What is Agile Development?

What is Agile development?

Agile development is an operational approach – a set of frameworks and practices that describe how developers work together in a self-organizing and collaborative fashion. Kanban and Scrum are two of the most well known Agile methodologies.

In the 1990s, Agile revolutionized product development by helping teams deliver code more quickly and with less waste through greater clarity, shorter cycles and by enabling iterative and continuous delivery.

Teams that practice Agile methods overcome outdated hierarchies in order to continuously respond to change, navigate through uncertain code changes, and uncover what’s actually happening in a specific environment. This helps teams figure out what they need to do on a day-to-day basis so that they can deliver high-quality software–and fast!

Other Agile benefits include:

  • Faster time-to-market
  • Improved customer satisfaction & customer retention
  • Higher levels of satisfaction among development teams
  • More innovation

Agile is all about incremental development. Each new version or iteration builds off of the last version. This means that each new iteration is immediately usable. Teams repeat software development activities and continuously revisit previous work products to ensure that their work is up-to-date with the latest technologies. Agile’s focus on continuous development helps teams to deliver value faster.

Some practices that fall under the Agile development umbrella include:

  • Pair Programming
  • Extreme Programming
  • Feature-Driven Development (FDD)
  • Test-Driven Development
  • Stand-Ups
  • Planning Sessions

What is Scrum?

Scrum, which is perhaps the most common subset of Agile, is a lightweight process framework for developers. This means that teams must follow a consistent set of processes while keeping overhead as small as possible in order to maximize the amount of time actually spent building the product.

The Scrum framework can help:

  • Boost quality of deliverables
  • Give teams more control over project timelines
  • Reduce overhead
  • Frequently evaluate opportunities to re-prioritize work
  • Ensure maximum delivery of value
  • Help teams cope with sudden changes
  • Drive customer satisfaction

How can Agile go beyond software

Agile development methods have become important for project management, business teams, and other stakeholders–not just engineering. They encourage teamwork, accountability, and alignment with customer needs and company goals.

How organizations adapt to Agile methods depends on commercial needs, company size, and the current organizational structure. Many organizations must shift management style from strict hierarchies to flatter organizational principles in order to make Agile as effective as possible.

By involving multiple teams in the software development process, organizations can avoid hitting snags when they start to scale, especially when different types of stakeholders start using the software for different purposes.

What is the Agile Manifesto?

The Agile Manifesto, originally published in February 2001, built off of methodologies such as exTreme programming, Scrum, Crystal, and the Dynamic System Development Method. The original manifesto covered topics such as design-driven development, pragmatic programming, and best refactoring practices.

The manifesto declared that Agile was a valued-based practice, not a rule-based one. Agile development was about adaptability and looking at things through a different perspective, according to the methodology.

20 years after the Agile Manifesto appeared, Tech Beacon published an article highlighting concepts that were the most relevant in 2021. 

Here are some of the concepts that have remained relevant today.

What is Continuous Product Design?

How does Continuous Product Design relate to agile development?

Agile sought to improve collaboration and efficiency of the development and delivery process, and Continuous Product Design aims to extend that across the entire product development life cycle and across the entire organization.

While Agile still requires teams to guess at which items in the backlog will have the greatest impact on customers, Continuous Product Design quantifies each bug, clumsy design, and technical error so that you know how each friction point is impacting your bottom line and conversion rates.

Agile user stories are often defined by a limited group of engineers, whereas Continuous Product Design involves customers early on so that teams know exactly who their users are and what they need. Continuous Product Design enables teams to observe in detail what customers are trying to achieve while using digital products. One shortfall of Agile is that backlog prioritization requires a decent amount of guesswork. CPD augments Agile by allowing teams to prioritize with confidence, because issues and opportunities are quantified at the outset

Quantum Metric, the leading platform for Continuous Product Design, connects real-time customer impact on every phase of the product life cycle so that companies across sectors such as retail and financial services learn faster, agree on priorities, and build products that customers both want and need.

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