A Programmer’s Guide to Agile Implementation

Agile methodology is the most sought after software development model today. It promotes continuous iterations in development and testing. Agile is about going fast, releasing often, and working toward the real needs of the users.When it comes to businesses where the requirements are unpredictable, agile should be the go-to methodology. The core values of agile development are: 

  • individuals and interactions over processes and tools 
  • working software over comprehensive documentation 
  • customer collaboration over contract negotiation 
  • responding to change over following a plan 

The key to the agile plan is that it offers flexibility for changes to the product as it continues to develop.

In this article, I will show you how to implement agile and what the key points to remember are while opting for agile. 

How to Implement Agile? 

Before we see how to implement agile, let’s take a look at the most important agile development principles. 

Generally speaking, the aim of agile is to deliver a quick and valuable software that leads to satisfying customers. This methodology works for changing requirements even when those crop up late in the development process. This way, it harnesses change for a competitive advantage. 

At the same time, agile helps in delivering quality software in a short period of time, making it easier for teams to work together. Agile develops products while motivating individuals, as it provides the right environment and inspires trust. 

One-to-one conversation is required to communicate and collaborate within the development team. Efficient and effective communication is required to evaluate the progress of the software under development. 

Agile processes maintain a constant pace to promote sustainable development, focusing on technical excellence and good design with attention to details. As a result, agile becomes essential as it maximizes the amount of work completed by the group.

Finally, agile uses the best architectures, requirements, and design of self-motivated teams and helps in becoming more productive—which can be seen in the entire software development lifecycle. 

In order to implement agile, the first step is to define a clear business vision and need for implementing agile. It will help you understand the roadmap of complete project management. 

Defining a clear vision includes the following steps: 

  • Establishing the need for the project 
  • Allocating a name and category to the project
  • Listing key benefits of using the product and identifying the compelling reason for buying and using it
  • Recognizing a competitive alternative product 
  • Drafting the final statement of product delivery 

Agile implementation helps in delivering better products, which maps to the business goals for better ROI. 

Defining a business vision is the place where you get buy-in on your project, so as many key stakeholders as possible should be present, including relevant executives, managers, and directors, as well as all product owners.

The process of defining the vision should have a strategy of what happens before the project starts. It should also include meetings, and updates, and overall, the mission itself should be valid. 

Critical Points of Successful Implementations for Agile Framework 

You can apply agile to almost any project, but the application of such methods requires selecting the right product to ensure maximum benefit. 

It is always advisable to use and apply the following agile methodologies to a project where it becomes difficult to get good results and where it is a tedious job to maintain control of the project. 

Team Considerations 

Agile produces excellent software delivery where the team handles experimental projects with a high number of changes and multidisciplinary teams. However, the role of the team in agile projects is different from its role in conventional teams. 

Whereas the project manager plays a crucial role in classic project management, in agile they are the facilitator of the entire process. They work to ensure a seamless flow of information and define clear roles to implement methods correctly. 

At the same time, the team should keep a multidisciplinary approach and be self-organized and managed to face the various challenges in implementing agile in project development. 

Agile requires managing team tension. It takes a self-motivated, result-focused, self-managed, and skilled team, which works to improve productivity and increase effort and workload. 

Agile Limitations to Consider

The limitations of using agile should be taken into consideration. It would be a great help if you first defined the scope, deadline, cost, and quality factors of a project before thinking to use agile. The reason is that the entire software has many iterations that are required to fit into a time box to manage the effort and time limit of what is being done. 

Operating limitations in agile are essential in maintaining the entire development in a stipulated period. Agile methodologies work like a race where you need to develop quickly in a time-efficient manner where teams are deeply involved. 

Project Management Considerations

To analyze productivity in project management, it is important to use metrics like speed, flow, and response toward compliance to improve teamwork. Agile delivers quickly, but with this, it is essential to ensure it works fine and meets client requirements. 

As the focus is on enhancing delivery speeds, managing estimates, and having a self-managed team, it becomes essential to incorporate quality validations, measurements, and deliverables. 

Scrum methods begin a series of roles, meetings, and stages that should be preserved, experienced, and maintained for these methods to work per expectations. You will become more comfortable using such practices, as the method is scalable, meaning you can expand the size of the project. 

Imagine you are conducting interviews and reviews to understand what works and what doesn’t. It is essential to review the delivery to adapt the new method to your requirements and culture. 

The level of effort required to implement agile is of utmost importance. It no longer requires estimations for the whole project, as it works on various quick iterations. The focus is always on the task at hand or the next sprint. 

Agile offers flexibility in terms of project delivery timelines where each time-consuming module is converted into more manageable tasks. 

Sometimes, however, organizations find it difficult to adapt to the changing environment, as agile methodology demands change in the outlook of people as well. As a result, maximizing visibility is vital to ensure the successful implementation of agile methodology. 

Furthermore, remember that you should have a test management tool to support agile, which can help you with its implementation at your organization. Having a tool helps in sharing information, tracking, and measuring progress. An efficient and effective tool is important to maintain control over project progress, cost and revenue, and efforts. 

The right project management tools always help you in allowing the right tool to improve performance and to deliver high-value products. 

Agile: Efficient and Effective Software Development

Now you have a clear understanding of agile project management and powerful ways to use it for software development management. 

Implementation of agile methodology helps in efficient and effective software development. With the help of proper management along with it, you can keep agile implementation on track. 

Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Nick Karlsson, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: A Programmer’s Guide to Agile Implementation

Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.

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