Implementing Agile Software Development

An agile workflow is a development process that emphasizes speed and short-term milestones over long-term planning. Here, at Sodeira Solutions, we divide our development process into short sprints and test the results to ensure quality at each step. Unlike the waterfall model, where planning, development, and testing can take months and even years, agile software development delivers faster results, receives client feedback, adjusts efforts, and tests solutions.


Agile development allows creating dynamic workflows and fixing bugs faster while improving the quality of coding and tailoring the solutions to meet the client's needs. 


Here we'll share a checklist developed by our experts to help you understand if the Agile model fits your business needs.

Choosing Agile methodology

There are several different principles for implementing the agile concept. You may be familiar with Scrum, XP, FDD, Kanban, and others - these methodologies offer their advantages, but they are all based on agility principles. You can also mix and match features from different methods to create your unique approach. 


Methodologies such as Scrum are prevalent because of their simplicity and effectiveness when working on complex projects and developing large-scale applications. But before you make your choice, be sure to research all the different methodologies and consult with your vendor to see which one is best suited for your team based on its structure, business requirements, and even personal preferences.


Outlining the development cycle

The methodology you choose will affect the development cycle you implement and determine what your typical work week will look like. You need to break down the development process into stages that can be achieved one by one. Typically, we choose a development cycle that looks like this:


Concept - what is your overall vision for the software?

Idea - defining requirements, allocating human and material resources, assigning responsibilities, setting tasks, and planning the workflow;

Development - developing the MVP, presenting it to the audience, improving its functioning, creating a compelling user interface and intuitive UX, releasing the final version of the product to the market;

Release - testing, debugging, and preparation of all technical documentation for the release of fully functional software;

Support - ongoing maintenance of the solution before and after the release date;

End-of-life - the removal of the system from production

These are common steps used in most methodologies, but the smaller sub-steps will vary depending on which project you are dealing with. For example, if you are using the Feature-Driven Development (FDD) methodology, you will pay more attention to proper documentation for your project. The Extreme Programming (XP) model involves daily meetings with the team, while Scrum involves frequent reports and sprint discussions. Building the proper development cycle is critical to planning your development process and assigning tasks to the right people for maximum efficiency.


Assigning the right roles

Your team structure will be determined by the agile methodology you choose. For example, if you go with the sprints, specific tasks will be assigned to individual developers during each sprint. This will allow developers to focus on a particular goal without being distracted along the way. Once you choose the proper methodology, you can assign appropriate roles to people on your team. If you're using the Scrum model, the following roles will work for you:


  • Product Owner - The person who defines and prioritizes product features, writes user stories, manages backlogs, represents the end user, and makes sure the product generates a return on investment.
  • Scrum master is the person who supports the development team and product owner by organizing the agile workflow. In fact, the task of the scrum master is to determine the most effective way to achieve the project goals and organize the workflow in such a way as to achieve the desired efficiency.
  • Developers are a team of people who code, test, and create the actual product. The team includes software engineers, UI and UX designers, QA and testing specialists, and all the people directly involved in development.

All of these people together make up your scrum team, and it's crucial to get the roles right between them. 


Communication Plan

There should be a solid line of communication between the development team and the client, especially regarding IT outsourcing. Establishing regular and effective communications between software developers and the client is essential to your agile software development checklist critical to effective DevOps practices.


You can create this line of communication using appropriate project and lifecycle management tools, such as Jira or GitLab. Because of the inherent nature of the agile methodology, you can use almost any solution to effectively manage team communication. You can organize daily, weekly or monthly meetings, send emails, use project management tools, etc. Stay in touch with your team, make sure they understand their goals, monitor their work, and guide them through the development process. 


Choosing performance metrics

When it comes to agile software development methodology and how to apply it, monitoring team performance is paramount. You need metrics to track how close or far you are from achieving your goals. What's more, metrics are also crucial for evaluating each team member's contribution. You can track your development team's KPIs with the following metrics:


  • Cycle time
  • Code input
  • Number of bugs and regressions fixed
  • Number of tasks completed
  • Number of features developed

Depending on the project specification, there may be more, and you should write them all down and measure them all to evaluate the team's work properly. This will also help with the audit, as you will know which of your developers worked hard for their money and contributed to your goals. 


Collecting Feedback

You should have a practice of collecting feedback to see how various stakeholders respond to the project's progress. You need to understand how people feel about the product you will release, so ask them directly and see what they say. Be prepared for criticism because it will allow you to improve and create a really excellent product that your target audience will love. Shortening the feedback cycle is also essential because you'll be able to make necessary changes on the fly, reducing costs and time delays. In the end, you'll be able to create an outstanding product that completely satisfies your needs.


Why use checklists in your project? 

You can harness the power of checklists in various aspects of your daily life, and software development is no exception. At Intersog, we know that planning is the key to success, and checklists help us identify all the project goals, outline them, assign the right people to the proper work, see what needs to be done, what's already done, and where you're headed each step of the way. We use checklists all the time because they make it easier for our project managers and developers to organize workloads, minimize deviations from the course, reduce the time and cost of changes, and make workflow easier to track and manage.


While it may seem a bit complicated, the primary purpose of a checklist is quite simple - to check that every step of the development process is being followed and that nothing is forgotten along the way. It also helps in delegating tasks to individual team members. The development process often consists of repetitive tasks, such as regular testing or coding, and checklists help keep track of those tasks. They allow you to move from one stage to the next, accumulating results and carrying them forward to the next stages of the process.

Bottom Line

As you can see, checklists are paramount to maintaining your agile project and helping you manage team performance. Flexibility does not mean that you can just leave your project without clear direction or let your dedicated team do whatever it takes to get something done. Flexibility is about giving you the control and ability to act in changing circumstances and adapt quickly to achieve your project goals. In fact, agile requires a much greater degree of control and discipline than the classic waterfall model, and that's where checklists come in handy. 


You need the power of the agile model, especially if you work in an unstable industry and in a dynamic market. Let's say you work in artificial intelligence (AI), an industry that's evolving every month as innovations emerge faster than you blink, and let's say you're working on a complex project involving the use of relevant AI innovations. In the course of development, which can take months or even more than a year, the technology you started with will already seem outdated and irrelevant. To solve this problem, you need an agile approach that allows you to adapt and change your development process as you go. That's why agile software development is key to the success of many projects, and we hope you can make great strides and create a truly amazing product with a comprehensive checklist for agile software development.

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