Agile software development refers to a software development philosophy of delivering software incrementally and iteratively. Agile aims at customer satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of working software which is the accurate measure of progress. By being agile, software development teams become committed, open, coherent and motivated. The team is welcoming of any changes even late in the development cycle. The team can consistently maintain quality and pace.
The four agile values:
“Through this work, we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools, Working software over comprehensive documentation, Customer collaboration over contract negotiation, Responding to change over following a plan.”
Scrum is a framework that allows organizations to deliver value through the Iterative and Incremental approaches. Scrum is based on Empiricism and lean thinking and employs an iterative, incremental process to optimize predictability and control risk. Scrum is a lightweight framework that helps people, teams, and organizations generate value through adaptive solutions for complex problems. The Scrum framework was proposed by Ken Schwaber & Jeff Sutherland, one of the earliest agilists.
Scrum framework is built on three pillars - transparency, inspection and adaptability and has five core values focus, openness, commitment, courage and respect. Scrum employs the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to deliver value.
Scrum framework defines three roles - The scrum master, The product owner and the developers. Scrum framework has three artefacts - Product backlog, Sprint Backlog and increment.
A sprint is an event in the scrum that encapsulates four other events - sprint planning, daily stand-up calls, sprint review and sprint retrospective. All events in scrum are time-boxed activities. Sprints enable predictability by ensuring inspection and adaptation toward a Product Goal at least every calendar month.
Agile for Startups:
Eric Ries writes, “entrepreneurship is a kind of management”. While entrepreneurship looks exciting and thrilling, management comes across as dull and monotonous to many of us. But indeed, it is these ‘dull, monotonous” things that drive a business towards success.
Many startupreneurs don’t believe in setting up a process as they fear it might choke creativity, but the reality is far from it. Startups are chaotic and disruptive. But by being agile, A startup can manage uncertainty, provide vision to its passion and energy.
Why Agile for Startups
1. Handling Uncertainty: The fundamental principle of agile is to accommodate uncertainty. The agile framework is built to welcome changes at any point in the development cycle. By being agile, Startups can build, test and iterate without course-correcting the development cycle.
2. Validations through Early and often releases: Agile framework dictates development teams release early and often; by doing so, teams receive validated learning from customers, which is critical for the startup success. Startups can decide to pivot, persist or kill.
3. Simplified Communication: By being Agile, teams communicate daily and precisely. Everyone knows what everyone else has worked on, is working on and going to work on—no scope for miscommunication.
4. Motivated Team: Teams are motivated to work better in an Agile as it creates an environment to flourish. A motivated team is a committed team. Startups can derive maximum value from such a team.
5. Sustainable Development: One of the core principles of Agile is to have sustainable development at a constant pace; This empowers startups to have a robust product roadmap.