Agile Systems :Increased productivity, Faster turnaround and Shared learning:
The ability which allows the customer to revisit the phase of development can improve the efficiency of a project. The concept of revisiting phases is known as “incremental and iterative” development. This type of development in which the phases within the development are visited over and over again is called Agile development. This system of development improves the final product by utilising the feedback from customer. In Agile development , the process is divided into smaller parts called Increments and Iterations. During the development under an Agile system each of the phase continuous throughout the development life-cycle. The benefits Agile systems as increased productivity, faster turnaround, shared learning and higher developer satisfaction. Agile methods are based and work on teams, customer collaboration , working software and responding to change where as the traditional development methods have the ability to a quick delivery and are comparatively inexpensive. The principle of the Agile systems are bases on the following five elements:
Customer involvement: Customers are primarily involved thorough out the development process which helps the developers to understand the requirements and enables the customer to evaluate the iterates.
Incremental delivery: the product is developed in increments and the customer feedback is utilised in each incrementive.
People not process: During the development all the team members have an ongoing debate about the development of the product rather than following a prescriptive process.
Embrace changes: the requirement of the customer may change so the design system need to accommodate these changes.
Maintain Simplicity: a focus on simplicity on both i.e. development of software and the development process.
It is a very common phenomenon that the customer on the “upfront” could not decide the features required in the product. so the frequent development in Agile system allows the customer to make recommendations whilst the development is carried out. Agile systems also allows the customers to delay their decisions which can be delayed until future iterations when better technology is available to opt for the product.
As the customer feedback is acquired with the iterations, agile system development helps to deliver the product which suits customers requirements. After every iteration development is presented to customer for review. The phases involved in Agile practices are integrated so any re-work doesn’t make any addition to the cost . With the customer having the authority to review the work at each iteration , it also gives customer the ownership and high satisfaction rates hence the final product with all desired features. The iteration based development method is not a new concept and has co-exited as “Project phasing” with the traditional “ waterfall” methodology. Agile system is more simple and clear concept based on collaboration and flexibility. It is also known to be more efficient compared to the traditional system which involves lengthy documentation, processes and management. The cost of the change under the agile development is low as the customers are given the opportunity to change in the beginning of each iteration.
Agile methods emphasize face-to-face communication rather than documentation. Most agile teams are located in a single open office, sometimes called “launch pads”. The office should include authors, writers and support documentation, design iteration and project managers. Agile methods also emphasise working software that is the first step of progress. Combined with the preference for face to face communication, agile methods are often criticised and treated as “unruly” by the lack of technical documentation.
The goal of agile software development is to make the software development process more flexible and thinner than the traditional approach in the models is the case. One would like to focus more on the objectives to be achieved and consider technical and social problems in software development. Two methodologies of Agile system are widely used which are SCRUM and XP. Many companies have adopted one of the two methodologies in their systems. Multiple customers or stakeholders and distributed environment are handled by SCRUM while XP handles tailored needs. Both of the methodologies are best to be used with small development teams.
Agile system VS Traditional Systems
Some of the users or traditional system call Agile system as chaotic because it lacks the formal process of documentation and opens itself to more risk of changes later whereas traditional system attempts to minimise the risk of any future changes and going through a rigorous initial requirement gathering. Agile methods Some of the users also suggest that Agile enables companies to deliver the right product by giving customers the opportunity to try the software on various periods and provide feedback. The iterative approach also gives customer the opportunity to delay the decisions and helps in a positive way for e.g. in a software system there are many features which are specified for development by the user but are sometimes left unused after development as the priorities of business change rapidly. In Agile development focus on high business value features makes the system more efficient as the user gets frequent demonstration of the product. The direction of development can be changed after each iteration and the cost of change is nominal. This process in Agile helps the customer to re-examine the business factors and select features according to the business return on investment. The development team would obviously notify the customer for the technical risks but it is customer’s choice to decide what is required. As the outcome of each chink (iteration) is signed off by the customer there is no guess work conducted by the development team and the focus on customer needs is maintained. As within Agile projects developers work on generally more than one assignment at a time so they have to manage their time efficiently. The least usage of documented process in agile systems also makes the reporting system complex.