In general, when we talk about the Agile method, it implies an iterative and incremental method of management. It focuses on helping teams in an evolving landscape and maintaining a focus on the rapid delivery of business value. The methodologies used in Agile project management (Scrum, XP, Kanban, and others) all follow the Agile Manifesto that is based on continuous improvement, flexibility, input of the team, and the delivery of results with high quality.
In software development, we often talk about the “traditional model” which refers to the Waterfall Model. Very different to Agile method specially because it’s not iterative, Waterfall is more about a process where you can see the progress “flowing” through the difference phases. In fact it’s a sequential model usually going from requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing and maintenance. The image below illustrates the difference regarding the value proposition of both methodologies and how agile development tends to deliver visibility, adaptability and value in the beginning of the process and reduces a lot the risks during the project.
Agile methodologies address perfectly customer’s needs. During the whole cycle, user involvement is encouraged, providing visibility & transparency, showing the actual progress of projects. As mentioned earlier, Agile method is all about iterative planning, making it very easy to adapt when some requirements change (if you work in the software development industry, I am sure you know how much they can change!). The fact that there is continuous planning and feedback through the process means that we start delivering business value from the beginning of the project. Again, the idea is to deliver business value early in the process, making it easier to lower risks associated with development.
In Agile development, testing is integrated during the cycle, which means that there are regular checkups to see that the product is working during the development. This enables the product owner to make changes if needed and the team is aware if there are any issues.
The product owner is always involved, the progress of development has high visibility and flexibility to change is highly important. This implies engagement and customer satisfaction.
The fact that agile development is iterative means that the features are delivered incrementally, therefore benefits are realised early while the product is in development process.
A Bug Sprint is a sprint specifically for fixing bugs.
This is a single sprint for answering critical business questions through design, prototyping and testing ideas.
Velocity is a measure of the amount of work a Team can tackle during a single Sprint and is the key metric in Scrum.
A effort point is an abstract measure of effort required to implement a user story.