Why Agile Is Important In Software Development

In this article, we will discuss why Agile methodology is required in software development.

In today’s development world, every company always tries to provide the best-ever solutions to its clients. In this process, most companies opt for the agile software development process because by using this, they are able to develop and deliver the product that clients need at any time. Also, in this process, any type of changes or new requirements can be easily handled as a new feature of the product. So, in this article, we will discuss the Agile methodology and why this process is very important in the software development industry.
 

History of Agile

 
As a general concept, the Agile Software Development process was first introduced in 2001 when the Agile Manifesto was brought into life with some basic software development methods. But, in fact, before 2001, people already started working in an Agile fashion. In those days, software developers started working with both old and new ideas and started trying to mix these ideas to create a proper combination of methodology which would help them or their team to develop the product. People who create these types of methodologies, try to create a framework on the basis of these methodologies so that they can spread this idea among other teams or the company to help them in tough situations. This is when several frameworks like Scrum, Extreme Programming, Feature-Driven Development etc. came into the picture.
 
In 2001, 17 people held a meeting at a ski resort in Snowbird, Utah to discuss the similarities of different software development processes, and declared a common manifesto for Agile Software Development. Actually, Agile is a mindset according to the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto basically provides some basic values and principles which provide us guidance on how to create and respond to the changes, along with teaching us how to deal with uncertainty.

For 2001 until now, the Agile process has evolved and presented a model to adapt to changes in the world. In simple words, the Agile Software Development process is a group of methods and principles related to software development. In this development process, all the requirements and solutions for the software development are evolved through a collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams.
 

WHAT IS AGILE?

 
Agile is a methodology or mindset which consists of several iterative and incremental software development methodologies. Agile always has the ability to create and respond to change. The Agile methodology involves continuous planning, testing, integration and feedback from the stakeholders or clients throughout the life cycle of the software. The main objective of these models is to increase team involvement, and also make quick decisions as per the situations.
 
Agile methodology is mainly designed and developed to avoid common development issues during the software development life cycle and increase the overall efficiency of the development team. Agile always offers a lightweight framework which helps the development team in dealing with a constantly functional and technical landscape and also focuses on continuous delivery. With the help of this process, the company can reduce the overall risk associated with software development.
 
So, in a single sentence, the developments performed using Agile methodologies are normally developed and built iteratively and incrementally. In this methodology, a company can produce or deliver a quality product in less time and improve customer satisfaction at the end.
 

WHY CHOOSE AGILE?

 
In today's world, technologies are changing at a much faster pace than earlier, which requires the software development companies to work in a fast-paced changing environment. Since companies are developing solutions in an ever-changing environment, it is not always possible to gather all the requirement and clarifications at the time of starting the development. And obviously, without these requirement studies, it becomes very difficult to implement any conventional software model, like the Waterfall Model which totally depends on the complete specification of the requirements, designing and testing of the system.
 
These types of models will not be able to be geared towards rapid software development process. As a result, these conventional software development models fail to deliver the required product. Now, this is the situation where the Agile Model can rescue us from this type of situation since the Agile Model is actually specially designed to tackle these types of situation in this rapidly changing environment of software development and also support the incremental development for enhancement of the products.
 
The basic principles of the Agile Methodologies which are required to be understood to implement Agile in any company as a part of the Software Development Life Cycle are:
  1. Top priority is the satisfaction of the customer which can be obtained by early and continuous product delivery.
  2. This process always accepts any changes in the requirement, even at the end position of the development.
  3. It can deliver working product frequently, with the duration of a couple of weeks to a couple of months.
  4. In the process, working software is the only primary measurement of the progress.
  5. Using this process, anybody can achieve the most efficient and effective method of transferring information within the development team along with a face-to-face conversation. 


BENEFITS OF AGILE PROCESS

 
So, once the company decided to use the Agile Methodology, they must be aware of the benefits which can be obtained using Agile Methodology. Some of the key benefits are:
  • A better way of planning
  • Proper allocation of resources
  • Shorter development cycles
  • Easy control of the overall development process
  • Can involve the stakeholders in the development analysis process and testing phase
  • Always contains clear transparency.
  • Can be integrated into a systematic plan.
  • Can predict the feature delivery work.
  • Easy to predict cost and schedule the work accordingly.
  • Easy acceptance of any changes within the SDLC.
  • This process can help improve quality.
  • Help to collect the current development feedback so that work can be improved in the next increment period. 


EVERYTHING IS NOT GOOD

 
In Agile Software Development process, everything is not good as expected. There are some issues which can be treated as a disadvantage of the Agile methodology,
  • The Agile process is mainly focused on the code work or development work but there is no consideration related to the documentation work required related to the development work.
  • In the case of large software development, it is quite impossible to estimate the total costs of the entire project in the initial stage of the development.
  • Rapid decisions can be taken by the Senior and experienced developers. So, it is quite impossible for an inexperienced or less experienced developer to make the decisions. 


SUMMARY

 
So, Agile is a framework or methodology which helps us to plan or decide how the software development process needs to be carried out. Agile is not a single process or mechanism. It is basically containing a group of methods and best practices according to the Agile Manifesto. But, the Agile process never promises to solve all the problems which are present in the current software industry. This process actually establishes a culture and a mindset where the solution needs to merge. A survey by a reputed firm of over 600+ companies found that most of the companies or organizations are either already adopting the Agile Methodology or will adopt this process. Some of the company like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon etc. are using Agile methodology in their best way.