You’ve probably heard of Agile development, in which things are built in tiny, incremental portions and genuine feedback is obtained as development progresses. In fact, you may be thinking about using Agile methodology to the next project your team works on. But how do you even begin? Scrum and Kanban are two of the most well-known variants of Agile. There are pros and cons to both methods, but ultimately, they will assist your team members obtain the honest feedback they need to make better goods.
Which which agile approach helps teams improve their project cycle time by considering team capacity? Let’s find out.
What is Agile?
Agile is an approach for creating software that places an emphasis on teamwork, dialogue, and suggestions. By minimizing iterations and accelerating feature delivery, it aids teams in achieving project cycle time optimization.
Scrum and Kanban are two of the most popular forms of Agile methodology. Scrum is a methodology that calls for frequent meetings to review work, known as “sprints,” as well as the implementation of changes depending on the results of those discussions. Kanban teams have a similar strategy, except they utilize cards rather than boards to show their work. Both approaches stress the need of always getting better so that groups may grow from their experiences and advance more rapidly.
The effectiveness of an Agile approach hinges on how well it fits the culture of the team working on the project and how effectively it is adapted to those particulars. Agile may be the solution if you’re searching for a technique to shorten the time it takes to complete a project without lowering quality or causing discord on the team.
In Brief: The Agile Manifesto
In 2001, the Agile Manifesto was published and has since become a cornerstone of the agile software development movement. According to the manifesto, major projects that span many years may be completed with the help of self-organizing teams that share a common goal and are committed to working together around the clock to produce results for their clients.
Military organizations were among the first to use many of the ideas that would become the foundation of agile development. To keep everyone apprised of progress and to guarantee that requirements are regularly updated, agile approach places a premium on teamwork, dialogue, and criticism.
Agile methods are adaptable and may be applied on a wide range of projects, from the very little to the very big. Teams can save months or even years off of development times by using an agile methodology. This paves the way for more communication and happier customers.
Common Methods of Agile
Scrum is one of the most popular Agile frameworks in use today. A Scrum Master, a Development Team, and an Initiative Owner are all necessary parts of the process. Sprint Planning, The Sprint, The Daily Standup Meeting, The Sprint Review, And The Sprint Retrospective Are All Part Of The Scrum Process Or Scrum Cycle, Which Occurs Over A Period Of Time.
Artifacts or Deliverables are the end result of Scrum and may be broken down into the Product Backlog, the Sprint Backlog, and the Product Increment.
Kanban is well-known as a product-centric framework within the Agile community. A Kanban Board is used for this strategy; it can be either physical or digital (for example, Stormboard has a number of premade digital Kanban layouts). The Kanban Board is a great tool for teams that benefit from visualizing their workflow, since it allows everyone to see at a glance what has to be done and what comes next. Stormboard provides digital versions of physical Kanban Boards, like the one seen below.
When using Kanban, “the most critical tasks are completed first, as rapidly as possible.”
Kanban is mostly about restricting the amount of work being done at any one moment, without predetermined iterations, and visualizing this through a board. This ensures that the tasks that need to be completed immediately receive priority over those that can wait till later.
The name “Lean” refers to the fact that teams practicing Lean Development, an offshoot of Lean Manufacturing, strive to eliminate as much unnecessary activity from their development process as possible. Lean is predicated on the principle of doing as little effort as possible. Waste may be anything from pointless conversation to a growing mountain of unfinished work.
Lean’s success in the software industry has led to the term “Lean Software Development” being applied to it. The original Lean principles were introduced by Mary and Tom Poppendieck and have since been refined and expanded upon. These principles include: eliminating waste, delivering work quickly, delivering/deciding late, building quality in, optimizing the whole, learning and knowledge, and encouraging and energizing people.
Lean principles encourage teams to focus on producing high-quality work across the whole production cycle and to move as rapidly as possible to receive feedback.
Lean, like Kanban, emphasizes a steady stream of work across repeated cycles. Teams that want to work on a few distinct projects at once without constant interruption might benefit from adopting a Lean approach.
Self-organization is a common feature in Lean Development teams. But how far an organization may expand its operations is entirely up to itself.
Extreme Programming (XP)
Since XP places a premium on the client and the team’s interaction with them, it has found favor among smaller software development groups (source). The focus of XP teams is on delivering a flawless product to the client; if they aren’t satisfied with the results, they’ll keep tweaking the product until they are.
Extreme Programming is one of the few Agile methodologies that is highly specific and specialized, and it won’t work for every team because of its emphasis on software and technology.
Feature Driven Development (FDD)
Feature-driven development (FDD) is an approach that emphasizes moving directly from the model or design phase into the development phase. This makes it well-suited to developers and highly recommended for bigger teams.
Develop an overall model, create a features list, plan by feature, design by feature, and build by feature are the five steps typically associated with FDD (source). These procedures form the backbone of FDD and make it possible for big teams to allocate tasks in accordance with the expertise of its individual members.
Similar to Scrum, FDD often employs shorter iterations (a determined time span to accomplish the job). Larger groups that require greater organization will benefit more from this. It’s simpler for smaller teams to self-regulate than bigger ones.
Alistair Cockburn used the phrase “Crystal Methods” to describe a collection of methodologies with a human focus or priority.
Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, and Crystal Red are the various crystal coloration techniques. Crystals are preferred for larger teams when their color is darker. For example, Crystal Clear is for smaller groups, while Crystal Red is for larger ones (50+ individuals is considered a major company).
According to Cockburn, each shade represents a different team size at which scalability considerations and priorities must be adjusted.
The Role of Quality Intelligence in Agile
A low-quality product does not give enough value to end customers, regardless of the agile process used to develop it. Successful agile teams strike a balance between moving quickly to release new features and spending enough time testing and verifying that systems perform as planned.
To aid in this step of the agile process, a new class of tools known as Quality Intelligence Platforms can provide information on which parts of the product are most at risk of quality issues and therefore require the most testing effort.