Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.
- Quick Intro to the Agile Methodology
- Agile in Project Management
- Agile In Software Development And Beyond
- Agile in Business Design
- Agile for Startups
- Beyond Agile, and into Lean Methodologies
- Tech Business Modeling
Quick Intro to the Agile Methodology
In 2001, a group of seventeen software developers met to discuss these lightweight development methods, with the aim of challenging the old assumption of heavyweight software development.
They forged “The Agile Alliance,” as a group of independent thinkers about software development, which agreed on the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
Together they published the Manifesto for Agile Software Development. It comprises twelve guiding principles from which many applications (comprising Scrum) were born.
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Agile in Project Management
The APM framework is based on the Agile Manifesto which was originally written to guide software development. However, the four key values listed in the manifesto can be applied to almost any industry that has a focus on meeting consumer needs.
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. In the face of advanced technology, the APM framework still recognizes the importance of human input.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation. When project teams avoid being bogged down by small, insignificant details, they can focus on delivering results.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Traditionally, customers are only involved at the beginning and end of project management. However, in APM the customer is involved with every step of the process to ensure their input is incorporated.
- Responding to change over following a plan. Agile project management works with change instead of actively trying to resist it. It emphasis creating a minimum viable product (MVP) at regular intervals as the process moves from iteration to iteration.
Agile In Software Development And Beyond
The Scrum elements
The Scrum methodology comprises three main components and a set of rules.
The Scrum Team
Within the team, there are three primary roles. It is important to remark that there is no hierarchy in the Scrum methodology. But each of the team members will be accountable for a specific part of the project.
- The Product Owner: this person is primarily accountable for managing the completed increments of work.
- The ScrumMaster: this person does anything possible to help the team perform at the highest level.
- The Development Team: There are no titles in the Development Team. The main aim is to break down the product into items that can be incrementally implemented
Scrum Events (so-called Ceremonies)
- The Sprint: 2-4 weeks period in which a specific part of the work is completed
- Sprint Planning: those are meetings to assess which part of the product can be completed
- The Daily Stand-up: it is a short meeting of no more than 15 minutes to evaluate the progress of the project
- The Sprint Review: a demonstration to present the work completed during the sprint
- The Retrospective: final team meeting to assess what worked and what didn’t to improve the process
- Product Backlog: outlines every requirement for a system, project or product. It can be a to-do list consisting of work items
- Sprint Backlog: list of items to be completed during the sprint
- Increment: is the list of items completed after the last software release
The team will define those rules according to the organization’s values and expectations. Thus there isn’t a simple set of rules to follow.
Agile in Business Design
Design sprints are highly collaborative and experimental with a focus on the end-user. The approach is based on design thinking, which advocates a human-centered approach to innovation and rapid prototyping.
A typical design sprint follows this basic structure:
- Monday – on the first day, the challenge is clearly identified and a strategy is devised for the rest of the week to overcome it. Who is the end-user and what are their needs?
- Tuesday – the sprint team brainstorms potential solutions and sketches various solutions that may have merit.
- Wednesday – from the list of solutions created on Tuesday, the team selects those that have a realistic chance of solving the problem by the end of the week. Then, each sketched solution is turned into a storyboard.
- Thursday – storyboards are turned into working prototypes that are ready for testing.
- Friday – on the last day, prototypes are shown to key stakeholders and tested for viability.
Agile for Startups
Beyond Agile, and into Lean Methodologies
Tech Business Modeling