Agile: Not a Method, but a Movement

 by Ravindra Savaram

Learn more about how DevOps teams must adopt a more agile development process, working in parallel instead of waiting on other teams to finish their components or for resources to become available, brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies.

When we hear the words "software development," we think of a series of processes to accomplish the task of developing a software application. We set certain functionalities and some properties for the application and develop it to meet the goal we set at its inception. A basic question that arises here is what happens if an application with similar functionality and properties appears in the market at less cost than what we are going to fix for our application? Obviously, we need to change the functionality of the product by developing a new product starting from the first stage of software development. In this process, the time, money, and human labor the company employs for developing the product get wasted.

We can say that Agile is a revolution in software development process. Agile describes the continuous interactions between the cross-functional teams at different stages in the process of software development. Why is this interaction needed? What is the result of these daily interactions? The different teams involved in developing an application must access the direction in which the project is moving and should closely monitor the market trend to compare their product with others and to make changes, if necessary, at any stage of the development process.

This is achieved through regular meetings between cross-functional teams at the end of the day or after a certain time in the application development. This way, the teams can discuss how to enhance the process of development by suggesting changes at different stages as needed. This is not possible in the traditional Waterfall model. Due to continuous meetings and alterations in the development process, Agile is termed as iterative and incremental and can be described as a movement, as it does not follow any specific process.

Understanding Scrum

Scrum is the manner in which the Agile movement is brought into an organization because of its flexible and uncomplicated nature. Scrum employs the following features in the process of software development.

  • Feedback based on experience.
  • Team self-management.
  • Make great efforts to build tested product within short repetitions.

Scrum has three kinds of roles.

  1. The Scrum team.
  2. The Scrum Master.
  3. The Scrum Product Owner.

1. The Scrum Team

It is a team of individuals working together to deliver a specific set of tasks assigned to them in the process of software development. The functions of a Scrum team are:

  • Show respect towards each other.
  • Follow the same norms and rules.
  • Strive towards a common goal.

2. Scrum Master

The difference between the Scrum Master and the team leader is in the name itself. The team leader is in charge of directing the team and assigning the work, whereas the Scrum Master observes that the team follows the rules and understands the method of Scrum entirely. The Scrum Master comes into the picture when the follow the rules of Scrum aren't being followed, and he or she only functions as an advisor to the team.

3. Scrum Product Owner

The Scrum Product Owner plays a key role in bringing success to the Scrum movement. The Scrum Product Owner stands at the point where the team members and other parties involved interact with each other. The Product Owner is involved in dealing with customers, marketing, and management because he must present the software requirements to the team.

Sprint

I discussed earlier that meetings are held in Scrum after each day or after certain specified time. So, a Sprint is defined as a certain amount of time during which a specific amount of work must be completed. A meeting or discussion will be held after that time. This is a repetitive process that occurs until the whole development process gets completed. Each Sprint starts with a planning meeting during which the Product Owner and the development team comes to an agreement on the work that must be completed within that Sprint. After the Sprint ends, the team will display their work to the project owner and based on the criteria laid down at the planning meeting, the project owner will accept or reject the work.

Conclusion

Numerous job opportunities are present in Agile in IT development projects for experienced as well as freshers who receive training in Agile. Agile is followed now in almost all the software development projects because of its unique approach to application development. This is a proven way of effectively managing software development teams and projects. The average salary for a job associated with Agile is on par with the salaries for most sought-after technologies today in the IT market. Choosing to study this collaborative and cooperative approach and getting certified in it can be a good career option.

 

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