Agile is a flexible development methodology where a project development process is divided into separate processes to create a working, practical project.
Requirements for each project are decided quickly, and the interaction between specialists is carried out within the framework of a self-organizing, project team. Quickly releasing a product that the customer and their target audience will be happy with is of the utmost importance.
The basic principles of Agile philosophy were created by a group of 17 independent practitioners in February of 2001. These principles were described in a document entitled “Agile Manifesto.” The “Agile Manifesto” is based on 4 values:
- People and interactions are more important than processes and tools.
- A working product is more important than in-depth documentation.
- Cooperation with the customer is more important than the contract terms agreement.
- Readiness for change is more important than following the original plan.
There are 12 more principles of Agile philosophy that you can learn more about by going to the manifesto official website.
Today, the Agile methodology is used most often in software development projects; it helps users respond more quickly to changing requirements, and it enables users to regularly evaluate performance.
Advantages of Agile Methodology
The use of the flexible development methodology became widespread due to a number of advantages that it provides. Here are the most important of them:
- Dividing into sprints gives the team the opportunity to focus on the individual stages and work faster.
- The consumer can conveniently arrange the team according to the changing goals with the advancement of the project.
- Developers can devote more time to interesting tasks and their potential development, instead of preparing formal reports.
- The team can focus on development, testing, and collaboration. Errors in the code are quickly found and eliminated.
- Separating the project into short sprints increases the development transparency for the customer.
- Faster feedback loop from end users.
- Flexibility in defining priority functions and setting goals.
- The product enters the market faster, and product releases come out regularly, respectively, and quickly, which allows the customer to receive a faster return on investment.
Close interaction between the team and the customer guarantees constant progress, ensures quality improvement, the ability to effectively make changes, and the option to present new ideas to the customer about the product that is being developed.
Disadvantages of Agile Methodology
There are no ideal methodologies that exist in the world. This is also true with Agile. Though it has many advantages, it also has a number of disadvantages. These include the following:
- At the onset of the project, it is difficult to accurately determine the amount of time and money that will be needed to complete the project due to constantly changing requirements.
- The team needs to have a solid foundation and comparable skill level.
- A high level of interaction between the client and the developers is required, which can take time and make the process difficult.
- Lack of attention to documentation can make it difficult for new team members to access needed information.
- There is a danger that the lack of project boundaries will lead to uncontrolled expansion, which can cause the project to never reach completion.
It is worth noting that most of the errors that occur are often due to a lack of understanding about the Agile methodology, or simply, the unwillingness to follow the methodology.
When to Use Agile?
The quality of execution in any project largely depends on choosing the correct methodology. In some cases, Agile will be an ideal option, but not always. A flexible development model should be applied in the following cases:
- The final product functionality is not completed.
- There is no limit to the budget and timing, or when their estimation of budget and timing is simply not possible (relevant for startups).
- The consumer needs to quickly launch the product and commercialize it.
- The client is ready to regularly communicate with the team.
- The team is able to adapt to new challenges and work independently.
- Any changes will be made throughout the project development cycle.
It does not make much sense to use this approach when the client wants to work on a strict schedule or with a rigid budget. The Agile approach may not be the right fit if customers is unable able to change the project’s size and content when the team begins working on it.
It is suggested by the Agile Manifesto that when implementing a project, one does not need to rely solely on pre-established, detailed plans. Commitment to constantly changing conditions of the external and internal environment and feedback from the customer and users are more important factors.
This encourages developers and engineers to experiment and look for new solutions, instead of limiting themselves to rigid frameworks and standards.
Finally, it is possible to define the main advantages of the Agile methodology: flexibility and adaptability. This makes it possible to adjust to almost any conditions and processes throughout the project, which makes Agile an excellent choice for the “open end” projects.
The Agile methodology is absolutely compelling and relevant as a method for finding new ideas and for committing to a “breakout effect” in order to achieve outstanding results.
Contact us if you are having difficulty choosing the proper model for your project, and our specialists will be happy to help you!