Before we discuss the agile software development lifecycle and its different stages, let us first understand the general meaning of the software development lifecycle or SDLC. It is a methodology that includes different steps – design, development, and testing amongst others – to deliver high-quality software products. The main objective of SDLC is to deliver software that completely conforms to the requirements of clients, including those related to cost and time.
The agile software development lifecycle, on the other hand, involves process models or stages that are both incremental and iterative in nature. The focus of an agile development company is primarily on customer satisfaction and adaptability. It does this by delivering ready-to-use software solutions at a rapid pace. In agile SDLC, the software in question is divided into several incremental builds, which further undergo iterations. The best thing about the agile software development lifecycle is that the customer is there to see everything unfold right in front of their eyes. They can share inputs and tell the developers whether or not they are happy with the result.
What is agile software development?
Agile development is one of the best ways to turn a business idea into a working product. If the approach is followed to the tee, it is one of the easiest and most effective ones around for building high-quality software products. Agile encompasses an entire software development methodology that involves several steps or phases, including continuous planning, design, learning, development, collaboration, improvement, and delivery amongst others. It provides development teams with a flexible way to respond to changes. There are four primary aspects of agile software development:
- Individual and team communication, interaction, and collaboration is given more importance than tools and processes
- The objective is to build a working software solution faster and not waste time in preparing detailed documentation
- Customers are involved throughout the software development lifecycle and have their say on almost everything related to their product
- The team responds to change and doesn’t follow a plan, which gives it the flexibility to take a course that is best suited for a particular situation
Principles of agile software development
Here are the principles on which agile development methodology is based:
- The inevitability of change – the project should be able to respond and adapt to it.
- Results hold more importance than creating processes and tools
- Customers’ needs are the most important – development plans are secondary
It has to be said that the ultimate focus of agile is to deliver satisfaction to customers. So the tasks that have no direct relation with customer satisfaction are not important. That doesn’t mean that agile development companies don’t write documentation, establish processes, or follow the plan. But if any of these things are hampering development efficiency, they would either give them minimum time postpone them for later.
Agile methodology – Stages of the software development lifecycle
As we had already mentioned, iteration is the most important tool for agile development. This means following a continuous process of repetition of a set of tasks until a pre-set objective is achieved. It is important to know that different agile software development methods use different ways to achieve iteration. In Scrum, sprints are implemented for this purpose. Sprints are time durations that are fixed in advance. They can be one or two weeks long. The development has to complete a part of their job and achieve a pre-set objective in every sprint. Let us now look at the different stages of the agile software development lifecycle.
- Requirements gathering: This phase is all about defining the requirements of a project. In addition to planning the effort and time required for building a product, it is also important to discuss the business opportunities it can provide. After this, you will be in a better position to discuss the financial and technical viability of a project.
- Design: When you have identified the requirements and have a clear idea of what you want to build, it is now time to get in touch with all the different stakeholders. You can use UML diagrams or other such tools to show the different features of the new system and how they will work in your existing one.
- Development: This is where the actual work begins. The designers and developers get together and brainstorm. The objective is to deliver a working product in the stipulated time. The initial version has basic, minimal functionality and only a few simple features. Advanced features and functionalities are added when it undergoes improvement.
- Deployment: In this stage, the product is released for the actual work environment and made available for users. Iterations continue to take place – new features are introduced and bugs are resolved.
- Testing: This stage is for the quality assurance team to identify bugs and evaluate the performance of the product.
Now you know how effective agile software development methodology is. If you are looking to build a product for the future, get in touch with agile consulting services in the UK today.