The agile methodology is an iterative working practice that emphasizes a cyclic and collaborative approach. Contrary to the waterfall methodology, the agile approach moves through a cycle of phases several times during the lifespan of the project. Similar to the waterfall approach, the backlog is built with tasks that need to be completed. This process is sometimes known as scoping – you scope the project.
Following the agile methodology, the initiation of the development and implementation phase can begin. However, as agile is an iterative methodology, daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly iteration and feedback meetings between agency and client will often be a direct component of the development process. The frequency of those meetings is dependent on the nature of the project, including tasks, time, and complexity. It is quite common to start each meeting with a short planning session and then end it with a review.
Agile methodology overview
The agile methodology will often follow an ongoing cycle of development, review, feedback, and approval. The approval phase will determine whether the work item can be completed or whether any changes need to be made. These changes are then recorded and a new adjustment and prioritization of the backlog will take place.
When implementing the agile project management methodology, teams usually need to settle for a specific framework. Agile Scrum Methodology is one of the most commonly adopted frameworks today, but, depending on the features of their project, some teams can also opt for Adaptive Project Framework (APF), Extreme Programming (XP), or Kanban.
Advantages of agile methodology
Although there are many project management methodologies available today, agile development methodology stands the test of time and tops all charts as it can offer numerous positive features that make project delivery faster and easier. Here are some of its distinctive features:
- Flexibility and adaptability. All projects run in short-term agile methodology phases, with each of them taking from 2 to 4 weeks. Along with the fact that the methodology does not require extensive planning before project launch, these short phases give teams numerous opportunities to introduce adjustments to their projects, if needed. This comes in handy when a team needs to build a product they have never tried developing before and are not sure what to expect from the project.
- Transparency and communication. These two components are paramount for an effective agile methodology process. All team members are encouraged to sustain constant communication, which helps them be on the same page regarding all project plans.
- Stakeholder engagement. As a rule, clients are welcome to take an active part in all agile methodology steps, which does not only increase stakeholder satisfaction rates but also makes it easier for the team to understand the client’s vision and meet their expectations. This, in turn, increases successful project completion rates.
- Early delivery. Instead of waiting for months to see some solid results, both the team and the client can see their first accomplishments shortly after the launch of the project. New features get delivered quickly and frequently, proving the value of agile software development methodology.
- Predictable costs. Same as with delivery, the client gets to learn how much each feature will cost because of the short development duration. At the beginning of each phase (or sprint, as they are often called in agile methodology Scrum), everyone gets to learn time and cost estimation for the upcoming feature.
- Lower risks of missed goals. Instead of settling for a single ultimate goal, teams get to develop multiple smaller goals they need to reach as the project unravels. With each agile project being broken down into stages, goals feel reachable and realistic from day one.
For more information about agile methodology in project management or a test run with an agile methodology software, continue reading our complete guide to agile project management.