SDLC – Agile Model
The Agile SDLC model is a mix of iterative and incremental approaches, focused on adapting to flexible requirements and satisfying users and clients by delivering working software early.
Requirements and solutions in Agile projects may evolve during development.
With Agile development, the product is divided into small incremental builds and delivered in iterations. All tasks are divided into small time frames in order to prepare working functionality with each build. The final product build contains all the required features.
In Agile, existing development approaches need to be adapted to the requirements of each specific project. Read the official Agile Manifesto website to learn more about the Agile philosophy.
Advantages of Agile SDLC model:
- Less time needed to deliver specific features
- Leaves no space for guesswork due to face-to-face communication and continuous input from the client
- High-quality results in the fastest possible time
- Business value can be delivered and demonstrated fast
- Requires minimum resources
- Highly adaptive to changing requirements
Disadvantages of Agile SDLC model:
- Requires a client to realize the importance of the user-centered approach
- Late delivery of documentation results in harder transfer of technology to new team members
- Features strict demands in terms of the scope, delivered functionality, and improvements to be done in time
- Not easy to cope with complex dependencies
- Requires a lot of soft skills from the development team
- Almost any type of project, but with a lot of engagement from the client
- Projects with a frequently changing environment
- Clients who need some functionality to be done fast, e.g. in less than 3 weeks
Why to Choose an Agile SDLC Model?
According to the annual State of Agile report, Agile is still the most widely used software development life cycle model in the technology industry. At Mind Studios, we mostly use the Agile SDLC model to develop software products for our clients. Here’s why.
The main thing that distinguishes Agile from other SDLC models is that Agile is adaptive, while other models are predictive. Predictive development models depend closely on proper requirements analysis and planning. Because of that, it’s hard to implement changes in predictive methodologies — development sticks very closely to the plan. And if something needs to be changed, it will face all the consequences of control management and prioritization.
Modern software development requires the ability to make changes immediately. Adaptive Agile development doesn’t rely on detailed planning as much as predictive methodologies. So if something needs to be changed, it can be changed no later than in the following development sprint.
A feature-driven development team can adapt to changes in requirements dynamically. Also, the frequency of tests in Agile helps to minimize the risk of major failures.
Of course, Agile means a lot of client and user interaction to work properly. The needs of the user, not the client, define the final project requirements.
Scrum and Kanban
There are many established approaches to Agile software development life cycle. Two of the most popular SDLC models are Scrum and Kanban.
Scrum is a workflow framework used to deliver software in sprints, which are usually two-week periods. Scrum concentrates on how to manage tasks within a development environment and helps to improve team dynamics.
There’s no one-size-fits-all way to perform Scrum due to its high adaptability. But in general, a team needs to arrange associated roles, events, artifacts, and rules within a certain project.
A sprint is a time frame of two to four weeks during which the team creates a usable piece of software. A new sprint starts right after the previous one is finished.
These are the typical elements of a sprint:
- Sprint planning, where the team plans the amount of work to be done in the given sprint
- The Daily Scrum Meeting a short daily meetup for the team to discuss what’s been done, what they plan to do today, and what problems occurred since the last meeting
- Sprint Review, a meetup at the end of the sprint during which the team goes over the completed work and makes changes to the product backlog, if necessary
- A Sprint Retrospective happens right before the start of a new sprint. During the retrospective, the Scrum team concludes the work and creates improvement plans for future sprints based on their experience from past sprints.
Kanban is a management visualization method widely used in the Agile SDLC model. It helps to improve and maintain a high level of productivity within a development team. Kanban operates with short iterations: if Scrum is about weeks, Kanban is about hours. Scrum aims to finish the sprint, while Kanban aims to finish the task. Kanban is anti-multitasking.
The key practices of Kanban are:
- Visualizing the workflow
- Limiting in-progress tasks
- Managing the workflow
Kanban is implemented using a board where all project tasks are visualized and divided into columns such as to do, in progress, on hold, done, and in review.
Kanban is also good for less technical activities, like sales, marketing, and recruiting.