Agile Methodology - A Project Lifecycle

A flexible method that anticipates changes, unlike the traditional methods.

The main aim of the ‘Agile methodology’ is complete client participation, making them an imperative part of the development cycle. This method saves the client money and time because the client tests and approves the product at each step of development.

The entire process takes place within an iterative cycle.

Iterative cycle is a way of constantly and continuously developing and refining a project at each successive stage. This is all based on feedback and evaluation given by the clients for the designs. The insights gained from the assessment are used to determine the next step in development.

Detailed goals are set in each iteration meeting such as; expected changes, time estimates, priorities and budgets.

The following are the benefits that can be derived from this methodology:

Stakeholder Engagement

Through this method of maximum participation, agile provides multiple opportunities for stakeholder and team engagement at every successive stage of development. By involving the client at every step of the project, there is a high degree of collaboration between the client and project team, providing more opportunities for the team to truly understand the client’s vision. Delivering proper results, according to the set standards, increases the stakeholders’ trust in the team’s ability and encourages them to be more deeply engaged in the project.

Transparency

The main reason why Agile is helpful and important is because it keeps the clients in the loop since the very first stage of development till the last.

It allows teams to reduce usability issues and create an extraordinary User experience through a great User interface.

An Agile approach provides a unique opportunity for clients to be involved throughout the project, from prioritizing features to iteration planning and review sessions to frequent software builds containing new features. This requires clients to understand that they are seeing a work in progress in exchange for this added benefit of transparency.

Early and Predictable Delivery

Agile, enables a high level of predictability as it is a time-boxed schedule. This reduces any kinds of risks as it easily anticipates the problems at each level and rectifies it immediately. This also provides the opportunity to release or beta test the software earlier than planned if there is sufficient business value.

Predictable Costs and Schedule

This process has an advantage, that the cost of eliminating and refining the project at every stage is very minimal and a range of tools can be used.

Each Sprint is a fixed duration, the cost is predictable and limited to the amount of work that can be performed by the team in the fixed-schedule time box. The cost structure can be easily understood as the client has a direct understanding of the entire process. This also improves decision making about the priority of features and the need for additional iterations.

Allows for Change

Through this methodology, the project follows a flexible process which helps overcome the stringent, old fashioned ways of working. It allows and adjusts well with all the changes that take place at each stage. There is an opportunity to constantly refine and prioritize the overall product backlog. New or changed backlog items can be planned for the next iteration, providing the opportunity to introduce changes within a few weeks.

Focuses on Business Value

By enabling the client to determine the priority of features, the team can understand and prioritise the client’s business, and can deliver the features that provide the most business value.

Focuses on Users

Every feature has its own definition. Through this methodology user stories and used to define product features. By focusing features on the needs of real users, each feature incrementally delivers value and not just an IT component.

Improves Quality

Agile breaks down the project into smaller, manageable units, enabling the team to focus on high quality development for each individual part. By constant reviewing and analysing, quality is improved. All the major defects are detected and rectified through this.

Agile is a powerful tool for software development, not only providing benefits to the development team, but also providing a number of important business benefits to the client. They can make small objective changes without huge amendments to the budget or schedule. It is a detailed process that enables breaking down each project according to the prioritized requirements, delivering them individually. Works out beneficially for both parties!