Agile Project Management Methodology
Software Engineering is one of the most important branches of engineering that requires a bit more teamwork. Agile methodology is the one that strains on continuous improvement, scope flexibility, team input, and delivering essential quality products.
Agile Project Management methodology is an approach to project management in a modernized and flexible way. It readily allows you to break the larger projects into smaller consecutive parts, so it becomes more manageable.
Emphasizing greatly on things like collaboration, flexibility, continuous improvement, and high-quality results, it readily aims to be clear and measurable with the help of the six ‘deliverables’ to track progress and create the product.
The Six Deliverables:
- Product vision statement: it is a summary that articulates the goals for the product.
- The Product roadmap: the requirements should have a high-level view, in order to achieve the product vision.
- Product backlog: things that are needed to be done in order to complete the project; this is a full list of it.
- Release plan: for the release of the product, a timetable.
- Sprint backlog: linked to the current sprint, user requirements, goals, and tasks.
- Increment: at the end of the sprint, the working product functionality is presented to the stakeholders and could be given to the customers at the end, ultimately.
There are multiple frameworks within Agile project management itself, that can be used to develop and deliver a product or a service, but the two most popular of the Agile development life cycle are Scrum and Kanban.
An Agile framework that is used to implement ideas behind Agile software development, is the Scrum. Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber created the Scrum, they were also among those 17 individuals who created Manifesto.
It has five values, which are, commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect. It aims to develop, deliver and sustain complex products through the right distribution of collaboration, accountability, and iterative progress.
Team roles of Scrum:
- Product owner: a product expert who is the voice of the customers and represents the stakeholders.
- Development team: a group of professionals recruited to deliver the product, such as the developers, programmers, designers.
- Scrum master: ensuring the understanding and execution of Scrum is followed, an organized servant-leader.
Events of the Scrum:
- Sprint: time boxes that are iterative, through which a goal is accomplished. This time frame never goes up more than a month and are very much consistent all throughout the development process.
- Sprint planning: to plan the upcoming sprint, the entire Scrum team gets together, at the beginning of every sprint.
- Daily Scrum: discussing the previous day’s achievements and the expectations for the following one, a 15-minute boxed meeting held at the very same time, every day of the Sprint.
- Sprint review: at the end of every Sprint, an informal meeting is held where the Scrum team presents their Increment to the stakeholders and also discuss the feedback.
- Sprint retrospective: a meeting held where the team of Scrum reflects on the proceedings of the previous Sprint and also establishes improvements for the next Sprint.
Artifacts of Scrum:
- Product backlog: Product Owner manages it, where all the needed requirements for the viable product are listed in the order of priority.
- Sprint backlog: this is a list of tasks and requirements which are needed to be accomplished in the following Sprint.
These are everything about Scrum, and what distinguishes it from the other methodologies are these roles events and artifacts only, with which Scrum is operated.
Since software engineering consists of a team of developers, every system or software is made from scratch. However, they also use helpful tools for software development to help them in managing projects and debugging.
A highly visual method popularly used within Agile project management is Kanban. It is a methodology that helps in painting a picture of the workflow process, with an aim to identify any bottlenecks early on in the process, such that a product or service of higher quality is delivered.
It has six general practices, which are:
- Visualization of work.
- Progress in a limiting work
- Explicit policies
- Flow should be managed
- Feedback loops shall be implemented
- Evolve experimentally and improve collaboratively.
This concept was developed in the production line of Toyota factories during the 1940s. Achieving efficiency through visual cues to signal certain stages of the development process, Kanban works through the cues- Kanban board, Kanban cards, and Kanban swimlanes.
- Kanban board: to visualize the development process, it is a visual management tool. It can be either physical like a whiteboard, sticky notes, etc, or can be virtual and can also be used for personal productivity along with professional.
- Kanban cards: these are the cards that depict a work item or task in the work process. It represents information such as status, cycle time and impending deadlines, it is used to communicate progress with your team.
- Kanban swimlanes: allowing you to further distinguish tasks/items by categorizing them, it is a visual element on the board. It offers distinction and provides a much better overview of the workflow itself flowing horizontally.
Other approaches in the Agile development life cycle:
1) Extreme Programming approach (XP)
Extreme programming is a framework based on five values like communication, simplicity, feedback, courage, and respect, it aims to produce a higher quality of life for the development team. It also ensures a high-quality product through a collection of engineering practices.
2) Crystal methodology
Including methodologies like Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow, and Crystal Orange, Crystal is comprised of a family of Agile methodologies.
Being guided by factors like team size, system criticality, and project priorities, they have unique characteristics.
The key components of the methodology are teamwork, communication and simplicity, also reflection to regularly adjust and improve the development process.
3) The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
An Agile methodology that focuses on the full project lifecycle. After the users of the Rapid Application Development (RAD) wanted more governance and discipline to this iterative way of working, DDSM was created in 1994.
It is based on eight principles and works on a certain philosophy. It is designed in a way that is independent of and can be implemented in conjunction with other iterative methodologies.
4) The Feature-Driven Development (FDD)
A lightweight iterative and incremental software development process is what FDD is. It has an objective to deliver tangible, working software in a timely manner.
It is that Agile methodology that entails specific and very short phases of work which are separately accomplished per feature.
The creation of Agile methodology has taken the industry to a much greater extent. It can also be implemented in any business venture. It is an effective process for teamwork that looks for a flexible approach to product development.