Computing started taking off in the 1990’s and many businesses started to require different software resources at ever increasing rates. Unfortunately, software developers were facing a crisis as they were unable to keep up with businesses that were evolving rapidly and requiring specific software in order to enhance their transactions. This was referred to as the “application delivery lag” and described the time that it took for a business to report what was needed with the actual application of the software. Some software could take up to three years to develop. Even in the 1990’s businesses were fast paced, and a development time of three years was unacceptable due to the fact that in the space of three years businesses normally had changed the requirements and systems that they needed in order to achieve success. This led to many projects being cancelled halfway though and those that were finally completed landed up not meeting the needs of the client three years later. Agile software development was born in the year 2000 when a group of software developers met in Oregon and discussed how software development could be sped up thus hitting the market at a faster rate.
What is Agile software development?
Agile software development is software development methodologies that are centered around the idea of development that evolves through many teams working together to solve the need for software requirements and solutions in a specific time frame.
Agile Methodology definition simplified
In simplified terms the Agile method implies that the method of management is iterative and incremental, focused on helping teams and maintaining rapid software delivery. By increasing the rate of software delivery teams are able to respond to the unpredictability of constructing software. Incremental and iterative work sequences are also known as sprints.
There are many examples of Agile Methodology, but two of the most popular ones are Scrum and Kanban. These are used to assess the progress of a certain project in a daily meeting called a daily scrum.
Agile methodology scrum
Agile scrum methodology is a project management system that manages project delivery and falls under the umbrella of agile project management. It provides a process that takes iterative and incremental practices into account and assists developers to develop up to date software more frequently. Each iteration is divided into sprints and can last between two to four weeks. Each individual goal of the sprint is to build the most important features first so as to produce a deliverable product.
Steps used for Scrum
- The creation of the Product backlog. This is made up of important features that need to be implemented during the development process
- Spring Planning and Sprint Backlog Creation
- Work on the sprint
- Product testing and Demonstrations
- Planning for the next Sprint
Costs of Agile Software Development
Agile Development Projects are not easy to estimate in price due to their very dynamic nature, but in the long run these projects prove to be a lot more cost effective
How to manage the costs
Businesses and organizations try to estimate the cost of the project before the project is started. They start with a fixed cost for a certain amount of time and thereafter completing requirements that are functional need to be added into the budget and schedule. Agile Development Projects are a little harder to estimate when it comes to costing, but time and time again prove to be much more cost effective as they allow for continuous adjustments or approaches.
How to calculate a Sprint budget
Consider the number of people working on the project and make an average of the cost per person per hour. This would give you an estimated cost per sprint.
Benefits of Agile Software Development
The Agile method has proved to be much more flexible than traditional methods and enables clients to make small changes without huge changes in their budget with the added benefit of keeping to their important schedule. The Agile method helps the client to save time and money as they are able to test the product at each stage of the development process thus making the experience encouraging as well as promoting visibility and transparency. The benefits of Agile software development are listed as follows:
High quality products
Greater Customer Satisfaction
Increased project control
Reduction of risks
Faster Product releases
In a Nutshell
Agile Project development ultimately results in a focus on business and user value that includes complete transparency, predictable costs and schedules as well as a way to allow for change if needed. One of the greatest benefits is improved product quality and faster product releases.
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