Agile Software Development Methodology & Principles

Our Top 3 Project Management Software Recommendations

 

Agile software development continues to be a buzzword in the software industry. But what exactly is it? Agile development methodology is a different way of managing software development projects. This approach follows Agile principles that differ from the more traditional Waterfall approach to software development. They are as follows:

  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 – test early and often
  10. A collaborative & cooperative approach between all stakeholders is essential

There are several methodologies and standards that address the various aspects of software development. For instance, there is PRINCE2 for project management, Use Cases/UML for analysis and design, or ISEB for testing. Although Waterfall development projects apply these methods and standards, Agile software development can also apply elements of these same methods.

3 Agile Project Management Software We Recommend

We have listed the top 3 agile project management software you can find on the market right now. As Agile software development is one of the most popular and in-demand methodologies these days, this list will be very helpful to learn, decide, and manage projects using the Agile software development methodology.

 Agile Development Methodology

  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is probably the original method that reflects Agile development principles. DSDM was around before the term Agile development was invented, but it’s based on all the Agile principles we have come to know as Agile software development.
  • Scrum is also an Agile development method, which concentrates particularly on how to manage tasks within a team-based development environment.
  • eXtreme Programming (XP) is a more radical Agile methodology that focuses on the software development process. It addresses the analysis, development, and test phases with novel approaches aimed at making a substantial difference to the quality of the end product.
  • DSDM is almost synonymous to Agile methodology, whereas Scrum and XP are easier to implement and complementary because they tackle different aspects of development projects. Both Scrum and XP conform to the same principles of Agile development.

In reality, there is no magic bullet for software development. The real trick is to know multiple techniques from various Waterfall and Agile development methods and to select a mixture of the best approaches that are most appropriate for any given situation. To do this reliably with any degree of success requires solid experience and skill.

In Agile software development, project management takes a slightly different form. It relies more on the project manager’s skills in communication, facilitation, and coordination, with less emphasis on planning and control.

Agile software development can be a very exciting and invigorating approach. Agile project management principles will show that some projects suit Agile development more than others. Collaboration and visibility, which are key principles of agile methodology, can provide a richer and more rewarding experience for teams to develop great software products. The less flexible Waterfall approach puts greater focus on documentation. Creating software using Agile development methodology can be more enjoyable than the staid Waterfall approach. And when people enjoy their work, It is amazing what they can achieve.

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.

2 Responses

  1. Avatar B Prakash says:

    Very well explained. Maturity of the team is the key success factor for any agile program. Team should be able to work together towards common goals and show good discipline also.

  2. Avatar Rich Avilla says:

    Thanks for article. “…select a mixture of the best approaches that are most appropriate for any given situation”, is understated, yet is a key point. 100% successful projects are rare, making full on Agile Methodology projects even more rare. Focus should be on outcomes over conveyance.

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