Agile Methodology 101: A Beginner's Handbook

For a while, agile methodology has been a vogue in the field of software as it has significantly transformed software development. Customarily, the waterfall model was mainly used however, it was not practical because of multiple factors; first and foremost, it needs seemingly forever to develop specific programming. Besides, it couldn't uphold a drawn-out development cycle. Also, it was only capable of developing monolithic applications and not microservices, which are more in demand and trend.

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All these reasons collectively emerged the need for another product management methodology, which can correspond to the high software demand and be able to change according to the market needs quickly.

What is Agile Methodology?

The Agile methodology is a strategy that fosters continuous development and testing of a software project throughout its lifecycle, making parallel development and testing possible.

Agile methodology assists the developers to come up with the right product by using small and interrelated autonomous groups that perform functions regularly, allowing frequent customer input and course correction. This enables agile to change and adapt according to the market in a very short term. By doing so, Agile attempts to overcome the problems of the traditional "waterfall" approach. All of these factors collectively make Agile appropriate for developing software these days.

Stages of Agile Methodology:

The agile methodology consists of six stages, beginning from the concept and concluding at retirement.

1. Concept:

The concept stage comes first. The developers will define the scope and aim of their project in this phase. If there are several initiatives, the most important ones will be prioritized. The developers will also meet the clients to discuss important requirements and needs, and then develop documentation outlining them. As far as requirements for the documentation are concerned, it is best to make them as simple as possible because they can be expanded later.

The developers will also estimate the time and cost of potential projects at the concept stage. An extensive study before beginning the project will also be conducted which will help to find out whether the project is feasible or not.

2. Inception:

After the concept stage, comes the inception stage. During this stage, the developer assembles his software development team, tools, and resources. Once all these requirements are fulfilled, software designing can be commenced. In the conception stage, the manufacturer provides further input to completely sketch out the product's requirements and identify the software's functionality.

3. Iteration:

The next stage is called iteration or construction. It is usually the most lengthy stage because the majority of the tasks are performed in this stage. The developers will collaborate with UX designers to integrate all product requirements and user input before converting the design into code.

The goal is to complete the product's basic functionality by the end of the first iteration or sprint. Later revisions can include more features and changes. This stage is critical to Agile software development since it allows developers to quickly generate working software and make adjustments to please the clients.

4. Release:

At this point, the software is almost ready for market. However, before its release, the quality affirmation team needs to examine the software to make sure that the software is utilitarian, and the code is perfect. They also ensure that if later any defects are found, developers will address them real quick.

5. Maintenance:

The prominent feature of this phase is the assurance from the developers for the appropriate functioning of the software. New iterations might also happen over time to refresh the old product.

6. Retirement:

The next stage is retirement, in which software enters for one of two reasons: either it is replaced with new software, or the software itself has grown out of date or is incompatible with the client's demand over time. Once any of these things happen, the developers will inform users about it, and, if a replacement is found, users will be moved to the new system.

Benefits of Agile Methodology:

Agile methodology is a versatile and forward-thinking approach to software development. It entails a group of individuals that collaborate iteratively, using feedback to continuously improve their software. This can result in several advantages including:

1. Improved Communication:

Agile teams can access different perspectives simultaneously, which allows them to make better decisions regarding what has to be modified to come up with better software.

2. Increased Productivity:

As agile team frequently evolve their software on their client's feedback, they can create more stable software without losing quality or efficiency.

3. Reduced Risk:

An agile approach allows developers with limited resources to successfully release their software, reducing expenditures and increasing flexibility through incremental improvements over time rather than accomplishing one large project at once.

To conclude, agile methodology is a flexible and efficient strategy, which can correspond to the high software demand and change according to the market needs in a short span, making parallel development and testing possible and assisting the developers in coming up with the desired software.

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