The modern software development environment has experienced significant advancements for the last few decades. Such advancements are marked with rapid changes mainly accelerated by increased competition among various players within in the software development sector. Companies seeking to survive must adapt to the fast-changing environment be applying agile methodologies.
WHAT ARE THE AGILE METHODOLOGIES?
Agile methodologies refer to a software development approach mainly anchored towards people and results. Four major principles, namely govern the methodology:
v Placing more emphasis on interaction among people over tools and processes.
v Establishing a functioning software over having complex documentation.
v Collaborating with customers over negotiating with them.
v Rapid response to change over following a pre-established plan.
TYPES OF AGILE METHODOLOGIES
There are four types of widely used agile methodologies. They include ScrumMethodology, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Software Development, and Kanban and are described below.
Ø Scrum Methodology is lightweight, iterative, project management methodology utilized in incremental software development projects. It is anchored towards principles such as control over the empirical process, timeboxing, value-based prioritization, and self-organization.
Ø Extreme Programming(XP) is an agile approach mainly anchored towards twelve principles namely planning, integration to customer feedback, Small Releases, Continuous Integration, Simple Design, Pair Programming, Refactoring, Collective Ownership of code, Test-Driven Development, Continuous Integration, utilization of Metaphors, and establishment of high Coding Standards.
Ø Lean software development is an agile methodology that uses iterative processes and is mainly anchored on the team, providing value towards the customer through effective stream mapping processes. It is anchored towards principles such as Elimination of Waste, improving on learning, fast delivery, and late decisions.
Ø Kanban applies similar principles to the lean methodology. However, it is anchored towards three core principles: flow enhancements, workflow visualization, and work in progress limitation.
Ø Other types of agile methodologies include Feature Driven Development (FDD), Dynamic SystemsDevelopment Method (DSDM), and Crystal methodology.
ADVANTAGES OF AGILE METHODOLOGYOVER WATERFALL METHODOLOGY
It's difficult to mention the benefits of agile methodologies without comparing it to the traditional waterfall methodology. Agile methodologies can change dynamically, depending on the changing software requirements. However, waterfall methodologies are not able to change with the changing environment needs rapidly. The increased technological competition requires a rapid approach by businesses to adapt to changing customer needs. Businesses utilizing an agile approach to software management are likely to be more successful than those utilizing the waterfall methodology.
The agile methodology is here to stay. The current technological environment is dominated by increased competition, rapid improvements in technology, and changing customer needs. As a startup or a well-established company, applying agile methodology will help ensure processes are tailored to the market needs.