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Stages in the Life-cycle of Agile Development Process

TheCodeWork Team

29 June 2022 10 minutes read
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Reading Time: 10 minutes

Organizations big and small are following the Agile Methodology today to deliver high-quality performance. So what exactly is it? Let’s explore it together!  

Well, the Agile method is an iterative process of project development and management. It lets development teams offer the best results to their clients more quickly and with fewer difficulties along the way.  Something that you would undeniably want for your company?

I know, I know, that sounds rather confusing at first. But what it basically means is this. An agile team produces work in manageable, small packets rather than staking all on the “big bang” launch. Kind of like studying for an exam throughout the year versus just studying the whole syllabus the night before the exam.

You’re getting my point, right? 

Agile teams also believe in continuously evaluating project plans and objectives. As a result, they are highly flexible and can quickly adjust to change. Sounds like a Minimum Viable Product, right?

But wait! How exactly does the Agile method work, and how can you apply agile methodologies effectively for your business? Please allow us to respond to these and other queries.

In this week’s article, we will give you a brief overview of the Agile way of building products in your startups and take you on a journey through its many stages of it.

Want to implement the agile methodology for your business? Talk to us TODAY!

So let’s dive right in! 

Agile methodology: A brief history

To fully appreciate Agile, we have to understand what it was like before. So let’s start with a quick walk down memory lane. 

Agile methodology

Credits: Dreamstime

I hope you are excited about this!

Before the emergence of the Agile way of business, development teams—across various sectors— would identify the business requirements and make plans for a solution.  Then they would set to work creating that solution and bringing it to the market as a whole. 

In particular, the majority of organizations used the Waterfall method, a development methodology that hinged on mapping everything from the get-go. 

waterfall method

Source: Jonathan Blackwell

The waterfall method in brief,

As you might expect, this created all sorts of problems. Following a predetermined plan strictly could be quite challenging at major times. Furthermore, since the Waterfall method focused on bringing a finished product to the market, sometimes it took years before teams completed the task at hand.

waterfall method

Source: Emil R Kaburuan

Sounds rather frustrating, doesn’t it? Some software developers thought so too. And they decided to come up with something better! 

The Emergence of Agile

I believe you are already getting the analogy between the agile way of business and building MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Why you ask? Well, MVP is a part of the agile way of business. Simple!

Want to know more about MVP? Read – What every entrepreneur should know about MVP?

In 2001, a group of software engineers united to talk about ways to accelerate the development process and speed up the release of new software. 

So………drumroll!

Together, they came up with the Agile Manifesto, which comprised four core values: 

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  4. Responding to change by following a plan
Agile - four core values

Source: Selleo

All through the 2010s, this methodology started to pick up steam among the various software development teams. Soon, these teams showed real-world success metrics. In fact, statistics revealed that Agile initiatives are 1.5x more likely to be more successful than Waterfall projects.

You know what? Talk to us and get an overall idea about this methodology!

Consequently, this innovative approach to project building and management got popular and major organizations and industries started adopting it. 

Today, the agile methodology can be seen in some form in most organizations across the world. To name a few – Fitbit, IBM, Cisco, and Barclays follow the Agile development principles in their development process. 

Cool, right?

Why you should switch to the Agile methodology

“A traditional project manager focuses on following the plan with minimal changes, whereas an agile leader focuses on adapting successfully to inevitable changes.”

Jim Highsmith, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products

Okay now comes the major question – Why should you switch to agile methodology?

Now from experience, we have gathered some of the problems businesses face while working on a new project. Have a look at this:

And many more. These are just the top ones.

As you can imagine, these obstacles bog down the whole development process and slow down the project enormously. 

Now, I’m sure you do not want this to happen every time you get a new project in your startup or business. Consequently, following the Agile model is probably the best way to ensure it doesn’t happen. 

Here’s why:

• Increased Flexibility

Increased Flexibility

Agile teams produce a continuous stream of value, at a sustainable pace, while adapting to the changing needs of the business.

Elisabeth Hendrickson, Agile Author and Trainer

The foundation of the agile technique is adapting to change. We know that project requirements frequently evolve. Right?

So in response to that, you should be able to respond and update your product as the market grows. The Agile method acknowledges the fact that brilliant ideas might strike in the middle of a project.

• Effective Risk Management

Effective Risk Management

Be prepared to cut your losses – Canceling bad projects early is success because you save time, money and resources that can be applied to better opportunities.

Ian Spence and Kurt Bittner, Agile Authors

Think of the whole development process as cooking– the Agile method allows you to taste what you are cooking from the very beginning. Instead of tasting your final dish at the very end only to find out that it is missing some seasonings! Sounds horrific, doesn’t it? 

With the Agile method, you get to phase out your releases. So, you can test and use a product early on in the development process. As a result, you can spot feature deficiencies and problems pretty early on, and work to fix them. Now doesn’t that sound a lot better? 

• Efficient Cost Management

Efficient Cost Management

The Agile process is extremely flexible when it comes to modifying project scope. As you must have experienced, your product requirements frequently change. What then? With the Agile method, you can reorganize the product requirements at any time. That’s the whole point. 

In this way, you can replace the old requirements with the new ones–at no extra cost at all! Obviously, this makes upgrades very economical and is the best way to go about it when you are trying to manage costs. 

• Maintaining product Quality

Maintaining product Quality

Also, see. This method of product development believes in regular testing— at every step of the development process.  

As you might expect, this process improves the overall product quality. Furthermore, the phased releases make it possible to test products from a very early stage. So, your product will require less time for quality assurance at the final stage. 

Now, tell me if that doesn’t sound like a real time-saver!

All of these features add up so that you can deliver the final product in a quicker way and save money as well. This is an actual lead magnet, I tell you!

So, now that we have a fair idea about the Agile model and its many benefits, let’s take a look into the 6 stages of the Agile development process. Shall we?

Stages of the Agile Life-cycle

“Agility means that you are faster than your competition. Agile time frames are measured in weeks and months, not years.”

Michael Hugos, Agile Systems Architect

The Agile life-cycle consists of a series of six phases that a product has to go through from its start to finish. 

The six stages are – Conception, ideation, iteration, testing, execution, and review and repeat. 

Allow me to walk you through it!

➡ Conception

Conception

In this stage, you as the product owner will have to set the product vision. I mean, that’s obvious, right? It is basically the final aim or goal of your product. 

Here, you will have to mark the broad outline of what your product will really be and how it will be different from the competitors. What’s more, you will also have to think about the development strategy, who will use the product, and why.

Here, you need to ask yourself questions like:

The main goals of this stage include:

All these factors make up the MVP stage of a business plan. 

➡ Ideation 

Ideation

After discussing the primary features of the project, it is time to create the development team. So what next? Well, you will now have to choose the right team for the concerned project. 

So far so good, right?

Also If you are in need to build a tech team, do reach out to us at TheCodeWork today!

Okay now buckle up because you will need to do some heavy thinking in this phase! 

This stage consists of the following

➡ Iteration 

iteration

Next comes the longest phase of the whole process: the iteration phase. The best part as well, I believe.

The majority of the development work is done here. In this stage, your team will translate the design into code by collaborating with UX designers. By doing this, you will be able to incorporate all the feedback into your product design.

At the end of the first iteration, your product should be functional, at least. You can then add more features and refinements in later revisions. 

The main steps in this stage include:

This stage is crucial to Agile software development. I’ll tell you why. This is the stage where you develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and create a Call to Action (CTA). I’m sure you’ve heard about them! If you want the maximum bang for your buck, MVPs are the way to go!

Here’s a list of some popular MVPs that have benefited hugely from the Agile development process.

➡ Testing

Testing

This phase is concerned with quality assurance, reviewing, and putting the last iteration into production. I know you are aware of this part, come on!

In the testing phase, you have to make sure that the product is bug-free and consistent with everything developed earlier. This is in addition to the regular testing that is done throughout the previous stage after every sprint. Getting my point?

This stage involves the following steps:

Here, the quality checking team performs a whole bunch of tests to guarantee the following:

The software is prepared to go live after passing each of these testing phases.

➡ Execution 

Execution

Yess, we are ALMOST done!

The product is finally fit to launch after extensive testing and positive results. At this stage, your product has reached the point of deployment and is now accessible to users. 

I knew you were waiting for this part! Who doesn’t?

Now as soon as you release the product, your team will enter the maintenance phase.  To maintain the system stability and address any potential issues, your team will have to offer continuous assistance.

The primary goal of the execution phase is to keep systems functional, error-free, and efficient after deployment. Quite a tough job, I can assure you. So get help and make the process as smooth as possible.

To summarize the entire part, this step consists of the following steps:

Short and sweet, right?

➡ Review and Repeat 

Review and Repeat 

And we have finally made it to the last stage! 

All that you need to do now is, evaluate for the finishing touch. It is time to assess how well you have ticked all the requirements, noting both the pros and cons that came up along the way.

You may also ask for input from tech experts and add it to the list of requirements for the next iteration.

In the reviewing phase, your team can easily predict and address upcoming issues. You will now have a better understanding of the team’s workflow, what worked, and what didn’t.

After all this is said and done, a new iteration of the Agile development life cycle begins.

Wrapping up

So, the benefits of the Agile process of development, are innumerable. I am sure you will agree with me on this. Adopting the Agile method will allow you to operate in a detail-oriented manner. That too while concentrating on providing users with functional products as soon as possible.

To be completely honest, there is no formal Agile structure that can guarantee a project’s total success. But, one thing is for sure: a successful project delivery is impossible without the correct development team.

The good thing is that TheCodeWork is here to assist you in assembling the ideal team and delivering your dream product. So, if you are interested in getting the perfect tailor-made results for your project idea, speak to our team today!

TheCodeWork Team

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