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What is Agile Software Development? Agile SDLC

  • Neelam Tyagi
  • Sep 18, 2020
  • Updated on: Jun 16, 2021
What is Agile Software Development? Agile SDLC title banner

Today, in the technological world, we have come so far with most advanced technology whether it is machine learning or artificial intelligence. Research and development teams of several enterprises across the globe have deployed technologies in order to deliver agile solutions.


Here, the very first thing comes to mind,

  1. "What are the agile solutions?"
  2. "How technology is being implemented in providing agile solutions?"
  3. "What will be the methods and approaches deployed for the same?”


Agile is a mindset, a perfect way to approach software development escalating the continuous augmentation of specific products by means of several iterations.


Let’s discover the umbrella term “Agile development”.



Table of Contents


  1. What is Agile?

  2. Benefits of Agile

  3. What is Agile Software Development?

  4. Principles of Agile Development

  5. How Development is Processed in Agile?

  6. Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

  7. What are Agile Methodologies?

  8. Agile vs Waterfall Method

  9. Conclusion


What is Agile?


An agile is the time-confined, iterative approach to the software transmission that develops software from the initiating of the project to deliver it properly, up to the end. 


“In agile, transparency and iteration are essential.”


In other words, Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development in order to provide valuable services, faster to the customer with minimal troubles. An agile team achieves work in tiny, but consumable supplements.


There must be continuous evaluation of requirements, outlines and consequences in order to pursue an authentic process for reacting to changes instantly.


Therefore, agile is the knowledge to formulate and answer to changes, and a process of dealing with an unpredictable and uncontrolled environment.  


How does it operate? Well, it breaks the project into small bits of user functionality (user stories), prioritizing them, and after that delivering steadily them in a short time cycle, usually called iterations. We will be discussing the entire process in the coming sections.


Benefits of Agile


Benefits of agile incorporate its strength to assist teams in an emerging scenario while sustaining the fixate over the active delivery ofbusiness values. The collaborative environment, leveraged by agile, has promoted productivity throughout the organization through working together and understanding the particular needs and roles in the process.


Also, multiple organizations who are practising agile approaches, are more confident now while delivering a noble-featured product as an evaluation is conducted throughout the development and proffering the chances to mark changes as required. It also forewarns teams for any potential concerns.


Besides that, the image below is depicting the benefits of agile;

the image below is depicting the benefits of agile

Agile benefits, Image source

(Must read: Agile Business Analysts)



What is Agile Software Development?


Agile software development is basically a form of a development strategy that anticipates the necessity for adaptability and implements a degree of expediency in delivering the completed product. 


Agile software development demands a constructive transformation across the companies as it concentrates on the absolute and precise delivery of individual portions/ frames of the software product, instead of a full application.


“If your goal is to deliver a product that meets a known and unchanging specification, then try a repeatable process. However, if your goal is to deliver a valuable product to a customer within some targeted boundaries when change and deadlines are significant factors, then reliable Agile processes work better.” — Jim Highsmith


In simple words, it is a philosophy that signifies the parting of projects into small objectives and working towards these objectives while continuing new goals. Being an appropriate set-up, software development system could respond properly to diversity.


Agile development directs across maintaining the process sinewy and building minimum viable products (MVPs) which transpire into a number of iterations before getting finalized.


For instance, consider the video below elaborating the agile SDLC as a best practice & what makes it different from other methods with the understanding of some use cases.

Along with it, the feedback is aggregated and performed continuously in all. It is a highly productive process in which individuals are performing in collaboration towards one goal.


Although, an agile has replaced waterfall methodology in terms of preferences of development methodology in several companies. But it is itself at the peril of being overshadowed or devastated by the increasing universality of DevOps.


Principles of Agile Development


Describing below the principles of agile development;


  1. Most priority is given to customer’s satisfaction via immediate and constant delivery of invaluable software.

  2. It accepts the changeable necessities in every point of development.

  3. With the predilection to the minimum timescale and from a duo of weeks to a span of months, it can produce working software very frequently.

  4. Projects are designed and developed encompassing self-directed savvies, proper environment and support and, they seek, are provided to them in order to get the work done. 

  5. The elementary degree of development is the working stage of software.

  6. The face-to-face interaction/conversation is considered as the most practical and effective approach for communicating information to and within a development team.

  7. Sustain a consistent movement for concluded work and explore excellence.

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How Development is Processed in Agile?


In the brief discussion, let us study how development takes place under agile philosophy;

  1. The very first point accounted in agile development is “Design and Development”, both are considered as the essential exercises in the software development process.

  2. Being locus activities, design and development phase consolidate separate activities also, like, necessities extraction/quotation and testing into it.

  3. Iteration transpires across activities in the agile methods so that the demands and design would get developed combinedly, instead of distinctly.

  4. The distribution of requirements along with designing blueprints and development is accomplished as a series of increments. However, in disagreement with the traditional model, where total demands are required to be fulfilled for the continuing design and development stage, it provides agile development more flexibility.

  5. Instead of directing to documentation, an agile approach concentrates on an extra level of code development.



Agile Software Development Life Cycle (Agile SDLC)


A process of producing software of high quality and lowest cost in the shortest possible time is termed as Agile SDLC, it gives a well-planned workflow in the form of SDLC phases to aid organizations to build high-quality software very quickly, this software is fully tested and ready for the use of production.


The SDLC include six stages, explained below;

Concept, Inception, Development, Testing & Integration, Implementation, and Retirement are the six phases of the Agile Software Development Life Cycle, i.e Agile SDLC

Agile Software Development Life Cycle

  1. Concept


The first stage of the development cycle incorporates mapping out an envision and results, picturizing organizations via developing the application. 


As such, organizations decide the estimated development period, resources, and requirement of manpower, authorize the expediency of the project, so this stage monitor the rest course of the development cycle.


It is mandatory to clearly define the objectives of the project initially since it makes the guidelines to observe whether the project is being developed in terms with business needs.


  1. Inception


It acts as the planning stage for the entire project, beginning from narrowing down the agile framework, to be used, to highlight the features, functionalities, development workflow, and more relevant requirements from the application.


After this, the application is divided into the number of user stories, these stories are basically the high-level requirements artefacts that explain various features/things of applications, a user can do on the app. 


For example, “a user can place an order”, ”a user can make payment”, etc. These stories provide a vast idea of what needs to be constructed, what is taken into sprints, over the complete course of the development cycle.  


In essence, this stage assists in acquiring a good understanding of team flexibility and how the end product looks like, etc.


  1. Design Development and Construction


Under this stage, the actual product development process initiates. Depending on the selected framework, the application is built and modifications are made on the basis of continuing development feedback loops.


For example, at the scrum framework, the development takes place in sprints, i.e, a defined number of weeks to work on user stories, check the work conducted, and gathering of development feedback along with standing up meetings on regular basis to provide an overview at the progress, at any stage of development.


Basically, this stage produces a minimum viable product (MVP) that is used further to revise, testing, and getting feedback from the team. This might not be the final product being rolled out to use, but it gives critical feedback/essence of what it embraces to offer.


(Related read: What is Risk Management?)


  1. Testing and Integration


Before entering this stage, the application has undergone a series of iterations and an MVP is applied and driving the application into production.


However, in this stage, the application is also checked for quality assurance (QA) for identifying and eliminating any possible bugs, defects or discrepancies from the application. 


Accounting the behaviour of the changes made, this stage could incorporate massive development and repeated testing which is also accounted for in the planning stage of the application/project.  


  1. Implementation/deployment


Once the application is tested, it is ready for deployment on the servers and showed up for customers, however, developers can either release the beta version of the application or the final version if they are self-assured about the application.


Also, at this stage, the application is relatively monitored in order to pull out bugs, update functionality, introduce new features, etc. Such modifications are made according to the interest and demand of end-users.


Besides that, in order to bring major changes in the application, it is necessary to start a new development cycle while emphasizing on improving the end-user experience.


  1. Retirement  


The last stage of agile SDLC is concerned with the application retirement when the latest product is released out, the older version is no longer supported. 


It happens often that the applications undergo by virtue of minor updates and changes, but these applications would get removed form production cycle when they are no longer cost-effective or benefit the predetermined goals. 


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Advantages of Agile SDLC

  1. The development project is split into small and transparent iterations.

  2. It holds a broad width of flexibility, i.e., flexible change process.

  3. It reduces the risk of software development.

  4. The very speedy response of the early product version.

  5. Customer can check the result and think the product is reliable or not.

  6. The accuracy of functional necessities is employed in the development process. 



What are Agile Methodologies?


The below-outlined agile methodologies share similar underlying conception, same characteristics and practice. Also, from the utilization point of view, each methodology has its specific blend of systems, terminology, and approaches (as mentioned here). Some of them are discussed below;


  1. Agile Scrum methodology

  2. Lean and Kanban Software Development

  3. Extreme Programming(XP)

  4. Crystal

  5. Dynamic System Development Method (DSDM)

  6. Feature Driven Development (FDD)


However, the detailed discussion of the agile methodologies can be understood from the link, provided.



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. 





At the end of the blog, It can be concluded that Agile development is an iterative software development methodology that is adopted by teams in projects. Under agile development, self-directed, cross-functional teams constantly examine circumstances and thereafter consumer demands to modify projects. 


However, scrum teams enhance quality consistently in races with short-notice deliverables that lead to Agile development into action.

Latest Comments

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    Nov 17, 2022

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