One of the biggest challenges for anyone who is going to start a project , whether it is related to the development of a product, a software or anything else, is to ensure that the execution of the project is well done and that the final delivery is consistent with what was proposed. initially. And it was precisely thinking about facilitating this process that the so-called agile methodologies were born. Types of agile methodologies
Keeping a team aligned, being able to convey messages clearly and keeping the focus on what was defined at the beginning of the project is something extremely complex and that goes beyond performing good management.
Therefore, more and more companies have bet on the famous agile methods, such as Scrum and Lean, to make their work more assertive and efficient.
Next, we will talk a little more about this subject and, in addition to showing what agile methodologies are, we will bring their benefits and the main methods that have been used in the day to day of companies – for you to bring to yours too!
Agile methodologies have been an option for many technology teams and companies, with it it is possible to have more agile and assertive deliveries. Types of agile methodologies
What are agile methodologies?
Agile methods emerged in the Information Technology industry to solve problems common to almost every organization that needs to manage projects: very long production steps and no defined deliverables; lack of clarity and communication between teams; misalignment between staff and client and others. Therefore, they were also quickly adopted in other markets and for projects beyond technology.
Some agile methodologies are: Scrum ; Feature Driven-Development (FDD) and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe).
Every project needs to have a well-defined beginning and end, but its execution can span periods of more than years – during which a lot can happen. So, it was necessary to develop intelligent and efficient methods that managed to circumvent these problems and that could simplify the way projects were executed – generating positive impacts on their completion. Then the agile methods began to be implemented. Types of agile methodologies
As opposed to traditional models, agile methodologies propose short development cycles, with well-defined deliverables and a focus on continuous process improvement and team alignment. As a result, it became simpler to identify errors and failures during the execution of the project and the people involved in it gained more flexibility and ease to make adaptations and prevent certain problems from affecting the final result.
As examples of agile methods, one can cite Scrum, Kanban, Lean and many others – which we will talk about in the next paragraphs.
the agile manifesto
Although many of the methodologies predate this, in 2001 a group of 17 people met to discuss these new approaches to project management and created the so-called Agile Manifesto, which, in a way, makes the existence of the methodologies official and establishes principles that characterize them. Types of agile methodologies
From this document, it can be said that the most important principles that guide the application of an agile method are:
- Communication: individuals and interaction between them more than processes and tools;
- Practicality: Working software rather than comprehensive documentation;
- Alignment of expectations and collaboration: collaboration with the client and project members rather than contract negotiation;
- Adaptability and flexibility: responding to change rather than following a plan.
12 Principles of the Agile Manifesto
- Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcoming requirements changes, even late in development. Agile processes leverage change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a few weeks to a few months, with the shortest time preferred.
- Entrepreneurs and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. Types of agile methodologies
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Functional software is the main measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. Sponsors, developers and users must be able to maintain a steady pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design increases agility.
- Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of unfinished work—is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then fine-tunes and adjusts their behavior accordingly.
Advantages of working with agile methods
Some of the advantages of working with agile methods over traditional project management approaches are:
- Greater alignment between the team and with customers and quick resolution of possible problems and conflicts; Types of agile methodologies
- Risk reduction and high quality end result;
- Saving resources through more assertive deliveries;
- Agility and efficiency in deliveries and in the execution of the project as a whole;
- Flexibility to propose alternatives and reach the best possible solution.
Not to mention the indirect benefits that agile methodologies can bring, such as improving the climate between areas and in the company as a whole; increasing the organization’s credibility and reliability in the market; and much more.
Some of the main types of agile methods
Now that you know what agile methodologies are, know their principles and understand the advantages they can bring to your company, it’s time to get to know some of the main types of agile methods that can be applied to a project.
You’ve probably heard of this agile method. It is widely used in companies today for two main reasons: it integrates with other agile methodologies, in addition to being able to be used in any project management, be it development or not.
In development teams, Scrum works based on a few main elements: the product backlog, the sprint backlog, the sprint and the sprint review. It works like this:
- from the Product Backlog, the team chooses which features will enter this first sprint, distributing them among the team members;
- the Sprint is a period to carry out what was proposed, which lasts a maximum of 30 days;
- at the end of the Sprint period, a meeting is held to verify the deliverables and plan the next Sprint;
- the cycle repeats until the final product is ready.
See how the template can be easily repurposed for any project? The only cases where Scrum is not recommended are for employees and teams that have recurring work . In other words, they are not organized through projects, but through constancy.
Tip : you can prove your expertise in this methodology by taking the Professional Scrum Master certificate , from Scrum Org. This is the most valued certificate in the world for this category.
eXtreme Programming (XP)
This is perhaps the most well-defined agile method that exists today. It was created in the mid-1990s and defines three main spheres of software development: the pillars of methodology, a contract of behaviors and attitudes, and best work practices. Let’s find out what they are?
The three pillars that will guide the management of the project are very simple : to value the agility in the development of the solution, while saving possible resources, without harming the quality of the final product.
But to do that, you need to sign the behavior and attitude contract within the team.
Finally, there are the best working practices, which do not have to be followed to the letter, but their ideas can go a long way in structuring an agile development process . Check out:
- having a client who is available to deal with and understand the project;
- use metaphors when talking about the development process for lay people;
- have constant team planning and connection meetings;
- include incremental changes in planning from the start;
- split the project delivery into small deliveries to the customer;
- always cherish what is simple and functional, both in language and in design;
- do acceptance tests and think about continuous improvement.
Scale Agile Framework (SAFe)
The Scale Agile Framework, or SAFe, is not exactly an agile methodology. It is a tool that helps you leverage an agile methodology and allows it to be applied in larger and more complex contexts than it was initially designed to be.
Imagine a company that has 500 employees or more and that staff is made up of 80% of developers.
Certainly these developers are divided into groups and within them agile methodologies are used.
However, how do these groups communicate? How can they build cohesive work together? Simple, with the principles of SAFe, which are:
- use the same agile methodologies among the development subgroups and understand directly with the employee when the result is not delivered and why it has not been delivered;
- do an internal analysis identifying the main mistakes made by teams and hire mentors and leaders who know how to solve this;
- periodically review product-related deliverables as well as business-related exercises with the organization’s leaders;
- align strategic planning directly with product backlogs to drive and ensure business prosperity.
Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF)
As with Scrum, MSF can be applied in any industry, as it is more about project management than development. The Microsoft Solutions Framework works on assumptions and best practices.
The premises are basic and very logical: starting from a structured and well-detailed scope, following the principles of iterative development, working in favor of risk management and being agile in responding to changes.
Let’s take a look now at the best practices of this methodology:
- clear communication between those involved to promote a shared vision of the project and the business;
- clear distribution of responsibilities from the beginning of the project;
- maintaining the quality of deliveries while having the flexibility to change when necessary;
- constant learning to make incremental deliveries.
Now let’s talk briefly about two of the best agile methodologies and best known by the market. They can help you a lot to have insights for a good management of your team. Look!
- Kanban : Like Scrum and MSF, it is for any project management. Basically, it consists of working with three-column boards, which show what has to be done, what is in progress and what has already been delivered.
- Agile Squad : famous methodology already widely used, which became famous after Spotify announced using it. She is great for working with large teams, as she makes this division very simple and also very efficient.
Tips for better using agile methodologies
The best project management tools on the market will not work if you expect your team to develop everything from scratch, even elements that are not directly related to your core business.
To get the best out of agile development methodologies, you need to be very focused.
This, for sure, is one of the biggest mistakes of managing programming teams: getting stuck in something that is not related to the core business and leaving aside what really generates value for the end customer.
Therefore, the ability to know how to prioritize and understand when it is time to hire a supplier is essential.