Guide to Learning Agile Development, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
32 items | 271m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning Agile Development

6m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning Agile Development

Agile method is one of those things we all hear about, but few people understand. In its simplest form, Agile is a way to manage projects effectively but there are many ways in which we can implement it. If we want to understand how to use agile development, we must first understand the principle behind it.

The Principles of Agile Development

The concept of agile development was born in the 1970s, from the mind of Dr.Winston Royce. After critiquing sequential development, people began looking at other ways to manage software development projects, thus the agile method was introduced.

Sequential Development

Dr.Winston noted that while sequential development worked well in manufacturing environments, it had little effect on software development projects. Sequential development means everything has to be done in a systematic order, which could cause issues for software development.

Technology changes all the time, and sequential development doesn’t accommodate for those changes. Projects lack innovation because the planning and implementation are carried out in a step-by-step process. The drawbacks of sequential development make agile such an effective development tool.

Agile Features

Sequential development has many limits, including a lack of flexibility. Agile development is a better alternative as it welcomes change and offers flexibility.  Team members assess the project regularly, in sessions known as iterations. These reviews enable team members to keep track of how the project is developing and accommodate new technology.

After every iteration, team members can introduce a way to make the project run smoother. These suggestions include ways to incorporate new technology or make minor changes to improve the final product.

One of the biggest advantages of agile is it enables companies to finish their product within a set time frame. Software development is a complex process, but how agile works means teams can adapt it as they go, and release the product while it’s still relevant.

Agile Development

Most people think the agile method only applies to software development, but industry innovators are seeing how the principles can apply to a range of projects. The main reason for this is because agile enables teams to review the project and make changes when issues arise.

With all the disadvantages of sequential development, agile can save time and money for a variety of development projects. While traditional development methods place an emphasis on tools and machinery, agile puts the team at the forefront of the project. This hands-on approach gives each member a deeper insight into each part of the development process.

Collaboration Is Key

The agile method demands team members are efficient and able to work well in a team. In some projects, each member has sole responsibility for each part, but agile is uses a collaborative approach. The saying “two heads are better than one” applies here, but think of agile as a collection of minds coming together. It’s common to find team members splitting into groups and this unique approach brings together individual strengths to make a strong product.

Involvement of Everyone

Agile isn’t just about team members, it’s based on customer and shareholder input. Just as technology changes, so do the wants and needs of customers. The agile method involves others throughout the development process and recognizes that things may change as the project develops. However, instead of focusing on finishing the project, they can make adaptions regularly.

Proof Over Paperwork

Some projects rely on paperwork to check team members are meeting their targets, but agile places a higher emphasis on working prototypes. While clients appreciate presentations, and documentation of how a project is moving along, they prefer to see the results. It still requires team members to provide documentation, but they prioritize creating their product.

Adapting to Change

The most important part of agile development is responding to changes. Team members must recognize where there are faults and implement workable solutions.

Applying Agile Development

To implement agile ways of working, teams must work together and follow a process.

Organize Your Team

At the hub of each development team is a project manager, who oversees the project. Instead of putting together a large team, agile depends on a small group of individuals. The average number is ten members and each should be able to take responsibility and self-delegate.

Once the team is in place, you need to create a backlog of tasks. This is so each member knows their responsibilities and can work to the project requirements.

Iterations & Scrums

This is probably the most complex part of agile development and takes a lot of planning. Establishing iterations means breaking the backlog into smaller actionable tasks. This helpful guide explains the process in-depth and offers helpful tips if you’re new to agile development.

Risk Management & Testing

Every step of the development project relies on risk mitigation teams can make changes when issues arise. This is a vital part of agile development, and while sequential development assesses risks at the start of each project, agile teams must have their eyes open at all times.

Testing happens at the end of each iteration session, with team members responsible for ensuring the product is working under the specs. The main advantage of regular tests is that issues are identifiable during the developmental process.

Input & Feedback

Traditionally, customers got to try the product upon completion but the agile method involves the public during the development process. Companies ask their customers and stakeholders to provide opinions about the product. During each iteration, the team discuss the feedback and decide whether to make alterations. Feedback is vital for agile product development because it ensures the finished product will deliver results.

Agile development is difficult to implement, but with the right team members, it’s possible. The most important aspect of the development process is ensuring that regular iterations take place, and it motivates your team to implement changes.

About This Agile Development Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about agile development from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

12 items | 96m read
9m read | Basics

What is Agile Development?

Agile software development is an umbrella term for a set of frameworks and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the 12 Principles behind it. When you approach software development in a particular manner, it’s generally good to live by these values and principles and use them to help figure out the right things to do given your particular context.
5m read | Basics

Values and Principles of the Agile Manifesto

The Agile Manifesto is at the core of the Agile Movement. Application for Agile outside of software development has even been found, with its emphasis on lean manufacturing and collaboration and communication, and quick development of smaller sets of features under the guidance of an overall plan. The key to its success is that it is always Agile and able to adapt to change. We will discuss the four values and twelve principles that lead to higher-quality software delivered to satisfied customers on a continuous basis.
9m read | Basics

The History of Agile Development

Agile software development history doesn’t begin with the Agile Manifesto—its roots go back much earlier. This article covers a three-decades+ evolution in software development practice, including the origins of agile and how more recent knowledge is leading us to faster and faster delivery cycles.
11m read | Basics

Pros and Cons of Agile Development

Before making any significant changes to your development ideology or adopting one for your startup, you’ll want to look very closely at the principles and beliefs you and your organization hold about product development. You’ll also want to look at the realities of the product you’re actually going to be making.
9m read | Basics

The Agile Development Lifecycle and Process Workflow

Unlike the Waterfall model, the development team ultimately decides at the beginning of a sprint (or iteration) what can be accomplished in the timeframe and sets out to build a series of features, delivering working software that can be installed in a production environment at the end of the sprint. Since Agile software development methods (such as Dynamic Systems Development Method- DSDM) are flexible, most are suitable for method tailoring – where development teams can adapt the flow to meet the needs of the product.
6m read | Basics

The Evolution of Agile and What to Expect Next

Agile has been around since 2001, however it has only recently became a method that most of you know and use. Thus, if you are just starting out with Agile, you are not really familiar with the journey it has been on for the last 17 years. Not to worry, as I have a short and sweet summary of the Agile evolution just for you.

Find out where has Agile started and where it is likely to go in the future.
7m read | Basics

Best Practices in Agile Project Planning

In Agile project management, the product itself is developed in sprints. Before each sprint begins, a sprint planning meeting takes place between the product owner and development team members. The user stories and backlog are reviewed to determine the tasks that can be completed during the sprint. These plans deliver a finer level of detail (compared to the high-level release plan), including which tasks are to be performed by which team members and how long each task will take.

Activities that occur during the project planning process in the Agile method include the following.
7m read | Basics

How to Plan for Complex Agile Projects

Agile development is often deemed best for projects having variable scope with prioritized backlog, low number of critical dependencies on other applications, limited or no regulatory requirements, subject matter experts availability, technology, teams level of experience with Agile. When any of these boxes are not ticked, teams often find it challenging and difficult to use Agile development and move over to other traditional development methods like waterfall.
9m read | Basics

How to Calculate Agile Project Budgets

When a software development project is launched, it’s usually been proposed for one of two reasons: either stakeholders have a ground-breaking idea that they’d like to implement, or they have a pain point that they require a solution for. However, whether the stakeholder will go ahead with the project will likely come down to whether it seems like a good investment.

The following four strategies will assist Agile teams in being flexible, incorporating input from all stakeholders at every iteration, and delivering a refined product within budget.
8m read | Basics

Waterfall vs. Agile Methodology

One of the first decisions we face for each of our project implementations at Segue is “Which development methodology should we use?” This is a topic that gets a lot of discussions (and often heated debate). If this is not something you’ve worked with before, a definition of development methodology is in order; put very simply, it’s a way of organizing the work of software development.
8m read | Basics

Guide to Different Agile Methodologies

The various agile Scrum methodologies share much of the same philosophy, as well as many of the same characteristics and practices. But from an implementation standpoint, each has its own recipe of practices, terminology, and tactics. Here we have summarized a few of the main agile software development methodology contenders.
8m read | Basics

Common Business Problems With Agile

The term “agile” has now expanded to many facets of solution development with the same underlying principles—develop iteratively, release frequently, focus on the customer, and collaborate through a cross-functional team—always prioritizing test-and-learn methods over detailed planning.

While many traditional heavyweights have embarked on agile transformations, most have faced real challenges in achieving their desired objectives. Based on our experience across numerous transformations, we see the following as common missteps on an agile journey.
10 items | 84m read
6m read | Advanced

Lean vs. Agile: What’s the Difference?

As a Certified Scrum Master, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, and PMI-certified Project Manager, I’ve read many articles on Agile vs. Lean, and they tend to focus on the implementation of Agile and of Lean. To take a fundamentally different approach to this norm, this blog will focus on the essential nature of Agile and Lean.
12m read | Advanced

Agile vs. Waterfall vs. Kanban vs. Scrum: What’s the Difference?

Waterfall works best for projects completed in a linear fashion and does not allow going back to a prior phase. Agile focuses on adaptive, simultaneous workflows. Agile methods break projects into smaller, iterative periods. Kanban is primarily concerned with process improvements, while Scrum is concerned with getting more work done faster.
16m read | Advanced

What is Scaled Agile Framework?

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is the world’s leading framework for scaling Agile across the enterprise. Used by hundreds of the world’s largest organizations, SAFe sustains and drives faster time-to-market, dramatic increases in productivity and quality, and improvement in employee engagement.
8m read | Advanced

What is User Story Mapping?

Story mapping is a top-down approach of requirement gathering and is represented as a tree. Story mapping starts from an overarching vision. A vision is achieved via goals. Goals are reached by completing activities. And to complete an activity, users need to perform tasks. And these tasks can be transformed into user stories for software development.
3m read | Advanced

Why Choose Agile Methodology for Mobile App Development

What looks great in the prototyping phase may not be so instinctive to use practically speaking, and it’s similarly as vital to remember the end user experience. No matter how well your development process is planned, chances are good that something will go wrong, and that’s where the Agile methodology can be such a crucial advantage for a mobile app developer.
5m read | Advanced

Ways to Use Agile Principles to Drive Innovation in Large Corporations

Continuous innovation is necessary to stay relevant in our modern world. Enterprise software companies are susceptible to disruption by new organizations and industries that can sprout up virtually overnight. That’s why enabling rapid product innovation is important, even for enterprise companies.
5m read | Advanced

Reasons Why Agile Projects Fail

It’s no secret agile projects can fail, but do you know the reasons they fail and how to avoid them? I could tell you why I think they fail. Instead, let me share what nearly 4,000 of your colleagues said were the eight reasons why agile projects fail and what you can do about it.
7m read | Advanced

Why Companies That Don't Follow The Agile Manifesto Fail

The Agile Manifesto exists since 2001. It’s a two pager. Many people know it. How can it be that so many organizations fail with Agile? Here are 12 ways.
10m read | Advanced

How to Run a Great Daily Scrum Meeting

Are there other ways to get the most out of your scrum meeting besides standing up? If you’re in charge of running a scrum meeting, you’ll want to keep it short, get engagement and when you break, have every role on the scrum team what they need to do next. Let’s take a sprint around the subject, and get creative on some ways to run a great scrum meeting.
9m read | Advanced

Scrum Metrics and Their Value to Agile Teams

Scrum metrics and KPIs are part of a broader family of agile KPIs. Agile metrics include lean metrics, which focus on the flow of value from an organization to its customers, and Kanban metrics, which focus on workflow and getting tasks done. While most agile metrics are applicable to scrum teams, scrum-specific metrics focus on predictable software delivery, making sure scrum teams deliver maximum value to customers with every iteration.
9 items | 85m read
8m read | Expert

Best Practices For Implementing Agile

According to Capterra, almost 71% of the organizations have reported using the Agile methodology for their operations, sometimes or always. Another survey showed that Agile projects are 28% more successful than the traditional ones. This shows how popular this technique is for the development of products and services.

Agile is a parent term for a broad range of frameworks, and practices that guide these frameworks. Some of the famous project management frameworks for Agile include Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and XP.
15m watch | Expert

Agile, Culture, and How to Make It Work

Zaheer’s talk is briefly discusses agile software development and how it has improved businesses around the world before addressing how it is changing mainstream society. As a supervisor on NASA’s SOFIA program, he has applied Agile principles in both his professional and personal life helping him to maintain a balance. Zaheer Ali is the Science and Mission Operations Laboratory Supervisor for NASA’s SOFIA program. He flies in a modified Boeing 747 that carries a 38,000 pound, 100-inch diameter infrared telescope in her tail section to carry out seasonal space explorations from Christchurch as well as other parts of the world.
13m read | Expert

Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Agile Project Management

Faster development. More releases. More revenue. Why wouldn’t you want to bring Agile project management into your own team? Well, like any tool or method, Agile has its own quirks.

This guide will take you from the origins of Agile, right through to its core values and principles, how to know if Agile is right for your organization, and then give you a 7-step plan for implementing Agile project management into your own team.
10m read | Expert

Best Tools for Agile Development Teams

A common feature of all these agile tools is a graphic dashboard that reports how the team is progressing and meeting the goals. Some of the more sophisticated tools are integrated with code repositories and continuous integration tools that automatically graph how the new code is evolving. Is the latest code passing tests? Are more features coming online? These questions are all answered on a dashboard that everyone can see. When the team can follow each other’s progress visually, they’re better able to stay on track.
6m read | Expert

How Netflix Adopted And Benefited From Agile

Perhaps the best example of a company that has succeeded with this agile approach to architecture is Netflix. Netflix is well-known in technology circles for its industry-leading use of Public Cloud, but how they build software and in particular, how they drive their overall architecture are perhaps the most paradigm-shifting aspects of their accomplishments.
6m read | Expert

How to Build a Great Agile Development Team

Agile purists prefer co-located teams, but business realities sometimes necessitate distributing an agile team across geographies. Most agile teams possess all the required skills, but sometimes it’s necessary to call on specialists for specific work. So how do you know whether your team is on the path to greatness? Read on.
7m read | Expert

Scaled Agile Successful Case Studies

Taking your company from Waterfall to Agile isn’t a trivial task. And it begins to look more like a “mission impossible” if we’re talking about large enterprises that have dozens of teams working towards a common goal. Here we present five case studies that demonstrate just that – that scaling Agile is not only possible but can also yield great benefits. We hope you’ll learn something new from these examples!
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Books About Agile Development

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

More Effective Agile: A Roadmap for Software Leaders. This new book from Steve McConnell, author of the software industry classic Code Complete, distills hundreds of companies’-worth of hard-won insights into an easy-to-read guide to the proven, modern Agile practices that work best.

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time. By the man who helped invent the red-hot management process known as “Scrum”, Scrum unveils what is wrong with the way we currently do work, and how a simple set of principles, applied in exactly the right sequence, can accelerate productivity and quality as much as 1,200 percent.

Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean, and Kanban. Learning Agile is a comprehensive guide to the most popular agile methods, written in a light and engaging style that makes it easy for you to learn.

Essential Scrum: A Practical Guide to the Most Popular Agile Process. If you want to use Scrum to develop innovative products and services that delight your customers, Essential Scrum is the complete, single-source reference you’ve been searching for. Leading Scrum coach and trainer Kenny Rubin illuminates the values, principles, and practices of Scrum, and describes flexible, proven approaches that can help you implement it far more effectively.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Agile Development Courses

Agile Development Course by The University of Virginia. You’ll gain an understanding and appreciation of the principles and practice of agile management. You’ll learn to coordinate all aspects of the agile development process, including running design sprints, managing teams, and fostering a culture of experimentation.

Mastering Agile Scrum Project Management. Master the basics, principles, and practices of agile methods and frameworks of Scrum and Extreme Programming. Introduction to Agile, Principles, Change Management, Prioritization, Stakeholder Expectations, Team Empowerment, Levels of Planning Adaptation and much more.

Agile Meets Design Thinking. Agile and design thinking offer a different–and effective–approach to product development, one that results in valuable solutions to meaningful problems. In this course, you’ll learn how to determine what’s valuable to a user early in the process–to frontload value–by focusing your team on testable narratives about the user and creating a strong shared perspective.

Software Processes and Agile Practices. This course delves into a variety of processes to structure software development. It also covers the foundations of core Agile practices, such as Extreme Programming and Scrum.

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