards completing a specific amount of work.

Scrum has one sprint lasting 2-4 weeks. At the beginning of a sprint, the product owner decides which task will move from the master list (product backlog) to the sprint to-do list (sprint backlog). The development team, led by a Scrum Master, works to complete the sprint backlog within the allotted time.

The Scrum team meets for daily “scrums” to make sure everyone is aware of potential obstacles and what work needs to be done next. This process is repeated until the product is completed or stakeholders are completely satisfied. At the end of the sprint, a retrospective is held to help the team understand what went well and what could be improved.

Jira, ClickUp, monday.com, Wrike are examples of the best Scrum boards.

Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) is a methodology that emphasizes quality of work and fast feedback. It includes practices such as pair programming, every-stage testing, continuous integration and short development cycles.

The ultimate goal of Extreme Programming is to produce high-quality results in all aspects of the work, not just the final product.

The specifics of XP won’t apply to all situations, but the general framework can benefit any team.

Lean manufacturing

Lean is a methodology based on the principles of eliminating redundant operations and optimizing project processes. It strives for efficiency and minimizing waste, allowing the team to achieve results faster and at a lower cost.

Lean manufacturing is a leadership mindset that helps teams work more productively, and effectively. It can be applied to various Agile software development methodologies.

Other project management methodologies

  • Functionality driven development (FDD).
  • Crystal Clear.
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).
  • Test driven development (TDD).
  • Adaptive Project Framework (APF),

How to choose a project methodology?

First, it is important to study each of them in detail and choose the one that suits your product, team and client.

It is also important to determine the nature of your project, its complexity, scope of work and requirements. Scrum is more suitable for projects with a high degree of uncertainty and change, while more predictable projects can be successfully implemented using Waterfall.

It is also important to consider the size of your team when choosing a method.

For example, Kanban is best used by a large team, especially if the team has different levels of experience. At the same time, Scrum is an ideal solution for small and self-organizing teams.

If communication is especially important in your project, then you should give preference to the Scrum methodology, which emphasizes regular meetings and information exchange between team members.

Despite the fact that all methods can be applied to any business, Scrum and XP are more preferable for software developers, and Kanban is common among IT, marketing or HR specialists.

In what cases should you use Agile methodology?

  1. The project has a high degree of uncertainty.
    If the project involves new technologies, innovative ideas, or unknown market conditions, an agile methodology will allow the team to explore and experiment to find the optimal solution.
  2. Engaged client.
    If the client is actively involved in the project and requires quick feedback and visibility of progress, an agile methodology will allow the team to regularly interact with the client and make changes according to their needs.
  3. Long term project.
    As the duration of work on a project increases, it becomes more difficult to predict and plan its development in the long term.

Who will benefit?

Project managers
It will help you understand how to cope with a large number of projects successfully.

Beginner team leads
It will help you figure out how to increase the efficiency and speed of your team.

Small business owners
It will provide an opportunity to learn how to establish internal processes and scale your business.

Value creation is embedded in Agile culture.

Whether you apply Agile principles to an agile task management system such as a personal Kanban-board, or use Agile to develop working software, the idea is the same.

Agile is about continuous improvement. It is a methodology, a way of thinking and a way of seeing the world. Agile is a flexible, adaptive, collaborative and value-driven approach.

The Agile approach is beneficial for the entire project development process as it ensures effective communication between teams and guarantees quality results.

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