Agile Methodology is a different way of managing IT development projects and teams. The use of the term â€œagileâ€ was derived from agile manifesto that has four important values that are relevant today in the IT field when it comes to managing projects and its potential difficulties. The four values are:
a. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
b. Working software over comprehensive documentation
c. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
d. Responding to change over following a plan
There are also 10 principles that are common in all agile methodologies which made it more effective than other methodologies. These principles are:
1. Active user involvement is imperative
2. The team must be empowered to make decisions
3. Requirements evolve but the timescale is fixed
4. Capture requirements at a high level; lightweight & visual
5. Develop small, incremental releases and iterate
6. Focus on frequent delivery of products
7. Complete each feature before moving on to the next
8. Apply the 80/20 rule
9. Testing is integrated throughout the project lifecycle â€“ test early and often
10. A collaborative & cooperative approach between all stakeholders is essential
There are existing methodologies that follow the agile concept. The most popular of them are the following:
DSDM- this is probably the original agile development method. It was being used even before agile methodology itself got invented. DSDM is more popular in the UK than other countries.
Scrum- is also an agile development method, which concentrates particularly on how to manage tasks within an environment that has team-based developments. Scrum is the most popular and widely adopted agile method for its simplicity in implementing and it addresses most management issues.
XP (Extreme Programming) â€“ is a method that focuses more on the software engineering process and addressing the analysis, development and test phases with novel approaches that make a significant development to the quality of the result.
DSDM is the most complete agile methodology while Scrum and XP are easier to implement because they cover different aspects of software development projects. Over the last 10 years, companies have dramatically improved the success and performance of their IT development teams and projects thus making them adopt the agile methodology across various industries like media and technology as well as the government.