The Agile methodology of software development is becoming increasingly popular compared to competing models. One of the newer software development models, Agile is notable for being structured around frequent iterations and feedback sessions. It is characterized by its flexibility, as developers can make changes quickly without halting or re-doing the entire project.
How Does Agile Work?
In the context of the Agile model, iterations refer to short development cycles that can quickly be repeated if needed. First, the timeline and agenda are set for the cycle, then the developers work to deliver the desired functionality. During the testing phase, feedback is collected from the development team, the project lead, and possibly the client. The next cycle is then planned in a quick meeting that incorporates any changes or issues that came up in the feedback.
Frequent cycles mean that required changes can be made quickly during the development process, rather than in traditional Waterfall methods, in which feedback is collected in the later stages of a project and therefore may demand a complete do-over of earlier development stages. In Agile development, the client stays involved and the developers can quickly implement necessary changes.
Agile also encourages collaboration between team members. Every project, whether a small mobile app, a huge enterprise blockchain ledger, or an immersive VR simulation, requires programmers, UI designers, UX specialists, QA engineers, and more to work together and build its functions. By delivering functions in iterations, the whole team works closely together and stays cohesive throughout the life of the project.
The V-Shaped Model Combines the Benefits of Agile and Waterfall
The V-shaped model combines elements of Agile and the more traditional Waterfall method in an attempt to benefit from both. The V-shaped model uses the speed and flexibility of Agile and the detailed documentation and structure of Waterfall. It is becoming popular among medium-to-large size companies as an alternative to pure Agile or Waterfall, as it offers the best of both worlds.
Agile Is Here to Stay
Trends may come and go in the tech industry, but Agile has only become more widely adopted since its formal debut more than 20 years ago. Businesses looking for a fast and flexible methodology for their software projects should consider either using Agile or incorporating some of its features, as is the case in the V-shaped model.
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