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An Overview of Agile Development Cycle

  • Ashesh Anand
  • Apr 28, 2022
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Agile SDLC is built on collaborative decision-making between requirements and solutions teams, as well as a cyclical, iterative process for developing working software. The Agile SDLC, or Agile Software Development Life Cycle, is a departure from the standard software development life cycle, which prioritizes work for software development teams upfront.


One reason for this is that traditional cycles have long time frames, and most startups and small businesses don't have the financial resources to wait that long. They must contend with the harsh realities that competitors may be able to beat them to market with a finished product, or that their clients may have already moved on to the next bright idea.


Agile is a philosophy and a great technique to approach software development by accelerating the continual enhancement of specific products over multiple iterations.


Let's look into the word "Agile development" as a whole.


What is the Agile Software Development Cycle, and How Does it Work?


Agile software development is a set of approaches centered on the idea of iterative development, in which processes and solutions improve over time as cross-functional teams collaborate.


While methods and documentation are important, Agile teams do not adhere to rigid schedules. If a step jeopardizes the development's efficiency, they swiftly adjust and improve it. What is important is that you get the finest possible result.


Also read | Agile Business Analysts


Phases of the Agile Software Development Life Cycle


A product's agile lifecycle is a sequence of stages that it goes through. It is divided into six stages:

Image depicts the life cycle of Agile Development, this involves Analyzing user requirements, Designing the program, Coding the program, Documenting and Testing the system, and then Operating and maintaining the system.

Life Cycle of Agile Software Development


  1. Requirements


Stakeholders examine the whole project to determine the amount of time and resources needed to complete the development process. At the same time, the owner evaluates the risks and prioritizes the various functions based on their importance to the company.


The ideation stage is the starting point for all successful Agile software development projects. The Agile product owner assembles the vision for the project by working closely with stakeholders, the business team, developers, and potential app users through:


  • Determining the new software's purpose and goal


  • Identifying and documenting business and user needs


  • Setting priorities and distributing resources



  1. Design


The software owner meets with the software development team and walks them through the first step's requirements. The committee then examines the order in which functions should be introduced, as well as the necessary tools, such as the programming language, syntactic libraries, and basic frameworks. 


Software development teams can prototype the desired user interface at the same time. Work with stakeholders to define requirements once you've defined the project. To demonstrate how new features function and how they will fit into your existing system, use a user flow diagram or a high-level UML diagram.



  1. Coding and development


The work begins once the team has defined the requirements. Designers and programmers begin work on their project. Designers and developers want to get a working product out in a reasonable amount of time. The product will go through several rounds of development, thus it will have basic, rudimentary functionality.


The team builds the product after the customer and the team have agreed on the plan. The product is released in stages, with each sprint aimed at improving the current version of the product. Many adjustments are likely to be made to the initial release in order to improve functioning and add new features.


Each cycle includes testing, and the final product must also be put through its paces.



  1. Testing and Integration


Because the product is now open to the general public, the team must run a number of tests to confirm that it is completely functional. If any potential faults or flaws are discovered, the developers will address them right away. They also gathered user feedback at this point.


This phase includes the following steps:


Stakeholders/clients are associated with the team.


  • Iterations and functionality must be prioritized and implemented.
  • Each iteration/sprint is scrutinized and developed.
  • The release of working solutions on a regular basis.
  • To ensure quality, testing is performed at the end of each process.



  1. Retirement


The application retirement stage of the agile SDLC is concerned with when the current product is published and the older version is no longer supported.


It is common for apps to undergo modest updates and adjustments, however when these applications are no longer cost-effective or benefit the specified goals, they are removed from the production cycle.


Principles for a Smooth Software Development Process


The following are the principles for successful software development:


  1. Embraces Changes and Is Open to Improvements


Agile development accepts suggestions that are beneficial to the creation of the correct product. In contrast to certain strict methodologies, agile development allows for adjustments in the later stages of development.


  1. Customer Satisfaction, Through Early and Consistent Delivery


The top objective is to meet the client's requirements by delivering an effective solution as scheduled by the customer while minimizing the time it takes to finish the sprints.


  1. Long-Term Development


Work is done in short, fixed-duration bursts in the Agile Development Cycle to assure productivity and superior results. In agile project management, developing the appropriate product at the right time is critical to success.


  1. Focused on Breaking the Hefty Chunk into Short Sprints


Agile divides a project into short fix duration sprints in order to deliver a workable solution to the client on time


  1. Using Face-to-Face Discussions to Ensure Transparency


Face-to-face discussions are encouraged for constructive feedback and continual improvement in order to achieve target expectations and ensure quality assurance.


  1. Providing the Best Design and Technology


In the Agile Development Cycle, code refinement is not required because the code improves organically with each iteration. Scrum tools can help speed up the process even further, allowing you to complete more work in less time without sacrificing quality.


  1. Excellent Client-Developer Collaboration


In the Agile Development Cycle, stakeholders and developers collaborate closely to achieve success. As a result, Agile exemplifies a wonderful marriage of people and technology.


  1. Creating a High-Quality Product


Prior to implementation, the software/product is thoroughly tested for defects and weaknesses to ensure that business activities run smoothly.


Also Read | Types of Agile Methodologies


Advantages of Agile Software Development


Agile arose in part as a reaction to problems in the software development process that preceded it. The most typical, waterfall, was substantially front-loaded and focused on creating a long-term development strategy before putting it into action. Agile, on the other hand, emphasizes breaking down a project into manageable chunks and encouraging self-organizing teams.


Agile proponents argue that the approach, with its incremental development, efficient communication, ongoing adaptation, and greater product quality, helps to better serve client needs:


  1. Prioritize quality


To increase code quality, specific tools and techniques are frequently employed, such as continuous integration, pair programming, test-driven development, design patterns, automated unit testing, domain-driven design, code refactoring, static analysis, and other techniques. 


The key to ensuring this quality during the Scrum process is to rely on automated tools; manual alternatives take much too long to keep up with the Agile development process's fast speed. Veracode helps organizations certify the security of the apps they produce using the Agile process by promptly identifying problems in the code they authored the day before.


  1. Developing Gradually


Agile approaches save planning time by breaking activities down into manageable chunks that are completed in one to four week timeframes (timeboxes). Self-organizing, cross-functional teams that work on all aspects of the project: planning, analysis, design, coding, and testing. 


The finished product is shown to everyone involved once it is completed. This gradual strategy reduces total risk and enables for rapid adaptability to a changing environment, request, or unforeseen situation.


Also Read | What is Agile?


  1. Change Adaptation and a Short Feedback Loop


Daily status meetings, often known as "stand-ups" or "daily scrums," are held by most Agile teams. Team members report on their previous day's work, what they anticipate to complete today, and what obstacles are preventing them from completing their responsibilities during this 10- to 15-minute meeting. 


This "inspect-and-adapt" approach reduces development costs and time-to-market while also allowing stakeholders to test and modify releases on a regular basis, ensuring that they are ready for usage in the real world.


  1. Efficient, face-to-face communication


Each agile team has a customer representative who is chosen by stakeholders to act on their behalf and makes a personal commitment to being available for developers to address queries during the iteration. 



Agile vs Waterfall Method


Both Agile and Waterfall methods are used for efficient software development processes and holding different approaches. On the basis of requirement and types of project, the two method have following differences:


Agile Method

Waterfall Method


It focuses on a cumulative and iterative approach for software design.

It follows a sequential workflow from start to finish.


The software designing process is divided into separated models for designers to work upon.

Such a designing process is not segmented into individual models.


The agile method is comparatively unstructured to the waterfall method.

Being a plan-oriented model, the waterfall method is more strong.


In an iterative based development process, the project is executed for a shorter period of iterations (around 2-4 weeks) and follows less planning.

The development process is conducted in some phases where each phase is much bigger than iteration. Also each phase finishes with a detailed description of the next phase.


During the development process, if errors are found, they can be fixed in the project execution.

In the waterfall method, once the product is tested at the end, and errors are found, or any requirement of modification, the project will be initiated from the start.


Testers and developers can work simultaneously, and at the end of each segmented model, user acceptance is performed.

Whereas in this method, testers have to work independently from developers, and user acceptance is performed at the end of the project. 


Why should you choose Agile?


Any modern business must be able to respond swiftly to shifting market trends, which are fueled by severe competition and changing customer demands. And it is Agile that is transforming the way businesses work in the digital world.


Adaptive Software Development, Extreme Programming, Lean Software Development, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Feature-Based Development, Kanban (depending on usage), Scrum, and other Agile project management approaches are among them. 


Many of them have been described in our blog. The goal of this essay is to provide an answer to the topic of why Agile is so popular in the software development business.


This is unsurprising given Agile's flexible, iterative, and incremental nature. Companies can concentrate on the necessities while keeping the product or service they wish to introduce in mind. As they grow, development teams can change their strategy and receive regular feedback on their product.


The rate of Agile adoption in both IT teams and other organizations has doubled this year, according to the Agile Report. Almost half of the respondents (49%) were concerned with corporate value and customer happiness (49 percent ). A 45 percent increase in delivery speed is often regarded as a significant signal of flexibility.


Latest Comments

  • Brenda Gray

    Aug 04, 2023

    Agile's focus on continual enhancement and the pursuit of the finest possible result resonates well with the dynamic nature of software development. It's inspiring to see how Agile methodology empowers teams to prioritize outcomes over rigid schedules, fostering a culture of flexibility and innovation.