Back To CourseAgile & Scrum Training
9 chapters | 131 lessons
Deborah teaches college Accounting and has a master's degree in Educational Technology.
Meet Mr. Cash, who runs the Trustworthy Bank. His company has a new consumer banking product, but it needs to update its computer systems to offer this new product. His technology team says it will take at least 18 months to implement the changes, but Mr. Cash wants to offer it to his customers sooner. He has heard about the agile model, and wonders if his company could use it for this product. Let's see if we can help Mr. Cash.
The agile model in a system development life cycle (SDLC) permits a company to develop software in small, quick segments. As a result, businesses are able to release small changes to users more frequently; each release serves as a foundation for the next one. This methodology differs from traditional software development, where a company must complete each phase before moving on to the next one.
For example, in traditional software development, the company must plan the changes it wants to make, then complete detailed analysis and design to ensure they meet user specifications. Once the company knows what the users want, the changes are developed and thoroughly tested before the company releases them into production. This process can be time-consuming.
In an agile model, planning and analysis is not as detailed as it is in a traditional model, but it is detailed enough to determine the scope of the required changes. After defining the scope, the project team goes through the cycle of analysis, design, development, and testing frequently, allowing the team to release small changes into production. The cycle typically ranges from a couple of weeks to 30 days. For example, Mr. Cash could assemble his project team, and it could develop and release small parts of his new product into production instead of waiting until the team had completed the entire development.
The agile model has a number of advantages over traditional development including:
Using an agile model allows companies to implement changes much faster. An agile model also allows a company to adapt to changes more quickly. Using a traditional methodology, a project's scope is set at the planning stage, and it is difficult to make major changes to it throughout the development process. Companies can implement user-requested changes much more quickly during development in an agile model.
For example, Mr. Cash could decide that he wants to expand the availability of his new product to all customers instead of just a specific age group. The project team could easily accommodate this change in scope.
In an agile model, the project team consults stakeholders, or those that have an interest in the project, earlier in the process, and they are much more satisfied as the project team provides them with new functionality that satisfies their expectations on a regular basis. In addition, the project team, including developers and testers, build better relationships with customers as they are in constant contact with them. This increased communication also decreases the risk of delivering changes that the users didn't ask for or that don't meet their expectations.
Disadvantages of the agile model include:
In an agile model, it is difficult for companies to determine project duration and the resources that will be required to complete it. Unlike a traditional development model where the scope is determined at the beginning of the project, the agile model emphasizes development in small parts that makes it difficult for the project team to assess how long it is going to take. For example, Mr. Cash wouldn't necessarily know the number of people required to complete this project when it begins.
Since changes are completed and implemented in small pieces, the project team doesn't emphasize creating documentation in an agile model. The project team still creates documentation, but there is far less of it and it is much simpler than the documentation in a traditional model. This lack of documentation could be challenging for new team members, as they may have difficulty understanding how the system works. It could also create issues for testers who need to understand the system in order to create test cases.
In a traditional project, the project team provides changes for users to test at a specific phase in the project. This timing allows the users to prepare for testing and obtain additional resources if required. Since the agile model delivers changes frequently, testing happens almost continuously. The process can be quite time-consuming and disrupt daily duties. Mr. Cash has to ensure that he has enough resources for this continuous testing and for serving the bank's customers.
The agile model allows companies to develop and release software changes in small segments on a frequent basis. Planning and analysis are not as detailed as a traditional model, but they allow management to determine the scope of the required changes. After defining the scope, the project team goes through the cycle of analysis, design, development, and testing frequently, allowing them to release small changes into production. The frequency of this cycle typically ranges from a couple of weeks to 30 days.
The agile model allows management to implement changes more quickly and permits the project team to be more flexible to changes in scope. It also results in better user communication with its stakeholders and greater user satisfaction with the changes.
Disadvantages of the agile model include that it is difficult to determine the amount of effort and resources needed at the beginning of the project. New team members could find it challenging as there is less emphasis on creating documentation. Finally, users could find the level of testing onerous, since they are completing it on an almost continuous basis.
To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account
Already a member? Log InBack
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Back To CourseAgile & Scrum Training
9 chapters | 131 lessons