The software development life cycle (SDLC) is a methodology development teams follow to design, develop, test and deploy cutting-edge software and tech assets. The SDLC is followed with the primary aim to deliver high-quality software as the final output, software that matches client requirements within timeframes and budgets. But what is ‘Agile’? And what does Agile Software development mean and entail? Read on for a comprehensive guide detailing the agile software development lifecycle.
What is Agile SDLC
The agile SDLC is a mixed approach to software development that combines iterative and incremental delivery models. An Agile SDLC focuses on process flexibility and user requirements regarding features, CX, and performance in equal measures. Rapid delivery is yet another prime objective of an Agile SDLC. Simply put, the Agile SDLC first facilitates the creation of small incremental builds, which are then incorporated into iterations presented to the client. Read this for how to manage an Agile software development project.
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The Steps of Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
While following an Agile SDLC, the client is presented with physical results Regarding working software at each stage. The client can choose to add/remove features, change layouts, and ask for a complete change of the presented work. Following the iterative and incremental nature of the agile methodology, development partners can incorporate these changes/feature additions with minimal expenses in terms of time, cost and effort. The various phases of an Agile SDLC are as follows-
- Requirements gathering and analysis
This is the first phase of the Agile SDLC, where the development partner speaks with the client’s business and design teams to understand the problem statement/market need that the client intends to address.
In this phase, the development partner needs to define requirements in synergy with the client while conducting a technical and economic feasibility analysis of features and other bits and bobs the client wishes to incorporate into the software to be developed.
- Design the requirements
Also termed as wireframing, this stage further focuses on the client’s requirement list. Development teams chart out best practices and methodologies to fit software development that matches the client’s requirements. Flow Digrams and high–level UML(Unified Modelling Language) diagrams are used to show how each feature will fit into the greater entity of the software being developed and how it would interface and merge with the client’s legacy systems.
- Construction/ Iteration
Here is where the grunt work begins. Developers roll up their sleeves and get down to hard-core coding with clearly defined goals (client requirements). In the Agile SDLC, this process may end and begin numerous times, given the iterative and incremental nature of the methodology. Timeframes and budgets are crucial, and many a time, this process begins with developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to give the client a gist of what the developers will soon begin working on.
The deployment phase might also have several start and end points throughout the SDLC, similar to the construction phase. Incremental deployment of software is now the industry norm, with methodologies like DevOps facilitating the creation of a CI/CD (Continuous Iteration/ Continuous Delivery) pipeline. The software developed is deployed to the user’s work environment before the next iteration.
This is the phase in which the development partners’ Quality Assurance team takes the reins of testing the developed software for bugs and issues. This process is repeated after every iteration and before deployment to the client.
Once the product is released, the next step is gathering feedback. This can be done internally by the client or by them releasing beta versions to an observable sample group. In this phase, the development partner (sometimes through the client) gathers real user feedback and iron out deficiencies and errors while fine-tuning features for optimal output.
Advantages of Agile SDLC
As mentioned earlier, an Agile SDLC has become the industry norm. Most development companies proudly advertise their ‘Agile approach’ to software development, given the many benefits. Some advantages of tan Agile SDLC are as follows-
- Large projects are segregated into manageable, observable, and transparent iterations, offering the client a perfect view of the software deficiencies and capabilities.
- The flexibility of re-working a specific feature or adding a new one with minimal downtimes and minimal expenses in terms of cost has gained immense popularity thanks to the business sense it makes.
- With the enhanced flexibility to incorporate changes, fix bugs, and add features, following an Agile SDLC significantly reduces risks of project failure, release timeframes, and budget oversteps.
- Being incremental, the Agile SDLC offers quick releases of working software, maintaining the involvement of stakeholders on both sides of the table. Developers are encouraged to fail fast for sustained success in the long run.
- The Customer has a clear view of what is being built, how it will function, whether or not it matches their business goals and how well it integrates with their existing systems.
Wrapping up With Agility
The Agile methodology has become one of the successful, value-adding software development fundamentals. It is an approach that supersedes the traditional Waterfall model, which was error-prone and very (stressing on ‘very’ here) resources intensive. The Waterfall model is step-wise and linear without the option to go back and change what has already been built. Its rigidity has caused most development companies to move away from it and towards the agile methodology that offers better value in better time and at lower costs. Leading custom software development services providers follow the Agile SDLC.
The Agile SDLC facilitated the development of a progressively better product that incorporates real user feedback while remaining in complete alignment with the client’s business goals. We trust that this article has proven informative. Until next time, happy developing.
In the case of development teams working on embedded systems, Agile SDLCs facilitate the creation of a software feature-by-feature with extensive testing for functionality and CX before moving on to the next feature requirement. In summation, the Agile SDLC is an extension of the Agile methodology, which propagates the importance of making space for iterations, thus resulting in a significantly leaner, effective, and efficient end product.