Dec 23

What is AGILE?


What is Agile? The Agile methodology includes a set of practices that has the purpose of helping certain teams to deliver value to their customers as efficiently and effectively as possible. An agile team works in small but sharp increments. Requirements and plans are checked upon regularly to allow time for necessary changes to be done quickly. There are 6 steps included in Agile and they are Requirements, Design, Development, Testing, Deployment, and Review.

In saying that, there is also a variety of different practices used in Agile, however, let’s have a look at the best and most popular ones.

Starting off with collaborating with the customer which is the number 1 priority in an Agile approach. The main thing you want to achieve after completing a project is satisfying the customer. Whatever the customer’s needs are, you need to make sure to fulfill them, and as a developer, you will need to come up with a way to discover what these needs or requirements are. In a normal development approach, teams usually meet up with customers at the start of a project to record these requirements down and at the end of the project to showcase the final product, however, in an Agile approach, teams stay in constant interaction with the customer. The constant interaction ensures everything is running smoothly and running on track to successfully get to the end of the tunnel, by clarifying expectations, communicating any possible changes, etc.

The quality of how all members of your team work together is also very important in Agile. The best way to keep teamwork to its highest quality is Communication, Coordination, Balance of team member contributions, Mutual support, Effort, and Cohesion. If you follow these components, you are guaranteed project success. Agile teams think in a way that they can work more effectively if they depend on each other, rather than only depending on software development tools.

Motivation is needed in every organisation which is also why it is a practice used in Agile. As research proves that motivated employees work 10% better than unmotivated employees. These motivated team members that love and are happy with their job, are strongly focused on the team’s goal and ensure all other team members are also motivated to get the best outcome possible. With a motivated team, you will also see work being done at a fast-paced speed.

In an Agile approach, you will always need to have effective communication. No matter the situation,  the best way, and most effective way of communication will always be always face-to-face. For example, let’s say the team leader sends out a text message or an email, god knows when team members will reply or even see the message. Who is at fault here? The leader for not organising a face-to-face meeting? Or the team members for not checking their emails? The way to achieve and maintain effective communication is to organise daily meetings or standups as we call them. In these short but concise meetings, team members are able to discuss what has been done and what needs to be done, or if there are any problems that are causing delays.

Finally, Tasks Prioritisation is also an important practice as Backlog management is used in Agile. Backlog management is the job of the Product Owner as they list down tasks in the backlog and assign priorities to them. The Product Owner sets these priorities based on feedback from stakeholders. These priorities can also be changed depending on project circumstances. The tasks with higher priority mean they will be assigned first to the team members involved in the iteration or sprint. Adding to that, with team members knowing the priorities of tasks, they will also have an idea of what is coming next.

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