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What is Agile?

What is Agile?

Let's take a closer look at Agile, one of the project management approaches used in the software development process, and Scrum, one of its methodologies, with its purpose, requirements and advantages.

What is Agile?

The whole set of programs that enable individuals to increase their work efficiency while communicating with various digital parts, saving time and facilitating communication at the same time is called "software". Software activities, which are analyzed under three different categories, namely mobile software, web software, and desktop software, bring along the software development process. In the software development process, various project management approaches are used. One of the special approaches to project management used in the software development process is "Agile".

What does Agile mean? The Agile method used in software development enables the relevant teams to respond to the unpredictability of the process in software development processes. Agile stands out because it uses iterative and incremental work sequences known as "Sprints".

History of the Agile Method

Many users looking for an answer to the question "What is Agile?" also want to know about the history of Agile. The history of the Agile method, which is preferred in software development processes and has certain principles, is quite old.

It is seen that many of the ideas about 'Agile' were first put forward in the 1970s. The idea of the agile method was put forward to show a reaction against traditional project approaches. Various studies have been carried out in line with the Agile idea. Dr. William Royce outlined his experiences and thoughts on "sequential development" in an article he presented in 1970. Dr. The related article presented by William Royce is based on discussions on the development and management of large software systems.

According to Dr. William Royce, a project should be developed as comprehensively as a product on an assembly line. At the same time, at each stage of the project's development, the next stage should be completed before the current stage is started. Another idea advocated by Dr. William Royce is that all developers involved in the project development process should bring together all the requirements of the relevant project. After the mentioned steps are completed, the designs and general architecture of the project should be completed. These steps, which are the answer to the question of what Agile is and how to apply it, were advocated by the pioneers of the Agile method as a logical and useful solution to the software development process.

Advantages of Preferring Agile Method 

In order to give a comprehensive answer to the question "What is Agile and what is not Agile?", it is necessary to talk about the advantages of the Agile method. The advantages of the Agile method, which emerged as a result of the vast experience of leading software experts, are listed as follows:

  • The emergence of the Agile method was influenced by the unique experiences of various software professionals from real-life projects. This eliminates various challenges and limitations that come with traditional development. 
  • The Agile method is supported by various industries. It is also considered by various experts in the industry to be a better solution for the software development process.
  • Offering a much lighter framework to the software development process, the Agile method increases the focus of software experts and shortens the project delivery time.
  • The increased focus brought about by the Agile method reduces the overall risks that can be experienced in the software development process.
  • With the Agile method, the software development process is optimized. With the use of feedback and iterative planning, the product can be continuously renewed in line with customer needs. 
  • The status of the project in the software development process is subjected to a measurement and evaluation process and the opportunity to adapt to changing requirements is provided. This provides early visibility into the development process of the relevant project.
  • Companies that prefer the Agile method gain awareness and speed in creating the right product. 
  • With the Agile method, versions are optimized by expert teams during the product development process. As a result of the optimization process, the resulting product rises to a highly competitive position in the global market.
  • The Agile method stands out by protecting the critical market level. Critical market management ensures that teamwork remains at the forefront.

What are the General Principles of the Agile Method?

Agile is a method that draws attention with its general pillars, i.e. principles. Although it is possible to briefly mention what Agile is, it is important to consider the principles of Agile methods in detail. The general principles of the Agile method are as follows:

  • Ensuring customer satisfaction is at the forefront of the Agile method. It is very important to satisfy the customer and then continuously develop software.
  • Changing requirements should be identified and the competitive advantage of the customer should be ensured.
  • While carrying out software activities with the Agile method, the focus should be on "presentation". At this point, project delivery should be done as soon as possible. 
  • Agile method brings teamwork. Therefore, software experts and business people should work collectively in the relevant process.
  •  One of the basic principles of the Agile method is to provide a suitable working environment. Software developers who carry out their work activities in a motivated manner should feel safe.
  • In Agile projects, team members should be in direct face-to-face communication; they should transfer their knowledge to their teams in a comprehensive manner. 
  • The primary measurement of progress is working software
  • One of the answers to the question of what Agile software is is "simplicity". The concept of simplicity is taken as a basis and activities are carried out accordingly. 

Agile Methodology: Scrum

While searching for the answer to the question of what Agile is, it is also very important to examine the Agile method comprehensively. At this point, it is also necessary to address the concept of Scrum, one of the project management methodologies of the Agile method. So, what is Scrum?

Scrum, one of the Agile project management methodologies, enables the management of complex software processes. Scrum methodology follows an iterative method while fulfilling its function and also breaks down the whole. Scrum, which draws attention with its planning and regular feedback, ensures that the goal is achieved as soon as possible. Therefore, it has a flexible and responsive structure.

Scrum, one of the project management methodologies, is shaped according to the needs of customers. Thus, it allows structuring in line with the feedback from customers. Scrum, in which teamwork and communication have a very important place, as in the basis of the Agile method, is based on three basic principles. Principles of Scrum, one of the Agile project management methodologies;

  • Transparency,
  • Supervision,
  • Adaptation

In line with these three principles, the progress of the project is maintained in line with the principle of transparency and all developments are visible to the expert team. At the same time, the progress of the project is regularly checked and the project is adapted to the changes to be made.

Under Which Conditions Should Scrum be Preferred?

The Scrum methodology, which ensures that the projects carried out with the Agile method are manageable and understandable, brings certain conditions. These conditions are very important for the Scrum methodology to be preferred. The conditions under which Scrum methodology should be preferred can be listed as follows;

● In order for the Scrum methodology to be preferred, the requirements in the projects used must be changing rapidly.

● Low-priority requirements need to be completed at the beginning of the project. Product requirements, changes, and optimizations should therefore be considered an integral part of the project.

● In the project where the Scrum framework will be used, conditions must be able to change quickly. Scrum can be preferred if there are situations that were not realized at the beginning of the project.

● The team that will prefer the Scrum methodology must be self-organizing.

● The team on which Scrum will work must have a cross-functional principle.

● The project must comply with the 3 basic principles of Scrum methodology.

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