What is Agile: Understanding Agile Methodology and Principles in Software Development?

Agile methodology is a project management approach that allows successful and efficient execution of the project while emphasizing the improvement of a project and team collaboration. The approach is applicable in software development for flexibility, customer satisfaction, and collaboration. It refers to the application of a set of principles that functions through an interactive and incremental approach. The Agile methodology in software development emphasizes the importance of team collaboration and delivering a working product quickly to meet customer needs and expectations. 

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How does the Agile Software Development Process Work? 

The Agile software development process is a set of steps to be performed in order. The importance of sequence is as follows: 

Requirements: The companies here gather information on customer’s requirements and prioritize them based on different factors. It is an initial factor to understand the direction of the project and progress. 

Planning: Developing a plan is an essential part of delivering the complete software comprising all the features. The plan includes time for the development and delivery of each iteration. 

Development: The software development is carried out by the development team while using frequent and rapid iterations. 

Testing: It involves software testing to make sure it meets the quality delivered by the organization and expected by the customer 

Deployment: Here, the organization serves the ultimate aim, which is to allow usage of the software. 

Maintenance: The software is regularly maintained to ensure customers' needs and expectations are met.


Core Principles of Agile Software Development Methodology

  • Achieving customer satisfaction by timely and regular delivery fitting the customer requirements 
  • Delivering working software with minimal or no errors 
  • Earning a competitive edge by adapting to the changes in the market 
  • Sticking to the shortest time delivery with quality 
  • Including motivated and passionate individuals in building and developing the project
  • Accepting change in requirements and deliveries despite nearness to delivery date 
  • Choosing the face-to-face communication method for efficient and effective information disbursal 
  • Embracing excellence while estimating and improving the progress 

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Key Agile Development Concepts

The key concepts of Agile development and Agile software development are: 


The changing demands and development process require adaptability in the project. It helps the team and project get back on track, increases the team’s confidence, saves time, and decreases productivity due to mess. It also allows changing the path of development and deployment to deliver the results timely. 


Agile methodology encourages changes to deliver quality results and improve customer satisfaction. It includes changing priorities, culture, and goals. Though the changes are hard and unacceptable, management on collective agreement becomes easier while providing better results. 


It is another valued key Agile concept that contributes to building trust and accountability. It helps bring different ideas and collective discussion to improve poor but potentially holding ideas. 

Iterative Developments 

Rework for improvements is a common thing in software development. The iterative process here follows a continuous and close feedback loop for improvement. It is the core concept in Agile development. 

Incremental Development 

It involves creating a basic version of software with all the required features. Further improvements are made as decided during the meetups or calls. The increments to the software are made to the modules, along with the addition of user-friendly features. 

Milestone Checks 

It is aimed at client and team improvement and development. Here, the teams analyze the previous developments after reaching a specific and significant part of the project. 


The tool eases the planning of software projects such as Agile and sprint planning. It also contributes to responsive and transparent collaboration. Project managers and developers generally use Jira for task distribution, story tracking, and development tasks. Additionally, Jira also provides real-time updates on release details and improves the team performance. 


The docker platform is widely used to set up and manage the containers required to meet the need for flexibility and application deployment on a certain host. The platform delivers the containers through virtualization at the Operating System. The containers comprise different components such as configuration files, software, and libraries, thus meeting the needs. Docker also helps to communicate between containers. Moreover, it holds more benefits than traditional virtual machines. 


The tool is used to effortlessly solve the problem of handling multiple containers. It is an open-source platform that supports scaling and automated application deployment. It also manages container applications, containerized workloads, and automation of container deployments, and it supports declarative configuration. Kubernetes is used for its ability to automate the deployment and scaling processes of complex containerized applications. 


It is another open-source automation that is free to use for Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) tasks. The software development teams use it to build, test, deployment of CI/CD tasks. It offers effective integration options and automates the CI/CD environment. 


Slack is a popular tool in Agile software development, most commonly used in business communications, and it is effective for collaboration. It is considered better than emails for team members as it provides an opportunity for natural collaboration. Here, two types of communication are possible: direct messaging and conventional IRC or Internet Relay Chat. The IRC includes functionalities such as private groups and topic-specific chat rooms or channels. Moreover, the conversations are also divided into public and private channels along with direct messages. It eliminates the one-to-one or group chats and introduces thread-based chats, which are easier to follow. 

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Advantages of Agile Software Development

The incorporation of Agile development in software engineering has the following advantages: 

  • People and interactions are preferred over tools and processes in the usage of Agile software development methodology.
  • It leads to a regular focus on improved design and technical excellence.
  • The Agile development process assists in improvement by allowing immediate feedback.
  • Fastens the software development process, thus increasing customer trust.
  • Allows quick adaptability to meet the change in requirements.
  • Incorporates flexibility and adaptability.
  • Enhances quality and reliability through a focus on quality assurance and continuous improvement.
  • Increase team confidence and allow the set up of a collaborative, positive, and supportive workplace culture.

Disadvantages of Agile Software Development Life Cycle

The disadvantages of the Agile software development process are listed as follows: 

  • Agile development is linked with lesser documentation and a higher focus on codes. 
  • Agile software development depends on continuous iteration and feedback from customers, leading to difficult estimation of timelines, outcomes, and budgets of projects.
  • Understanding the quantity and intensity of effort required for project completion is challenging at an early stage of the Agile software development lifecycle. 
  • Dependency on the customer leads to wrong progress in the project if the team encounters ambiguity. 
  • It is difficult for new programmers to adapt to the workplace environment as the senior programmers make most decisions. 
  • Higher flexibility and adaptability can also lead to scope creep and lack of control over project scope. 
  • The swiftness of Agile development with high intensity, more number of sprints, and close deadlines lead to mental exhaustion and increased pressure on team members, further leading to burnout. 
  • Agile development lacks the structure compared to other methodologies, which results in oversight and poor governance.

Roles and Responsibilities in Agile Development

In the Agile software development life cycle, each team member plays a significant role in the development. Let us explore each member's role and responsibilities from the following:

Product Owner:

  • They work as a facilitator in review sessions and sprint planning.
  • Product owners assume the role of a liaison between investors and the team members.
  • They help to determine the sprint goals and lead the development of user stories and tasks.
  • They check if the tasks are complete and accurate to meet the client’s expectations.
  • Product owners give feedback and suggestions to enhance the quality of the processes.

Scrum Master or Team Lead: 

  • They eliminate obstacles to ensure team progress.
  • They understand the foundations of Scrum and Agile.
  • They assist in the development of tasks and user stories.
  • Scrum masters monitor tasks and sprints.
  • They focus on productivity and high-quality deliverables.

Development Team Members: 

  • They must have a strong understanding of the scrum framework.
  • They are responsible for product implementation.
  • They collaborate with other team members to ensure effective and efficient product development.
  • They ensure that products or processes meet client’s or customer’s expectations.
  • They work on prioritized work by the product owner in the sprint.


  • They take the lead in sprint planning.
  • They provide feedback and suggestions to stakeholders and team members.
  • Stakeholders guide product owners to ensure user stories and productivity to meet expectations.
  • They provide training to team members in Scrum and Agile processes
  • Stakeholders aid in determining sprint goals and objectives

How to Implement Agile Software Development?

To implement the Agile methodology successfully for software development, you need to review the following points:

Step 1: Define and Plan the Project Scope and Vision

Communicate with the team and use the Elevator Pitch method. Find the target customer, statement of need, specific product name and category, its benefits, primary competitive alternative, and final statement of primary differentiation. 

Step 2: Develop the Path to Reaching the Product 

The product owner must use the strategy to develop the path to the product or software. It will include goals and how to achieve them. Every goal will have features, metrics, and other key information. 

Step 3: Schedule Deadlines

It includes prioritizing the software features to be launched first, followed by subsequent losses. It will include 3 to 5 sprints. 

Step 4: Plan the Sprint 

The steps shift from macro-level workings to micro-level working, which involves focusing on specific tasks. Now, the sprints must also be planned to take place with the project managers, product owners, and scrum masters. The sprint will involve creating a list of backlog items, such as undeveloped features or other components of software, to be completed in the timeframe. 

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Step 5: Conduct Daily Meetings

It is essential to get daily updates through a small meeting to be concluded in 10 to 15 minutes. Team members here will inform us of their previous day's accomplishments, present-day works, and challenges being faced, if any. 

Step 6: Sprint Reviews 

Accomplishment of milestones, such as delivery of specific software updates, bug removal or introduction of new software functionality, must be linked with the analysis of previous tasks. It includes checking the alignment of plans with deliveries. Here, product owners also reflect on inaccuracies and inefficiencies by finding the associated reasons. 

Step 7: Sprint Retrospective

It includes learning from the previous processes and finding the shortcomings. Here, all the involved members must identify the learnings and scope of improvement by avoiding negative actions in their next task.

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Think you need more skilling up to do? You can check out Simplilearn’s Agile Scrum Master Certification Training Course. We cover how Agile can be implemented in the course, different Agile methodologies, scrum concepts, and much more in detail. The course will also enhance your ability to develop and deliver quality products to customers. 


1. What differentiates Agile from traditional software development models? How does Agile ensure product quality? 

Traditional software development models follow a fixed plan, while Agile software development models allow flexibility and adaptability to changing environments. Additionally, the Agile method is iterative. The Agile method is associated with daily scrum meetings, noting milestones, and prefers customers’ needs along with other prioritizations to deliver quality products. 

2. Can Agile be applied to large, complex projects? 

Agile methodologies are suitable for small and cross-functional teams. The effectiveness decreases on application to large and complex projects requiring handling large numbers of teams and stakeholders. 

3. How does Agile handle changes in customer requirements? 

Agile handles the change in customer requirements by reviewing and prioritizing the changes, making adjustments, discussing between sprints, developing plans, and communicating with Agile software developers to incorporate the changed plans. 

4. What are some common misconceptions about Agile?

A few common misconceptions associated with Agile are that it lacks planning, fast speed, roles or responsibilities, process control, deadlines, documentation, and change management. 

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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