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10 Key Characteristics of Agile Software Development Methodology

Agile software development refers to the methodology that involves cross-functional teams collaborating on different areas including planning, analysis, designing, unit testing, and acceptance testing. The team works around the five-stage process of software development for one three-week cycle or iteration with aim to deliver a working product at the end.

Here, we list down the top 10 key characteristics of Agile Software Development Methodology:

1. Scrum
Scrum approach is one of the most effective ways of introducing Agility in a software development methodology – owing to its simple and flexible nature. The Scrum approach focuses on empirical feedback, team self-management and determination to build ‘tested’ product within short time-frames.

The implementation of Scrum enhances visibility of project goals and ways to achieve them. This characteristic of agile project ensures that software is delivered on time – without compromising the quality.

2. Quality
Testing is vital in a software development life-cycle as it ensures that the project is carried out with minimum glitches before delivering. With testing throughout the development phase, the creators can make all the necessary adjustments to avoid any quality issues during a later time.

3. Visibility
Agile development principles encourage their ‘user/client’ to take active part during the development phase of the product. This provides transparency to the key stakeholders – assuring them about the product’s progress and potentially successful outcome.

4. Early identification and resolution of issues
Frequent testing and analysis make it possible for the product development team to address any issue they come across. The visibility feature of agile development makes sure that all necessary changes are followed through at the earliest possible opportunity to prevent any haphazard during the final stages.

5. Accommodating change as per the requirements
Agile development is acceptance to change and any requirement that emerges during the evolvement period is recognized immediately. Of course, it is important that an active stakeholder is involved within the project who understands the concept behind agile development and is ready to make any necessary changes to the cycle.

6. Iterative releases, Communication, continuous integration
The active participation by the development team and the product owner, increased visibility of the product and its progress, and the flexibility to make amendments when required creates better business engagement and customer satisfaction.

This is an essential benefit to achieve in any business as it makes way for more positive and long-lasting working relationships.

7. More enjoyable!
For most (if not all) members of the agile development team, work is an enjoyable place where everyone is actively involved. Instead of big specs, the team discusses requirements of the project through interactive workshops and panels.

Above all, the team members are empowered to make decisions based on their regular analysis, which creates highly motivated and determined team.

8. Transparency
As we mentioned above, the agile approach provides equal opportunities to all the participants of the project to become involved. From the initial planning to review sessions and frequent software testing – the clients are detailed regarding each aspect to enhance the transparency between them and the team members.

9. Early and Predictable Delivery
Agile development projects are usually delivered on time while updates are also quick and frequent. This is because the method utilizes a time-box, fixed schedule Sprints of 1- weeks to ensure the product is ready on time. In fact, many times this enables the product or the beta update to release earlier than predicted adding to the overall business value.

10. Predictable Costs and Schedule
Since each Sprint runs for a fixed duration, the cost and the team effort associated during the time period is predictable. This makes it easy for the stakeholders to make decisions regarding the future costs involved with the project along with the features that should be prioritized for added functionality.

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