Agile Software Development 101
Business | Ivona Cipar

Agile Software Development 101

Tuesday, Sep 5, 2023 • 5 min read
What makes agile methodologies a top pick for a myriad of software development projects, where did Agile originate from, and how are agile projects conducted.

While there are numerous approaches to software development, Agile software development is considered to be one of the most popular ones.

Agile methodologies have proven to be instrumental in delivering high-quality software solutions that align with customer expectations, adapt to evolving requirements, and foster collaboration within teams.

In this blog post, we will dive into the fundamentals of agile software development, exploring its core principles, values, and key practices that make it such a powerful methodology for modern software projects.

Whether you’re a developer, project manager, or simply curious about agile, this article will provide you with valuable insights into the world of agile software development and how it continues to shape the landscape of technology-driven innovation.

It all started with the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, as a response to the traditional software development methods that no longer followed the fast-paced world of software development. The authors, experienced software developers, put focus on the following:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

However, it’s important to note that the items on the right side of the equation are still valued; the focus simply shifts to prioritize the elements on the left side.

Individuals and interactions

Agile development emphasizes the importance of effective communication, collaboration, and teamwork among individuals involved in the project. It recognizes that the human element is essential for success, and fosters an environment that encourages open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and collective decision-making.

Working software

Agile methodologies prioritize the delivery of functional software over exhaustive documentation. While documentation remains important and is still being produced as an important factor of any software development project, the focus is on producing tangible results that can be tested and validated by users, providing value and insights early in the development process.

Customer collaboration

Agile development places a strong emphasis on customer collaboration throughout the entire project lifecycle. By involving customers, end-users, and stakeholders in the development process, agile teams gain valuable feedback, refine requirements, and ensure that the final product aligns with customer expectations.

Responding to change

Agile methodologies embrace change as an inherent part of the software development process. Instead of rigidly adhering to a fixed plan, agile teams welcome feedback, adapt to evolving requirements, and make adjustments as needed. This flexibility allows for faster response to market changes, emerging technologies, and customer needs.

So, how exactly does the development of a software product look like when the process is agile?

Agile Software Product Development

Let’s dive deeper into how the development of a software product unfolds when the process is Agile.

Iterative and incremental development

Agile software development follows an iterative and incremental approach. The project is divided into shorter iterations called sprints, each typically lasting one to four weeks.

During each sprint, a cross-functional team collaboratively works on a subset of features, from planning and development to testing and review.

Sprint planning

At the beginning of each sprint, the team conducts a sprint planning meeting. The team, including the product owner, identifies and prioritizes the user stories or features that will be developed in the upcoming sprint. The team estimates the effort required for each user story, considering factors such as complexity, dependencies, and business value.

Daily stand-ups

Throughout the sprint, the team holds daily stand-up meetings, also known as daily scrums. These short meetings, typically lasting 15 minutes, serve as a platform for team members to synchronize their work and address any obstacles. Each team member shares their progress since the previous meeting, discusses what they plan to work on next, and highlights any challenges they are facing.

Continuous integration and testing

Agile methodologies emphasize continuous integration and testing to ensure the quality of the software product. As the development progresses, team members frequently integrate their work into a shared code repository.

This enables early identification and resolution of conflicts or integration issues.

Automated tests are continuously executed to verify that the software functions correctly and meets the defined acceptance criteria.

Sprint review and retrospective

At the end of each sprint, the team holds a sprint review and retrospective meeting. In the sprint review, the team showcases the completed work to stakeholders, including the product owner and customers. This provides an opportunity for feedback and validation of the product’s direction. The retrospective is a reflection session where the team discusses what went well, what could be improved, and identifies action items for enhancing their development process.

Adapting to change

Agile methodologies excel in their ability to adapt to change.

Throughout the development process, the team remains open to feedback, new requirements, and evolving market dynamics. If new insights emerge or priorities shift, the team can reprioritize the backlog and adjust the development plan accordingly.

By embracing change and welcoming new information, Agile teams are better equipped to deliver a product that meets the evolving needs of customers and stakeholders.

Collaboration and customer involvement

Customer collaboration is a fundamental aspect of Agile development. The product owner acts as the voice of the customer and works closely with the development team throughout the project. Through regular interactions and feedback loops, the team ensures that they have a deep understanding of customer needs and preferences.

By involving customers, end-users, and stakeholders, the team gains valuable insights, refines requirements, and iteratively builds a product that aligns with customer expectations.

Delivering value early and frequently

Agile development focuses on delivering value to the customers as early and frequently as possible. By breaking the project into smaller increments and prioritizing high-value features, the team can deliver functional software at regular intervals. This iterative delivery approach allows stakeholders to see tangible progress, provide feedback, and make informed decisions about the product’s direction. It also allows for early course correction and ensures that the most valuable features are delivered first.

Why Agile?

In conclusion, Agile software product development is a collaborative, iterative, and customer-centric approach. It empowers teams to adapt to change, deliver working software in shorter iterations, and actively involve customers throughout the process.

By embracing Agile methodologies, organizations can enhance their development practices, optimize product delivery, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction.

Develop Agile software projects with Mono

At Mono, we recognize the immense advantages that Agile brings to the intricate process of software development. That’s precisely why we have wholeheartedly embraced Agile as our preferred approach for both our internal projects and client engagements. By harnessing the power of adaptability, flexibility, and continuous improvement, we prioritize our clients' satisfaction above all else. If you’re seeking a team that is dedicated to delivering exceptional software solutions, we invite you to reach out to Mono today.

Let us join forces and propel your project forward with our Agile-driven expertise. Contact us now and experience the Mono difference firsthand.