What is agile development and management methodologies in agile apporach?

Many companies crave agility, but few of them know the true meaning of the term. In this article, we will define agile development, take a look at the agile approach in project management and last but not least, we will explain what Scrum and the Kanban method are.

Constant changes related to changing customer demands and needs as well as market conditions themselves require rapid adaptation to current conditions. In order for a company to keep up with the software development process and satisfy the consumers of its products, it is essential to apply agile methodologies in the agile software development management process. This is because improving agility results in improved product quality, improved customer relationships and company progress.

What is agility and agile development?

The term agility is used to name the ability to respond flexibly to change in an uncertain, dynamic environment in order to cope with and successfully adapt to them in the shortest possible time. It is therefore about flexible adaptation to problems with an emphasis on the quality and efficiency of the final product.

Agile software development includes set of frameworks and practices based on the core values and principles expressed in Manifesto for Agile Software Development . This document, created by developers in 2001, defines four core values and twelve principles. According to its authors, these should be used mainly by developers to avoid complicated and lengthy software development processes.

The Manifesto distinguishes four core values of agile software developmentnamely:

  • Individuals and interactions take precedence over processes and tools,
  • working software before complex documentation,
  • working with customers is more important than negotiating a contract,
  • responding flexibly to change before blindly following a plan.

The values of the Manifesto are to support the software development process with a focus on quality, specifically by creating products that meet both the needs and expectations of consumers.

IT software testers discussing at the agile software development board
The agile approach in software development brings a number of benefits.

The Twelve Principles of the Manifesto includes advice for optimizing and improving the work performance of individuals, teams and the project management process in software development in practice. Their goal is create and support a customer-oriented working environmentthat is aligned with business objectives, but is also responsive to user needs and market conditions.

Agility in project management

Agile project management can be understood as an iterative approach to managing software development projectsthat focuses on continuous production and incorporating customer feedback at each iteration, respectively at each repetition of the process. In this approach, projects are divided into smaller phases that are iterated over time. Agile approach to project management and software development thus helps employees deliver products faster and more efficiently to customers and supports their adaptability to change.

Software teams that use agile project management methodologies work in smaller groups, with requirements, plans and results evaluated on an ongoing basis to promote a rapid response mechanism to change. Teams are accelerating the development process, expanding collaborations and improving their ability to respond to the changes and market trends that today’s customers and businesses demand.

The moment a company decides to adopt agile approaches, it is essential that they also choose relevant agile methodologies. Primary agile processes are Scrum and Kanban method, which we will look at below. In addition, we are also familiar with Crystal, Lean and Extreme Programming (XP) methodologies, all of which contain elements that draw to some extent on agile philosophies.

Scrum helps teams work together

In the context of agile project management, we must not forget about the agile Scrum process. What is Scrum? Presents a framework for managing and controlling iterative projects in which the product owner collaborates with teams to create a list of tasks, otherwise called product backlog,to be performed.

In Scrum, the product is created in a series of fixed-length iterations, also called sprintsallowing agile teams to ship software with a regular cadence. Sprints can be defined as a short, time-limited period during which a team works to complete a set amount of work under the direction of the product owner. They usually last one to two weeks, during which time teams focus on completing the most important tasks from the backlog.

A team of IT testers discuss software issues at a meeting
One of the primary agile processes is Scrum.

Tasks are usually written by product owner and he is also responsible for them. They serve for description of the desired property, resp. functional requirements, in narrative form. They do not have a standardized format, but traditionally they include:

  • Title,
  • descriptive text,
  • links to external documents, such as screenshots,
  • information on how to test the implementation.

Scrum encourages development teams to to learn from their experiences, to proactively organize themselves when solving problems, and to continuously improve through self-reflection to move forward.

In addition to the product owner and development team, the Scrum team includes Scrum Masterwho helps the team to follow the Scrum principles. He/she is responsible for the smooth running of the process, the elimination of bottlenecks that negatively impact productivity, and for organizing and facilitating critical meetings.

Kanban method allows visualization of work

When it comes to agile methodologies, many organisations start with Kanban method. The reason for this could be its relatively simple principle and implementation in practice. Kanban personifies a popular framework used to implement agile software development and DevOps development. It requires real-time communication about capacity and full transparency of work.

Kanban is a popular workflow management method that helps to define, manage and improve the process of task execution. This method allows you to visualize the work, maximize efficiency and improve the functioning of the process, where the team selects tasks from the input section and works on them until they are solved. Work items are also displayed on the Kanban board, allowing team members to see the status of each task at any time. A Kanban board is a physical or digital project management tool designed to help visualize work, reduce work in progress and maximize work efficiency.

This method is also used in practice, for example, by software company Atlassian in their Jira software. The Kanban section in Jira is designed to help teams increase efficiency and continuously improve cycle time. Promote transparency, optimise workflow in work teams, be transparent and support progress. At msg life, we use Jira Software as well as many other companies that want to maximize the efficiency of their teams.

High adaptability is now essential

Whether large companies or small enterprises, the implementation of agile approaches in software development as well as in project management brings with it many benefits that customers not only appreciate, but nowadays also demand. As a result of continuous innovation, there is the increasingly rapid occurrence of changes to which we need to react flexibly and promptly.

The ability to respond flexibly and effectively to a dynamic environment is crucial for companies, especially if they do not want their customers to switch to competitors due to low adaptability to current conditions, their needs and requirements. We therefore recommend the gradual implementation of agile approaches and methodologies in practice. They increase work efficiency, adaptability to change and ultimately customer satisfaction with the products, which will allow the company to move forward.

We at msg life Slovakia also use and appreciate agile software development and agility in project management. As a leading IT company, we live by innovationwhich requires high adaptability and the ability to respond flexibly to changes in market conditions as well as to the requirements and needs of our clients. If you are interested in working in a team where we value efficient and quality work above all else, join us today. Overview of the latest job offers for IT jobs can be found on our website.

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