10 tips for Agile Software Development

So are you planning to move to Agile Methodology in software development? That’s a good one because you can now follow a test driven approach and check if the codes are working properly. Each iteration in the Agile Methodology produces working code, and this is done with two-week sprints that will allow you find the perfect balance between urgency and something of value. The need to lower Time To Market (TMM) has been a major boost in the use of this technology, because it has been able to speed up development process.

Your move to agile is an intelligent one, but it can be extremely difficult if not done in the right manner. However, the advantages Agile have over the Waterfall methodology has lured many organisations to make the shift, but to ensure the process is smooth and swift, you can follow the tips below.

1) Leverage automation tools

Automation and Agile go hand in hand. And when they are together, you considerably reduce TMM – a recipe for success. Automation tools help you to thoroughly evaluate you project and it receives the attention that it rightly deserves before it is deployed. Through Automation, you can generate consistent workflows, provides more visibility into the reduction domain and integrates business and production interests simultaneously and collaboratively.

It is also imperative to have the right tools at hand because you need to integrate them, as several users have to work on a single project, and they will have to see the changes made in real time. Integrating the tools can make it clear that teams can easily collaborate with each other so everyone remains on the same page throughout the course of the project.

2) Focus on results

Make the best of Agile to focus on the results, because that is always the most important thing. The people higher up on the management can concentrate on the business aspects of the project, while the developer focus on their work. The boundaries and parameters , will of course be set by the upper management. In the early days of Agile, the ideas had to come from the bottom up, but Agile brought forth a top down approach.

3) Complete abandoning of traditional approaches

While moving to agile, it is imperative to abandon the age-old legacy approaches. The developers and testers must give their old method of completing tasks because the processes will have to be tweaked to match agile values. The success of using Agile occurs when the people involved in the project works through flexible coordinated minds whose primary focus is on building a quality application. This is because one of the declaratives within the Agile Manifesto depends on “people over processes” scenario.

4) Communicate regularly

The success of the project can be ensured only when the team members communicate with each other regularly. And this is only when communication happens on a consistent basis. And this is the most critical part of development and testing. While communicating regularly, you get the same effect as placing everyone on the same environment where the pain points are recognised and then acted upon. Lack of communication can probably hinder with this because it is very important to have a clear line of knowledge to perform the required adjustments and help in project completion.

5) Continuous Delivery is the key to Agile Development

As mentioned earlier, Agile runs on continuous delivery process and at a constant pace. The developers receive early and prompt feedback. And when there are sudden changes or unexpected circumstances, this technology lets the team know about it. This where builds come into use, and each build is released after making improvements, the feedback from previous build noted for fixes and improvements.

6) Enjoy shorter development/test cycles

When the software development cycle goes for the long haul, it is wiser to have shorter development cycle and test cycles. Having very long development cycles can be a big waste of time, because there could be features in the product that people may not like, and the company may lose money. In order to avoid this threat, and to create a minimum viable product, you must shorten the development cycles considerably. This way, the users receive something they have good use for, and the feedback will also be more accurate.

7) Achieving Automation from Day One

Automation from Day One is also known as AD1, and this would help your software development project go faster. Once you are good with Agile, you will be able to automate everything by the 2nd or 3rd year. Having simple processes in the automatic mode makes it really simple and easy for the developer. It saves a lot of time, in fact.

8) Effective team ratio

Having too many members on the team will not bring in quick success or quick completion of project. It is like having too many cooks spoiling the broth, not to speak of the financial drain that you would have to endure while having too many people for a single project. Consider the needs of the project, the given time-frame, the capabilities of the team, and other factors to bring up a workable team ratio.

9) Development sandboxes

One of the best practices in Agile project development is having one’s own sandboxes. A sandbox is a well- defined technical environment used by the developer, and its main purpose is to identify technical errors. And because of its peculiar role, there are five different types of sandboxes. They are: Development, Project Integration, Demo Sandbox, Pre-production test/QA and Production. You will have to decide on the technical environment that’s best suited for your project.

10) Practice change-based testing

Once you incorporate change-based testing, the team gets the information on the components that are affected by source code changes, and the tests that are to be executed again. This is a huge lifesaver because it lets you save time and resources and you can focus more on value-added tasks.

The above mentioned tips ensures that the agile- approach is the best one available, and the most reliable choice when you want to remain competitive in a demanding marketplace with changing requirements.

Interesting articles:
Ten tips on agile software development
10 Tried and Tested Agile Development Tips

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About the author: Reema works as Thought Leader at PHPBabu.

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