Agile development gained wide popularity on the market of IT technologies for the last ten years. Created responsive to various changes, it has proved its high efficiency for those business investors, whose needs are prone to changes due to the changeable market situation.
Let us first define what is Agile development? It is an approach to software development which is built on such principles as adaptive planning, permanent improvement and flexible response to changes.
Agile development methodology with its iterative and adaptive approach, cooperation and teamwork throughout the entire development process brings really valuable advantages for a business. Some of them are following:
Agile development environment differs a lot from any other. The atmosphere of flexibility is friendlier and work on the product that brings more joy to the entire team. Instead of making strict plans, future actions are mostly discussed in the format of workshops. There are no piles of papers. Instead of preparing hundreds of documents and reports to get something approved, the tasks are also discussed in a team and actions can be taken immediately. There is no need in management committees and other things which postpone the result.
We build huge plans, prepare numerous documents and organize regulated processes. In case if any change is necessary the first thought in our mind is that this change will destroy all the plans and schedules created. Too much of things will need reorganization. This is when we begin telling investors how expensive it would be to make any changes and how unreasonable they are. If it still doesn’t help, we apply to committees in hope that they decide to reject changes. So, while traditional approaches oppose any changes, flexible agile development cycle allows them without any problems.
Anyway, an agile development model should not be considered as a random activity. Less documentation doesn’t mean that there are no documents at all. There are no documents which are created never to be read, but there are all the necessary documents to regulate the process. If it is possible to change directions just in the middle of the way, it doesn’t mean that there are no plans or road maps. There are, but they are flexible enough to be modified.
One of the most popular methodologies in agile approach, named as an Agile development scrum, was introduced to systematize working processes. According to this methodology, a scrum itself is a team working on the project, which is headed by a scrum master and an investor. The working process is parted in short sprints, usually two-week long, during which the product is being developed. In the end of each sprint, the results are represented to the investor who gives the feedback. Then, further development actions are agreed. So, actually, the process is really well-organized. It is just more alive than other development methods usually imply.
Agile development as any other approach has its own pros & cons. It is possible that some of its principles will change somehow with a pace of time, but what will definitely stay the same is the feature of flexibility which is practically the core of the approach. Without it, Agile development will simply have little sense to be employed.