Agile is a software development and project management approach based on iterations and fast product delivery to clients. In the other words, the team works iteratively giving ongoing results and value, which are being assessed continuously. This process resembles an accurate mechanism, where pieces work together to carry out one common goal but, also, flexibly respond to the changes.
As Agile is applicable to and created for software development, this approach is immensely adapted to project management in IT. However, not only the IT sector can make the value of being agile. Also, there are marketers, universities, the military, and even the automotive industry that adhere to agile methodology and deliver innovative products in uncertain environments. So, many organizations can benefit from agile.
The Agile Manifesto gives 4 ground values and 12 guiding principles of the agile methodology.
The 4 ground values of Agile are the following:
Humans should be more important than technology and tools and the human factor can be flexible and adapt to almost any circumstances to benefit the process of production.
Documentation is a priority in business, but in the production phase all the developers need is a goal and a working environment to deploy the product.
Involving customers throughout the product development process ensures the end product is deployed exactly according to the customers’ needs. Thus, collaborating with customers from the very start is essential.
Agile is flexible to such an extent that remains in continuous change throughout any project. Developers work in iterations and each iteration gives an opportunity to make reviews and corrections of the final product.
12 Principles of Agile guide and impact decision-making in software development every day. These are :
A user story is a work request with an extent of information the team can use to produce an estimate of the efforts required to fulfill this request. This information is rather a short description from the user’s point of view and focuses on client goals.
Sprint is a short iteration, which lasts from one to three weeks. During the iteration, teams work on tasks discussed in the sprint planning meeting. The idea is to repeat these sprints continuously as the team moves forward and this way complete all the product features. At the end of every sprint, the product has to be reviewed to see what is working or vice versa, make adjustments and shift to another sprint to improve the product under development.
Daily stand-up meetings occupy approximately 10 minutes and allow project managers to make sure everyone is well-informed and on the same page. This daily interaction is called a “stand up” because the team has to stand to keep the meeting short and to the point.
An Agile board helps a team track the project’s progress. This can be a project management software like Jira or a simple whiteboard.
Every user story sooner or later goes to the backlog. During sprint planning, user stories, which remain in the backlog, are moved into the sprint to be completed during the iteration. The backlog should be managed continuously.