12 tips for agile software development
Through agile software development methodology, you can use different sets of approaches to develop your software. Though they are sharply distinguished in their implementation details, they have a common philosophy. Experts say that Agile methods are quite systematic and every element in the methodology contributes to the success of agile methodology. Hence, it is imperative that all the elements should have equal importance in order to avoid what is known as “technical debt”. Failing to address all the elements is asking for trouble. Now, follow the tips below:
1. Complex codes are complex – so break them
Encourage your team to develop simple codes because complex codes can make the software slow. Even if you have to do extra work later on, complex codes, as they are, are much harder to handle and takes up more time.
2. Smaller teams are much better
In agile development, it is always better to have a small team, say a team of 7, give or take a couple more. Small teams make it more productive, if the need arises, you can move the different individuals between teams as this would aid in cross-fertilisation of ideas. Moving people on a regular basis will make the teams communicate with each other continuously, so no team is isolated. However, with agile development, more success is noted with physical locations than with the other.
3. Testing with Sandboxes
If you are worried about the complexity of end-to-end testing, then Sandbox would be a good solution. Sandbox is an isolated computing environment and would suit well with agile methodology, where one or more component of the application would be unstable or evolving. With safe simulation of real world production environment through sandbox, you can get your team to test the code and take the software development in an entirely different direction.
4. Automated testing analysis
When you use automated testing analysis, you can catch bugs immediately. This would be of great help because you no longer have to wait for manual testing, and even then you might miss a bug or two. With complex data, you can feed complex data, and each time the testing would be repeated at precise times.
5. Change based testing
This is simple. With change-based testing, you and your team can indulge in bug testing whenever source code changes are made. With change-based testing, you can be assured of enormous quality assurance and time can be saved for other value-added tasks involving the project.
6. Concentrate on continuous delivery first
With continuous delivery, you can be assured of the right path. And with feedback coming in for each delivery, you can complete the project on time. The team would also be comfortable with sudden changes in the project and eventually, they can evolve a technique whereby a usable version of the software would be developed. The new version of the software would thus be free of bugs.
7. Enjoy shorter development cycles
The company that ordered for it in the first place, may reject software’s that have gone through long development cycles. Probably, they don’t want it anymore because their customer’s tastes have changed. So use the build method and have shorter development cycles.
8. Enjoy automation from the beginning itself
Make sure you automate tasks right from Day One onwards. Automation is also known as AD1 and when you do this from the beginning, everything will be ready on time. It will save your team from a lot of unnecessary work. Hence, automation is a life-saver.
9. What about feedback?
Feedback is one of the main sources through which the software can become “acceptable software”. So in order to make the best software through Agile Development, get feedback from all the people connected with the project, including the customer and definitely, the upper management.
10. Process evaluation
With process evaluation, you can fine-tune your development process and ensure the best results are yielded with the current project on the set time-frame.
11. Use the 5 levels
The five levels of Agile planning are:-
- Product Vision, where the seed of the project is generated
- A Road-map of how the product should be like; this will be updated every 6 months
- Release Plan, the set of increments that are to be released to customer
- Sprint Plan, where meetings are conducted on the state of progress of the project
- Daily Commitment, where stand-up meetings are conducted
12. Getting your team ready transition?
Agile software is an entirely different stream of developing software applications, not like the conventional stream at all. So first, your team has to be ready for the transition. If there are hostilities in the team, you have to take control of it because there are people who oppose change all the time. You have to win their support and confidence, before moving on. Many companies have already move onto agile methods, so it is pointless to stay back and fiddle with the conventional approaches. Moving onto agile methods is a matter of survival, so you have to convince them that that’s where the future lies.
When you are transitioning to agile technology, everybody in the organisation will have to accept it because agile transition doesn’t happen in chunks. All the people who work there will have something or the other to do with it right from software engineers, project managers and the marketing team. And your customers will have to be educated as well. You will have to explain to them that they will get the software delivered in small portions, but they will get the software in its entirety without a delay.
Interesting links about the topic:
Pictures: Flickr.com/ WOCinTech Chat/ Obscure/ Levine/ Official GDC
The author: Reema Oamkumar is engaged as a thought leader at Software-Developer-India.com which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.