Agile can be defined as a software framework of different approaches and behaviors that encourage-time production, which further enables customers to receive quality software in a faster manner. As opposed to multiple project life cycle phases, Agile helps developers execute iterative project implementation approaches.
The major components of Agile include continuous deployment, test-driven development, class responsibilities, daily stand-up meetings, pair programming, and collaborator cards.
Scrum is a framework typically required to assist teams in developing projects through an iterative and incremental approach. The Scrum methodology conducts a specific project via cycles of work, which are also called Sprints. Each Scrum cycle is generally conducted for two weeks but can extend up to four weeks, depending on the requirements. All Scrum cycles are timeboxed, which implies that developers need to stick to strict deadlines irrespective of the state of work. Prior to commencing a Sprint, the team must select the prioritized tasks after agreeing upon a common goal, as fresh tasks cannot be added during the process. After each Sprint ends, the team is required to show the end product to the stakeholders, based on whose feedback, the next sprint is assigned.
The Agile methodology is concerned with the idea of completing projects by following certain steps, also known as the incremental and iterative technique. As one of the most commonly used frameworks of Agile, Scrum too follows the incremental and iterative process in developing projects.
|A continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process||An Agile process to focus on delivering the business value in the shortest time|
|Delivers the software on a regular basis for feedback||Delivers the software after each sprint|
|Leadership plays a major role||Promotes a cross-functional and self-organizing team|
|Involves collaborations and face-to-face interactions between the members of various cross-functional teams||Scrum collaboration is achieved in daily stand up meetings|
|Design and execution should be kept simple||Design and execution can be innovative and experimental|
The Agile quality strategies that developers must abide by are re-factoring, iteration, short feedback cycles, standards, guidelines, milestone reviews and dynamic code analyses.
Besides Scrum, Agile includes several other frameworks, such as feature-driven development, Kanban, and test-Driven Development.
The duration of a scrum sprint or a scrum cycle generally depends upon the size of project and team working on it. In most cases, where the size of the team varies between 3-9 members, a scrum script completes consumes almost 3-4 weeks to be completed successfully. In other words, an average scrum cycle takes almost 3-4 weeks.
The term Velocity is commonly used to predict the amount of work an agile team is likely to finish in a sprint. Based on each sprint duration, developers calculate the total time needed to complete an entire project. The stats are generated based on story points from the last sprint’s stories.
To put it in a general way, Impediments are the difficulties or complications experienced by the scrum team which impacts the pace of the task or a project. Some of the most common instances of impediments are when any team member falls ill, which leads to a shortage or lack of resources, lack of support from the management levels or the supportive system, lack of skills, as well as business, organizational, technical or functional issues.
An increment can be defined as the total of all product backlogs items that are completed during a sprint. Each of the increments include all the previous sprint increment values in a cumulative fashion. It must be in the available mode in the subsequent release, which helps the developers to reach their goal.
The build-breaker situation typically arises in situations where the software contains a bug. This sudden unexpected bug results in sudden hindrance to the compilation process, which involves a failure in execution or a generation of warning. It is then the tester’s responsibility to bring the software back to the normal working stage by eliminating the bug.
Scrum-ban is a Scrum and Kanban-based model for improved software development process. The Scrum-ban model is specifically used for the projects that require continuous maintenance, show various programming errors or need sudden changes. This model promotes the completion of a project in minimum time for a programming error or user story.
The Agile Manifesto is a document that identifies four key values and 12 principles deemed by authors as guidelines for software developers in their tasks. Formally known as the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, it was produced by 17 developers on February 11-13, 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah. The developers called themselves the Agile Alliance, seeking an alternative to the existing software development processes considered to be complicated, unresponsive, and too focused on documentation requirements.
The principles of the Agile Manifesto involved regular demonstration of working software, promotion of self-organization and encouragement of self-motivating interaction with colleagues, collaboration with customers, and embracing change at any point of progression with the project and make amendments to meet it.
While Agile offers multiple advantages for software developers, it also comes with its share of disadvantages. Some of them include the difficult to predict the amount of effort needed to be invested in case of large projects. The focusing on design and documentation is not always accurate. If the guidelines are not understood and followed in a proper manner, the end product will never satisfy the customers; therefore, developers must abide by the rules at any cost. No matter how much effort is put into a project, the decision will always be made by the higher authorities.
Epic is a software feature that is defined by a customer and itemized in the product backlog. The subdivisions of Epics are called stories.
User stories are prepared in alignment with the client’s perspective that involves project or business functions. These are delivered in specific sprints.
Tasks are the different categories that the user stories are further broken down into.
Zero Sprint is generally defined as the preparatory step of the first sprint in Agile. To elaborate, developers require to prepare some activities before commencing a particular project, which are known as Zero Sprint. Some examples of Zero Sprint are preparing the environment for development, preparation of backlogs, and the like.
Spike is a story that can be taken between the sprints. They are commonly used for activities that are related to the design or technical issues involving research, prototyping, design, and exploration. There are two types of spikes—functional spikes and technical spikes.
Iterative method is a continuous software development process where the software development cycles, both Sprint & Releases, are carried out in a repeated fashion until the final product is achieved.
Release 1: Sprint 1, 2… n
Release n: Sprint 1, 2 …n
Incremental development segregates the functionality of the system into increments or portions. In each increment, the functionality segments are delivered from the requirements to the deployment, through cross-discipline work.
Test-driven development (TDD) is a method where a developer writes an automated test case describing the new function and then create small codes to pass that test, and later re-factors the new code to meet the acceptable standards. TDD is also known as test-driven design.
Scrum Poker or Planning Poker is the general agreement on which the card-based estimation technique is based. The Scrum or Planning Poker has certain features, which involve the step where the client reads of the story developed by the agile user. This is followed by the understanding of the features by the estimator. In Scrum poker, there are various planning cards with a different number or story points for each estimator. This process is repeated until a general agreement is reached.
The main benefits of agile software development include stakeholder engagement, early and predictable delivery, allowance for change, transparency, focus on business value as well as users, predictable costs and schedule, and improvement of quality.
In Scrum, a release candidate can be defined as a build or that version of the software which is ready for going in production. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) is mainly carried out on this version of the product.
The most common metrics for Agile include:
Velocity: It is the average of the points obtained from the last three to four sprints. Velocity is measured by adding up all the approved story estimates, which provides an idea of progress, capacity, etc.
Cumulative Flow Diagram: The cumulative flow diagram allows users to perform an inspection over the uniform workflow. In this graph, the x-axis represents time, and the y-axis represents the number of efforts.
Work Category Allocation: It is a critical factor that relays quick information regarding the investment of time. This implies that the developers can understand where the time is being investigated, and the elements that are prioritizing the tasks.
Time Coverage: It is the time that is given to code during testing. It is the percentage that is calculated as a factor of the lines of code called by the total number of relative lines of code and the test suite.
Business Value Delivered: It denotes the efficiency shown by the working team. Numerical values are assigned to the objects in accordance with the priority levels, return-on-investment (ROI), and complexity.
Defect Removal Awareness: These are the factors that enable the working teams to deliver a quality product via identification of the number of defects, their awareness, and removal plays a critical role to provide a high-quality product.
Defect Resolution Time: It is the process through which the working teams detect the bugs and set priorities for the defect resolution. Defect Resolution is the method of fixing bugs comprising multiple processes such as schedule defect fixation, clearing the defect picture, completing defect fixation, generation, and handling resolution report.
Sprint Burn Down Metric: The graph which represents the total number of sprints implemented or non-implemented during a Scrum cycle. It helps you to track your work in the sprint.
The three main artifacts of scrum are Sprint Backlog, Product Increment, and Product Backlog.
A Product burndown chart is the description in the form of a graph that shows implemented product backlog.
A sprint burndown chart is the graphic representation of the no. of the implemented sprints and non-implemented sprints in scrum cycle.
A release burndown chart provides an overview of the release progress by plotting the remaining workload, at the end of every sprint against the ideal workload (or effort). This chart is often referred to as the remaining effort in Scrum. The sprints are plotted on the x-axis, and the remaining effort – on the y-axis.
A defect burndown chart represents the number of defects identified and removed.
Some of the commonly used project management tools in Agile are X-planner, Version one, Rally Software, Agilo, Icescrum, and Agilefant.
A product backlog contains every requirement and feature of the product, generally maintained by the project owner.
A Spring backlog is treated as a product backlog subset and contains the requirements and features which are related to a particular sprint only.
Pair programming is a technique involving two programmers in a team, where one programmer writes code and other one reviews it. Both of them are subject to switch roles as per project requirement.
In pair programming, programmers are capable of experiencing smooth knowledge transfer, as an experienced partner can teach the other one about the codes and techniques. Added to that, continuous review of the code by the second partner reduces the chances of mistakes and enhances code quality.
Scrum of Scrums is the meeting among multiple teams, who work on a project together. Each team holds its individual scrum meeting. However, in order to coordinate among the distinct teams, a separate meeting has to be organized, which is called the Scrum of Scrums. An ambassador represents its team in the scrum of scrums.
The primary points that are discussed in the meeting include the team progress after the last meeting, the challenges faced by the teams while completing the last task, the task to be done before the next meeting.
The leader as well as the coach of a Scrum team is called the Scrum Master. The scrum master is responsible for serving and protecting his team from any kind of distractions that could affect their performance. The main role of the scrum master is to motivate his team to achieve the sprint goal by being familiar with the implementation of Agile and Scrum principles and applications. The scrum master keeps a proper check on the scrum team if they are executing committed tasks properly.
|The traditional approach to software development, Waterfall is based on the principles of sequence, strict hierarchy, and documentation.||The Scrum methodology is based on different principles, promoting flexibility in its proceedings.|
|All stages of the Waterfall projects are sequential. None of them can commence unless the previous stages are completed. All projects are presided over by a formal leader.||All stages of a Scrum project is independent, that is, all of them can start on its own and amended accordingly. The only person who coordinates the work of a Scrum team is a Scrum Master, who is more of a coach than a leader.|
|It is impossible to return to the previous stage in the Waterfall methodology. In case a failure that occurred in the initial stages was identified in the final stage, the entire project needs to be made from scratch.||All tasks done by a Scrum team is subdivided into small charts that are called sprints. The product owner can review each sprint and estimate it, thereby eliminating the errors simultaneously.|
|Documentation is a common practice. The Waterfall developers should gather all the necessary information about the customer’s wishes before the work on a project starts and document it. All their further work is based on documents.||Documentation not needed as the project’s priorities may change after every sprint.|
|The customer is not involved in the process of software development.||The product owner is always present in a Scrum project.|
|The customer sees the product only after the work is finished; therefore it is most likely that the final product will not meet the customer’s requirements.||The client is always in the loop and may ask for changes or improvements in the code on an ongoing basis. This ensures that the final product satisfies the customer.|
The most commonly used Scrum tools are JIRA, Version One, and Rally Software.
The five phases of risk management in Agile Technology are identification, categorization, response, review, and closure.
A Scrum Master can track the progress of sprint by using the burndown chart. The vertical (x) axis depicts the remaining amount of work while the horizontal (y) axis depicts the number of Sprints.
Only the product owner can cancel a Sprint before the Sprint timebox limit exhausts.
The Product owner, the Scrum master, and the development team are involved in a typical Scrum framework.
A Scrum project is estimated using Planning Poker, T-shirt, Disaggregation, Analogy, and Agile estimation techniques
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the minimum feature that is required in a project according to the stakeholders’ requirements.
Burn-up and Burn-down charts are used to trace the status and progress of any project. The burn-up chart demonstrates the amount of work finished, while the burn-down chart demonstrates the amount of work which is remaining to complete a project.
A sprint retrospective meeting is necessary to discuss certain areas in terms of how the team is carrying out the project, what are the problems being faced and what is the scope to improve it. A plan is created for improving the efficacy of the project in the next sprint.
Burndown charts depict the amount of work pending to complete a project. It is also used to highlight redundancy. In the burn-down chart, the X-axis illustrates working days, while the Y-axis illustrates the remaining work to be completed.
Sashimi is a method used by Scrum masters to check whether all the functions created by the developers are completed or not. This technique allows thorough check of all steps of development such as analysis, design, code, testing and documentation. This is followed by the display of the project to the stakeholders.
In a Sprint Retrospective Meeting, all the Scrum roles, including the product owner, scrum master, and scrum team discuss the pros and cons in a sprint, and the methods for sprint improvements. This meeting is conducted at the end of the sprint and generally lasts for 2-3 hours.
In a Sprint Planning Meeting the product owner, scrum master, and scrum team discuss the prioritization of tasks and product backlogs. This meeting is conducted every week and it generally lasts for approximately 1 hour.
With an aim to achieve highest level of transparency in a Scrum Team, a storyboard is required. It is a visual representation of the status of the project, which comprises four columns stating, ‘To do’, ‘In Progress’, ‘Test’, and ‘Done’.
A product roadmap refers to a comprehensive view of product features, which helps developers outline the product vision.
Agile methodology can also be applied in the field of biochemistry, biophysics, or biomedical studies. In other words, it can be deployed in any industry where there is insufficient data and the project demands to be completed in a small team.
Scope creep refers to the condition when the requirements are not properly outlined, or when new features get amended to the product that is already in the development stage.
Scope creep can be prevented by clearly stating the requirements, closely monitoring the project progress, or effectively grooming the sprint backlog.
DoD means Definition of Done. DoD is formed to list the tasks that define the quality of work and decide if the sprint backlog activity is completed or not.
Conflict is quite common when a group of people work towards a common goal. Differences in views has the potential to take the project towards a positive outcome. A discord in a Scrum team can be resolved by discussing the challenges each team member is facing while conducting a sprint.
|Agile Lightweight Approach||Agile Fuller Approach|
|Scrum||Scrum of Scrums|
|Lean Software Development||Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale)|
|Kanban (process and method)||Large-scale Scrum (LeSS)|
|Extreme Programming (XP)||Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)|
|Continuous Integration (CI)||Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)|
|Continuous Delivery (CD)||Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)|
|Feature Driven Development (FDD)||Agile Project Management (AgilePM)|
|Test-Driven Development||Agile Unified Process (AUP)|
|Crystal Clear||Open Unified Process (OpenUP)|
Daily stand up is a meeting session held on a daily basis to track the progress of the project. It is generally held in the morning for around 15 minutes to analyze what is done the last day, what needs to be done today and what impediments are being faced by the team while completing a required task.
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