Nowadays, the trend of agile business practices is getting broader and more common, changing the way team of software engineers works on projects. Agile software development results from the need to respond to the volatile and competitive environment in the IT industry. This post lists our 10 best agile practices in software engineering, which will help you build high-quality products quickly.
What is meant by Agile Practices in Software Engineering?
The word ‘agile’ means being able to move quickly and be versatile. In software development, agility refers to the flexibility and speed of a system or a process. This approach is based on iterative development. The concept of agile development believes that solutions for problems are driven by cross-functional teams working in a self-organizing environment.
Most organizations have learned today to use agile frameworks n their business model. It has become a successful business strategy, and every business should try to adopt it. Before agile, the waterfall methodology was a golden strategy used by software developers.
Related: How To Plan Software Project – Complete Guidelines in 2022
Agile Project Management (APM)
Let’s get into the details of what is agile project management. APM approach is based on delivering projects through incremental and iterative steps throughout their lifecycle. It is focused on providing benefits to the project throughout its lifecycle rather than at the end of the completion of a project. The core value of APM is increasing flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration among agile teams.
Top 6 Types of Agile Methodology
Agile methodologies are based on the argument that a project should seek client satisfaction by providing continuous improvement. Enhancing communication between the client and the team members achieves this continuous improvement. Agile methodology has different types and subtypes from which developers can choose the best for their business project. Here is a list and complete detail of these types.
- Lean Management
- Feature Driven Development
- Extreme Programming (XP)
One of the most famous and commonly used agile methodologies is Scrum. Scrum is developed by dividing the project into many sprints. A particular product goal is set in each sprint the scrum team must complete. The scrum team and Product Owner carefully plan sprints.
The time to complete a sprint, tasks performed in each sprint, and sprint goal is decided in sprint meetings. Every day a short meeting is conducted called a ‘daily sprint’ in which updates on the project are discussed.
To read more about Scrum, visit Scrum Development Strategy.
Kanban is a Japanese word that translates to “Just in time”. The Kanban or just-in-time production method is a commonly used approach in the software and business world. It is a conventional project management system that uses a board and cards. The board is divided into sections showing every step in the software production. As one process is updated, it is moved under the category of its stage of completion.
Today there are software tools like Trello and Asana available in the market that provide the experience of the Kanban technique. You can easily create a Kanban template on this software and manage your routine tasks conveniently.
3- Lean Management
Lean management or lean development is a type of agile methodology created by Toyota but is now applied to software product development. Lean manufacturing follows specific values, principles, and agile development practices that standardize the development of a product and provide the best quality.
Several principles are included in lean management, which focuses on reducing waste in a process, delivering continuous improvement, increasing quality, and reducing the throughput time of a project cycle.
4- Feature Driven Development
FDD or Feature Driven Development is a customer-centric approach of agile methodology which works through iterative and incremental development for tangible software. In FDD, teams update the project regularly; clients are made aware of the updates and information on the project anytime.
FDD is similar to scrum but is focused on feature development, whereas scrum is more focused on the value-driven delivery of the product. FDD also primarily focuses on documentation more than other agile methods. FDD works in five basic steps:
- Developing a Model
- Writing a Feature List
- Planning the Features
- Design Features
- Build Features
5- Extreme Programming (XP)
Extreme Programming (XP) is an intelligent software development approach that focuses on building high-quality software and a high-quality work environment for the development team. XP is more critical of the engineering practices in developing software.
The five values of XP are mentioned below:
The DSDM is a leading and solvent agile approach focusing on the project framework. DSDM stands for “Dynamic Systems Development Method”. DSDM is widely popular for using MoSCoW( Must-have, Should-have, Could-have, Won’t-have) Rules in prioritizing tasks.
There are 8 principles of DSDM:
- Focus on project needs.
- Deliver just in time.
- Collaborative working.
- Best Quality Assurance.
- Use the incremental method for building.
- Use iterative development.
- Continuous communication.
- Have control.
Read more about MoSCoW rules: MoSCoW Method: How to Maximize Prioritization in Development.
Agile Principles & Key Values
There are four central values of the agile manifesto and 12 principles. In any agile methodology, these four values guide software development. Read the four principles of agile development below;
- The first value is “individuals and interactions over processes and tools”. It means that a workforce and communication between them are more important than processes and tools to drive business development.
- The second value is “working software over comprehensive documentation”. It implies reducing the time on documentation and spending more on the delivery and development of software.
- The third significant value is “customer collaboration over contract negotiation”. Incorporating customers’ feedback on the product and their active participation in the development process is more important than software contract negotiation. A customer should be actively involved in writing a Software Requirements Specification (SRS).
- The fourth and last value is “Responding to change over following a plan”. Traditionally, it was believed that making changes in the software is an expense and waste of time. Still, current agile methodologies believe that adaptation and customization in the software are necessary and improve the quality of the end product.
Now let’s learn the 12 important agile principles in detail.
- Early Delivery of Quality Software
- Adapting Change
- Continuous Delivery
- Cooperation in Teamwork
- Optimal Communication
- Maximizing Productivity Through Working Software
- Stable and Sustainable Development
- Continuous Quality Assurance
- Simple Processes
- Self Organized Teams
- Regular Intervals
1- Early Delivery of Quality Software
The first principle of agility is prioritizing early and continuous delivery to obtain customer satisfaction. It states, “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”
Time is money; if appropriately utilized, the company can save resources and gain a loyal customer base. For many reasons, agile principles put continuous delivery on top of other principles as it is indirectly related to increased ROI.
This process also helps you in further stages of agile development. Especially in scrum methodology, adaptation becomes easier if the timing of each step is excellently planned and each process is completed likewise. The idea is to get the working product in the hands of the customer as early as possible and release a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in the world to get detailed feedback from customers.
Read here about ENOU’s MVP development services.
2- Adapting Change
“Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.”
Adaptation is a top priority in agility. Before the agile framework was introduced, software processes were not adaptable to change. Software projects were not flexible to incorporate customer requests or feedback during the stages of the SDLC. But agile methods make software development flexible to change or fulfill customer requests.
Agile teams aim to resolve any errors in the project regardless of the cost, but adaptation makes it easier to save resources while making changes to the software. And as customer satisfaction is a top priority, teams do not hesitate to make changes to the software.
3- Continuous Delivery
“Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.”
Frequent or continuous delivery is the third important principle of agility. This approach helps to remove bottlenecks or inventory mismanagement in regular businesses. It saves the company from a pile-up of unfinished work and gains ultimate customer satisfaction. Careful planning and estimations of the project can achieve it.
4- Cooperation in Teamwork
“Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.”
Software development teams are primarily cross-functional, so it is essential to increase cooperation and quality of communication among them. It creates a synchronization between team members, leading to value in the product. And as you need extensive planning for a project, a healthy work environment ensures that decisions are made after everyone’s input and consultation.
Must Read: Software Development Team Structure and Its Importance
“Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.”
Agile frameworks have also increased the concept of motivation among team members. This concept revolves around reducing mismanagement in the company by empowering employees and making them interested in work. This approach involves decentralization of power among organizations and giving employees the freedom to collaborate on every inch of the project.
“Employees who beleive that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee- are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfed customers, which leads to profitability”.ANNE M. MULCAHY
6- Optimal Communication
Agile principles believe that “The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.”
Agile methodology believes that the most effective way of communication is face-to-face interaction. Communication in person reduces the time of conversations. But you must be thinking thin modern times or in situations like pandemics; this is a limitation.
Well, it is no longer a hindrance because now we have intelligent and easy software tools & apps that help us in communication and collaboration across the workforce. There are no problems in team synchronization or process management, even with remote teams, because cloud ERPs and business communication channels enable all of that.
Also, Learn about Cloud ERP Software.
7- Maximizing Productivity Through Working Software
“Working software is the primary measure of progress.”
The seventh agile principle states that “working software is the primary measure ss”. What it means is that documentation of the software are secondary aspect, and most of the product’s lifecycle should be spent on the development of the software. This point of view helps to get the products pushed early into the market, and developers keep improving it until they get it perfect.
8- Stable and Sustainable Development
“Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.”
Agile processes are designed to promote stable and sustainable development. This can be achieved by setting realistic expectations for the product. If stakeholders set unclear or high expectations with the product, it becomes a burdened task for the development team to fulfill their demands.
So there is a need to maintain a balance between demand and expectations for the software product. In scrum methodology, this practice is easy because every goal for a sprint is already finalized in print planning meetings. Every team member plays their part in the cross-functional team to provide the best product quality.
9- Continuous Quality Assurance
The outline of this principle is “Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”
Technical excellence and sound design are demands in the software. Agile principles promote continuous quality insurance to achieve the best quality. It is made possible by ensuring quality after each iteration rather than at the end of the software cycle. If teams pay less attention to QA to save time, it would rather backfire with faults in the product. So always ensure you keep quality measurements as a continuous practice in the product’s cycle.
Learn more about What Is Quality Assurance(QA)? Process, Methods, And Examples
10- Simple Processes
This principle states, “Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential.”
Agile principles state that simplicity in the software lifecycle makes you achieve better results with less work. If you’ve heard of the 80/20 rule, which implies that 80% of the desired results can be produced by just 20% of the work done. Agile principles also believe in these rules, which interpret that if you are focused on the project goals, you don’t have to spend a considerable amount of time working, but you can think smartly and simplify a complex task.
11- Self Organized Teams
This agile principle states, “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.”
Traditionally, organizations use hierarchy and centralization in project teams. Agile principles break this model of team selection and encourage teams to give a sense of self-organization. Like the interaction over processes and tools principle, this rule also allows team members to collaborate and share their opinion on the project. This way, responsibility is divided among every member who strives to achieve project goals.
12- Regular Intervals
“At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.”
The last principle of agile models focuses on adaptation and review of the product. Traditionally, teams are hesitant to make changes to the project or altering from the given instructions. But agile teams are not prone to change. These teams can reflect on each project stage and tweak it to provide the best outcome. At last, customer satisfaction is more important than following a fixed pattern.
Why Organizations Should Implement Agile Software Development?
The big question is, ” Why should companies evolve and use agile software development these days?” Apart from the countless benefits of this practice which will be discussed later in the blog, there is a straightforward reason for using agile practices in software development. And that reason is a competitive advantage.
Research has proved that companies are shifting to agile frameworks to gain a competitive advantage in the market. This practice makes your business faster and more flexible than your competitors. It also helps you increase customer satisfaction and loyalty which help the business to survive in the longer run. Especially for the software businesses which demand the latest technology and latest features for the customers, agile is a modern-day framework that helps your business stay ahead of the curve, especially for software businesses that demand the latest technology and features for their customers.
Examples of Businesses Using Agile Techniques
You will be shocked to see how many large companies have already adopted this method in their business operations, keeping them stable in the market. And this is your sign to start using agile frameworks right now. Here is the list of the top 10 tech businesses using agile frameworks.
- PlayStation Network
- Royal Philips
- LEGO Digital Solutions
For the record, ENOU provides the fastest, most reliable, and most flexible customer services in MVP development, UI/UX, and virtual CTO services. We make this possible by implementing agile techniques in our operations.
Click here to learn more About us.
5 Key Benefits of Agile Practices
As we have discussed many benefits of agile methodologies in its principles, you are now aware of why agility is essential in software development. Now let’s learn more about the benefits of adopting best agile practices in your business.
- Increased Project Predictability
- Relevant Metrics
- Controlled Management
- Superior Quality
- Decreased RIsks
1- Increased Project Predictability
One main benefit of using agile practices in software development is the advantage of increased project predictability and visibility. Contrasted with conventional management techniques, the agile approach makes the software development process apparent to all stakeholders the whole time, not just toward the project’s start and end. The client’s involvement in each step of the task creates a severe level of cooperation between the client and the developers’ group, giving more doors to the group to comprehend the client’s vision.
2- Relevant Metrics
Since each Sprint is adequately planned, the expense is unsurprising and restricted to how much work can be performed by the development team in a fixed time. Also, the estimations provided to the client preceding each Sprint, aware the client of all the metrics related to the project beforehand. This further develops dynamics about the resources and the requirement for iterations.
3- Controlled Management
An Agile framework is profoundly founded on input and coordinated effort, which applies to designer engineer correspondence. This setting empowers the group to find and fix messes with faster processes and upgrade the code easily through the SDLC. It leads to the software’s general quality continuously.
4- Superior Quality
Another advantage of agile practices in dividing tasks into smaller units is improved item quality. In Agile, testing is a fundamental piece of the cycle after each run which is essential for achieving superior quality over competitors.
5- Decreased Risks
Developers routinely evaluate project progress in agile, meaning they have better perceivability into the development process and can recognize potential risks early. These minor issues can be handled before they seriously threaten the software.
Agile frameworks provide a risk-decreasing structure. Normal group gatherings with the client and the Agile Project Manager increase guarantee that everybody is in total agreement about where the undertaking is going and can examine any progressions in the iterations. It makes the project less prone to unexpected risks.
10 Best Agile Practices of Agile Teams to Learn in 2023
Looking to be an Agile Software Developer? You are not alone. Agile software development is a hot topic in the IT industry, and it’s no wonder why. Agile makes projects easier to manage, delivers faster results, and maintains quality. But to keep pace with the world, you must know the current best agile practices in the market.
Here is our list of 10 best agile practices that every software developer must know.
- Professional Software Tools
- Iterative Development
- Burndown Charts for Sprints
- Product Backlog
- Limited WIP
- Reduce Waste
- Simple Software Design
- Collaborative Planning
1- Professional Software Tools
As your business develops, you have to choose the product frameworks. Agile frameworks can provide outcomes with higher accuracy if you use professional business management tools. There are many apps available that help you facilitate your agile project management. This software helps you with scrum, Kanban, and XP techniques. So if you are implementing agile development in your software project, then you need to have a tool that helps you implement it properly.
2- Iterative Development
The whole agile methodology is based on iterative development. Techniques like Scrum cannot function without iterative development. In iterative development, extensive tasks are separated into more modest iterations, and continuous testing is done repeatedly. It helps agile developer groups get a viewpoint on new elements that should be added to the result or administration and contribute towards more adaptable software improvement.
3- Burndown Charts for Sprints
An everyday burndown chart of sprints is an incredible approach to checking the advancement of Sprints. Burndown outlines graphically show the work that has been finished and the remaining work with a time comparison. It’s a helpful instrument to illuminate the group about project extension and make them mindful of tasks getting out of control that could happen. These outlines additionally help in distinguishing the dangers related to undelivered work.
4- Product Backlog Prioritization
Project managers must prioritize tasks in product backlogs. There are different methods that agile teams prefer in prioritizing tasks. But the most common is the MoSCoW method. As we already discussed, this strategy empowers Agile groups to operate and handle tasks as per their need.
There are other methods as well that help you prioritize tasks in your backlogs. Documenting each step in an SDLC is very beneficial and helps teams never lose track of the project.
5- Limited WIP
As agile principles are mindful of utilizing time, most software development cannot be a work in progress(WIP). For continuous delivery of the software, your team must utilize idle time so that lesser tasks are in the WIP stage and make your software agile. Limiting incomplete work eliminates a requirement for re-focusing on tasks, and bottlenecks are distinguished all the more successfully.
Another good practice is feedback from the team rather than just taking feedback from the Product Owner or the customer. Nonstop criticism from colleagues is essential to comprehend how the group obliges the interaction. The criticisms likewise help in distinguishing any obstacles that may be happening in the iterations and thinking about what needs improvement.
7- Reduce Waste
In software development, lessening waste tends to the end of any meetings, activities, or documentation that are of no worth to the product’s progress. This disposal provides unmistakable guidance to the team and contributes toward genuine value addition.
Kaizen is a Japanese word meaning ‘change or improvement’. Kaizen terminology is famous for working on business tasks with all capabilities and including all representatives from the CEO to the software development team. Kaizen likewise applies to processes, for example, buying and coordinated operations, SDLC, and product testing. As agile principles demand continuous improvement, Kaizen is the best practice to achieve it.
9- Simple Software Design
A simple programming design demands less investment to compose and requires the most minor work to fix issues. This training likewise helps reduce the general expenses of fostering an item and clears the way for colleagues to continuously track down a simpler method for finishing things.
It also makes it easier to incorporate customer feedback at any stage of the software cycle. The cross-functional team is aware of each step of the software cycle, making it less prone to external or internal damage.
10- Collaborative Planning
Planning is the most important stage in agile software development because it decides the whole blueprint of a project. The client is fulfilled when necessities are satisfied, assumptions are met, and needs and needs are delighted. For this reason, collaborative planning is a practice that should be frequently used to end the gap between the client’s and the team’s vision.
If both the client and development team are on the same page and clear on the software idea, the quality and innovation of the product increase. Together, they devise a superior method for causing the software to do what clients believe it should do.
Agile development is a methodology of software development that stresses collaboration, self-organization, and the delivery of a quality product at the end of the development process. Today it has become essential to implement agile frameworks in any of your businesses. Many large companies started as startups but achieved agility, leading to tremendous growth.
Many software tools are available these days, helping companies maintain agility in their business processes. Continuous development and just-in-time production are crucial in growing your software business. It can all be achieved by following the best agile practices. We recommend you use all these agile practices in your software business to achieve its goals.
What Is Waterfall Methodology?
The waterfall methodology revolves around breaking routine exercises into linear sequences. Each stage relies upon the expectations of the past one and correlates to a specialization of errands. The methodology is regular for specific areas of designing plans. It was the first process model used by software developers.
Why Are Agile Principles Important?
The 12 agile principles were developed 2 decades ago but are still helping software developers. As these principles are based upon human values to improve the quality of work in a work environment, they are still important in organizations. These principles facilitate better, smoother, and more efficient operations in a team.
Agile vs Scrum: Which Is Better?
Scrum is a part of agile methodologies, but it depends on which one you should use for your project in the hour of need. You must determine whether you should scrum the most famous agile methodology or any other for your project. Scrum is better suited for projects with unclear requirements that demand continuous change.