Agile System Development Lifecycle Explained!

Agile System Development Lifecycle Explained!

Software development is a business. It follows the expectations of investors and consumers. That is, a new software has to pass quality assurance, while being produced on a budget. Plus, it has to be delivered in record time.

However, issues can arise if the involved software developers are disorganized. The process can take too long, frustrating clients and business goals. Fortunately, this issue has a solution. And one of those is the Agile System.

Below, we’ll discuss what that is. We’ll look at its FIVE step lifecycle, and what it entails!

First – Basic of Agile System

The agile system is quite simple, which makes it highly effective. There aren’t many complex steps to get lost in. And this can help keep the entire developing team on-track. Thus, a business can reference this cycle when developing products.

In fact, independent software coding teams can do the same (as part of their productivity routines).

 The lifecycle of the agile system involves…

  • (Step 1): Vision/Requirements
  • (Step 2): Planning/Speculation
  • (Step 3): Development
  • (Step 4): Testing
  • (Step 5): Deployment

 So, to get started…

(Step 1): Vision and Requirements

Before designing software, a product owner needs to create a document that lists a variety of project goals. Those goals can be divided into THREE subcategories, which are…

  • The End Result
  • Supported Systems and Features
  • Non-Supported Features

The End Result.

The product owner needs to specify what the product is, and what its utility will be. For example, let’s say they are trying to create antivirus software.

That document should mention what the antivirus protects from, how it deals with downloadable items, how it deals with online activity, etc.

Basically, it’s preferable if the “end results” mentions problems that the new product is trying to resolve.

Supported Systems and Features.

Let’s start with systems.

A developer needs to decide how compatible the final product will be with “highly used software systems.” For example, is the software compatible with all operating systems? Does it work on mobile operating systems?

Also, what stores will it be featured in? Will it be sold online as a downloadable or will be available as a CD purchase? Compatibility with certain software and online platforms is a key point. After all, this defines who the product is for.

Next, there’s the issue of features.

What are the tools that the product must include? And is including them a pressing need (based on already defined problem)? Special features should be mentioned in the documentation, where they guide the coders on what to prioritize.

Also, the prioritized features are considered as marketable elements of the final product – making them a branding tool.

Non-Supported Features.

Essentially, this is the opposite of the previous point. For the most part, this is defined for marketing reasons. It’s a way of informing the market on “what not to expect” from the product. It’s like a design of disclaimer, preventing future disappointments between businesses and clients.

Important Note.

It’s advisable if developers reduce the requirements they list as much as possible. Lowering them to maybe THREE for each of the previous categories is enough.

Why? The lowering process forces developers to prioritize the most important features. And this keeps developers in focus. It ensures they aren’t wasting excess time introducing features that are unnecessary. It also forces coders to focus on the more crucial aspect of the final product.

Also, it’s necessary to note that even code designers can follow this step – especially if they’re in a position to set business goals.

(Step 2): Planning and Speculation

Steps 1 and 2 can be executed by product owners, and without the intervention of coders.

The second stage can be divided into THREE areas. Those would be…

  • Funding
  • Team Member Selection
  • Discussion of Requirements

Funding.

There are different aspects of funding that need to be considered. They include how much coders will be paid, what’s required for marketing, and legal costs of releasing the product. A feasibility study should be done, where the requirements listed in Step 1 are reviewed as to how much they’ll cost.

Team Member Selection.

In this stage, the coding team is hired. Coders can either be highly experienced or beginners. That’ll depend on the budget set in place by the product owners. The work environment should also be discussed. That is, is the coding team being hired for long-term work (as employees), or are they contractors?

Also, what’s the meeting schedule going to be like? What will be discussed at each meeting, and is there a timeline set in place as to how fast the product can be completed? Selecting team members are early as possible is necessary, as it’s needed for…

Discussion of Requirements.

An experienced coding team can help a product owner revise Step 1. They can give them feedback as to how feasible some of their requirements. They can also suggest addition of removals to the features of the final product.

With an experienced developer, you can often bring in the insight of a real developer on what makes the product better. You also get insight on what can realistically be designed within a certain budget.

What Requirements Should be Discussed?

The product’s architectural structure should be discussed. The same applies to the product’s visual design. It’s best if the coding team proposes the best ways to track each requirement.

For example, the coding team can suggest libraries, frameworks, and the programming languages they’ll use.

(Step 3): Development

This is the coding stage.

By this stage, a thorough document should be ready, detailing the requirements of the final product. It’s the longest stage of the agile development cycle. In fact, the planning stage shouldn’t require as much time as finishing the product.

Important Note.

It should be noted that there will be some back-and-forth between this step, and the next (which is the testing stage).

(Step 4): Testing

The agile testing stage has a variety of purposes. For starters, it ensures that the final product is free of bugs in its structural components (and for compatibility). After all, there are some products which are developed as “extra tools” or “updates” for already existing services.

Checking for that compatibility is vital. This is done by a quality assurance team that performs a variety of tests, ensuring a clean code that fulfills the documented requirements.

Other Types of Testing.

Software testing doesn’t only focus on making a code work. It also looks at other aspects, such as user experience, etc. So, in certain situations, the coding team won’t be the one doing the testing. Other individuals (experienced testers) might be asked over to check for the system’s functionality. In some cases a software testing company does it.

What if Errors are Found?

In that case, the testing team reports their finding to the coders. This takes them back to the 3rd step to rewrite or correct the necessary lines of code.

(Stage 5): Deployment

This is the release of the product. It is provided to clients, either as a full service or as a demo.

However, it can be released as increments, especially if the product is connected to the internet, and has an online service. After release, it’s important to wait and watch for client feedback, in order to detect any bugs that might need resolving!

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