Agile Software Development Life Cycle

Ruth Hadari
Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert
Posted on
Aug 12, 2022
Updated on
Sep 5, 2022
Table of Content

Agile software development is an approach to software development where requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customers/end users.

It advocates adaptive planning, evolutionary development, early delivery and continuous improvement. It also encourages rapid and flexible response to change.

While there are many variations of the Agile software development life cycle, they all share the same basic principles. The most popular Agile methodology is Scrum. 

In this article, we will take a closer look at the Scrum methodology and how it can be used to improve your software development process.

What is the Agile Software Development Life Cycle 

The Agile software development life cycle is an iterative and incremental approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration, customer involvement, and iterative releases. The Agile software development life cycle is characterized by short iterations (usually 2-4 weeks) in which new features are added or existing features are modified. 

The software development life cycle in Agile begins with a planning phase in which the team identifies the goals for the iteration. The team then breaks down the work into tasks and assigns them to team members. 

What is an Iteration?

Afterward, they work on the tasks during the iteration. At the end of the iteration, they demo the work to the customer and get feedback. 

The Agile software development life cycle is a flexible approach that can be adapted to fit your project’s needs. It is a popular choice for projects that require frequent changes or need to be delivered quickly.

In Scrum, the Agile SDLC framework is divided into Sprints, time-boxed periods of 2-4 weeks in which a team works on a set of tasks and delivers a potentially shippable product increment. 

The Scrum methodology also includes regular stand-up meetings (daily or weekly), Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective meetings. These meetings help keep the team on track and ensure that everyone is aware of the project’s progress.

The Agile software development life cycle is a great choice for projects that need to be delivered quickly or require frequent changes. However, it is important to note that not all projects are suited for this approach. For example, if your project is not well-defined or if you are not sure of the requirements, then an Agile approach may not be the best choice. 

What are the Phases of an Agile SDLC

There are four main phases in the Agile software development life cycle: 

1. Planning 

2. Development 

3. Testing 

4. Deployment 

Let’s take a closer look at each of these phases. 

1. Planning: In the planning phase of SDLC Agile, the team creates a product backlog, which is a list of all the features that need to be implemented in the software. The team then selects the features that will be included in the next Sprint and creates a Sprint backlog. 

2. Development: In the development phase, the team works on implementing the features in the Sprint backlog. They also perform unit testing and code reviews to ensure that the code is of high quality. 

3. Testing: In this phase, the team performs integration testing and user acceptance testing to ensure that the software meets all the requirements. 

4. Deployment: Lastly, in the deployment phase, the software is forwarded to production and made available to users.

How is DevOps different from Agile SDLC

DevOps is a set of practices that helps organizations to automate and improve the process of software delivery. DevOps is a culture, which emphasizes collaboration and communication between Development and Operations teams. 

The main goal of DevOps is to increase the speed of software delivery while maintaining or improving the quality of the software. 

DevOps is similar to Agile in that it emphasizes collaboration, customer involvement, and iterative releases. However, there are some key differences between the two:

1. Agile SDLC is focused on software development, while DevOps is focused on software delivery. 

2. Agile SDLC is a methodology, while DevOps is a culture

3. In Agile SDLC, the work is divided into Sprints, while in DevOps there are no Sprints, and the work is delivered continuously. 

4. In Agile SDLC, testing is done at the end of each Sprint, while in DevOps testing is done continuously. 

5. In Agile SDLC, the software is deployed to production at the end of each Sprint, while in DevOps the software is continuously deployed to production.

DevOps is a great choice for projects that need to be delivered quickly or that require frequent changes. However, it is important to note that not all projects are suited for this approach. For example, if your project is not well-defined or if you are not sure of the requirements, then a DevOps approach may not be the best choice.

Waterfall SDLC vs Agile SDLC 

Here’s an in-depth look at the software development life cycle of Waterfall vs. Agile:

Waterfall SDLC

The Waterfall SDLC has distinct phases of requirements gathering, analysis, design, coding, testing (validation), and deployment. Each stage is completed in sequence before starting the next phase. 

The main advantage of the Waterfall model is that it allows for departmentalization and managerial control. A schedule can be set with deadlines for each stage of development, and a product can proceed through each stage systematically.

Waterfall Phases

1. Requirement analysis: In the first phase, the requirements of the software are gathered from clients. This includes what the software will do and how it will be used.

2. Design: In this phase, a design document is created that contains architectural blueprints for the development team to follow. The blueprints include diagrams and models that detail every component in the system being built.

3. Implementation: The next step in the Agile software development life cycle phase is where the actual coding of the software takes place. Developers take the design document and turn it into code that can be executed by a machine.

4. Verification: Once the code has been written, it must be thoroughly tested to ensure that there are no bugs or errors. This is done by running test cases against the software to see if the expected output matches the actual output.

5. Maintenance: Even after a software product has been deployed, there is still some work that needs to be done. This includes responding to bugs and errors, making sure the system is compatible with new hardware and software, and adding new features or functionalities.

Agile SDLC

On the other hand, the Agile SDLC model is a more flexible and incremental approach to software development. Unlike Waterfall, which has distinct phases that must be completed in sequence, Agile allows for iterations and cycles that overlap and can be done in parallel. This means that different parts of the system can be worked on at the same time.

The main advantage of Agile is that it allows for faster delivery of a working product. It also accommodates changes more easily since there is no rigid structure to follow.

There are many different Agile SDLC phases and methodologies, but they all share some commonalities. These include short timeframes (called Sprints), self-organizing teams, and a focus on customer feedback.

Agile Phases

1. Project concept: In the first phase, the project manager works with the client to come up with a concept for the software. This includes understanding the problem that needs to be solved and the goals of the project.

2. Project inception: Once the concept has been approved, a team is assembled and the project manager creates a roadmap. This roadmap outlines the different Sprints that will be necessary to complete the project.

3. Iteration: The next phase is where the actual work of the project is done. Each Sprint lasts for a set period of time (usually 2-4 weeks) and has a specific goal. During each Sprint, the team works on coding, testing, and deploying the software.

4. Release: Once all of the Sprints have been completed, the software is ready for release. This includes making it available to customers and getting feedback to see how it can be improved.

5. Daily Meetings: Agile focuses on constant communication between team members. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any problems can be quickly identified and resolved.

6. Sprint Retrospective: At the end of each Sprint, the team meets to discuss what went well and what could be improved. This Retrospective stage helps to ensure that the next Sprint is more successful.

Final Thoughts

The Agile SDLC model is a more flexible and incremental approach to software development than its Waterfall counterpart. Unlike Waterfall, which has distinct phases that must be completed in sequence, Agile allows for more flexibility in terms of overlapping iterations and cycles. These can also be done in parallel. In the Agile vs Waterfall debate, this means that different parts of the system can be worked on at the same time.

The main advantage of Agile is that it allows for faster delivery of a working product. It also accommodates changes more easily, since there is no rigid structure to follow.

Retrospectives are an important part of the Agile process, and GoRetro provides an easy and fun way for teams to do their retrospective. It offers a variety of templates that can be used for different purposes, such as identifying areas of improvement or brainstorming new ideas.

About the author

Ruth Hadari
Agile Advocate, Engineering Ops Expert

Highly experienced in leading multi-organizational teams, groups, in-shore as well as off-shore. The go-to person who is able to simplify the complex. An agile advocate, experienced in all common methodologies. Responsible for the entire software development lifecycle process from development, QA, DevOps, Automation to delivery including overall planning, direction, coordination, execution, implementation, control and completion. Drives execution, and communicates on status, risks, metrics, risk-mitigation and processes across R&D.

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