A Getting Started Guide to Agile System Development Life Cycle

A Getting Started Guide to Agile System Development Life Cycle

An agile methodology is an iterative approach to project development. In agile, the project is broken down into small iterations to deliver high-quality products. Thus, the agile system development lifecycle is a systematic and structured development methodology used for the development of a product. We will see that in detail in a bit.

However, you should know that Agile Lifecycle, in general, will vary under the agile project management methodology chosen by the team. There are typically three main methodologies, i.e, Scrum in which the project is broken down into sprints and Kanban Boards as well as Extreme Programming.

Here is a getting started guide to agile system development lifecycle to understand it better.

So, let’s get into it!

What is the Agile System Development Life cycle?

what-is-agile-system-development-lifecycle

Agile methodology is playing a pivotal role in most organizations and enterprises, replacing the traditional methodologies. An Agile System Development Lifecycle can be described as “all the steps that are being taken from the beginning of project development till post-development“.

As the name suggests it is the complete life cycle of the product or software consisting of various stages. This set of methods and methodologies is used by the development team.

Moreover, in the Agile System Development Lifecycle, the project is broken down into a particular set of tasks. Each task is well-defined and result-oriented. However, ensuring that each end-product is not only of high quality but also per the user’s requirements is difficult. Thus, if you wish to follow an agile system for your company, it is pivotal if you follow the Agile System Development Lifecycle stages.

According to our research, the stages might have different names in different researches, however, the concept behind all of them is the same. Thus, here are the 6 stages of the Agile System Development Lifecycle we are going to discuss in this blog.

  1. Strategy and Vision
  2. Inception
  3. Iteration
  4. Implementation and Deployment
  5. Maintenance

We will see all of them one by one in detail in a bit!

Agile Vs Traditional System Development Life cycle

You should remember here that the agile development lifecycle is very different from the traditional waterfall development lifecycle. Agile of course is more flexible and easier than waterfall. However, there are some other major differences between the two as well.

Agile development Lifecycle  Waterfall Development Lifecycle
More flexible and adaptable Inflexible and fixed
Continuous interaction with stakeholders No such interaction
User feedback No user feedback
The plan keeps on evolving A fixed plan
Iterations and small blocks It is phased and sequenced
The project is completed in stages It has a one-final outcome
It has cross-functional teams It has functional teams only

Agile System Development Life Cycle Stages

agile-SDLC-stages

Following are the 5 stages of the Agile System Development Lifecycle:

  1. Strategy and Vision

We will all agree that before we start on any plan or project, we need to have a clear vision and strategy on how are we going to work it out. Thus, the first stage in the Agile System Development Lifecycle is also strategy and vision. Project managers remain in constant communication with the stakeholders and development team to devise a proper strategy and vision.

In this stage, the following should be achieved:

  • Start by doing a stakeholder analysis.
  • Create project vision
  • Gather all high-level requirements of the product
  • Initial product roadmap
  • Project ideation
  • Feasibility analysis
  • Estimated budget spending
  • Resource allocation
  • Team setup

Once, you have a proper strategy and vision, it is time to move on to the next stage.

  1. Inception

The word inception means “establishment”. In this stage, the project manager works in close collaboration with the stakeholders and development team. The project manager gathers user stories – a list of requirements to be implemented in the project and shares them with the development team.

This stage involves the initial design constructed by the development team as per the initial set of user stories given. Regular check-ins with the stakeholders are ensured for the smooth integration of all the requirements into the design process.

  1. Iteration

Iteration is an important concept in agile methodology. Iteration means “repetition of a process or utterance”. However, in agile methodology iteration is breaking the project into smaller tasks with a fixed-length timebox. These iterations are called sprints. Each iteration or sprint is completed by the user stories and stakeholders’ feedback.

It is the construction stage of the agile development system lifecycle. The goal of each iteration is to reach the bare functionality of the product at its end. This stage is the longest in the lifecycle of the agile development system and is the heart of the project. Moreover, it keeps on modifying as per the stakeholder’s requirements.

  1. Implementation and Deployment

The fourth stage is the implementation and deployment stage. In this stage, the completed iterations are being tested against any defects. It is one of the most important stages as the successful implementation of each iteration will bring the whole project one step closer to the maintenance stage of the project.

The defects in the implementation and deployment stage can occur due to system defaults or not meeting the user requirements fully. After thorough feedback from the stakeholders, the successful iterations are moved on to the production stage.

  1. Maintenance

Once an iteration is completed and deployed, it moves on to the maintenance stage. This stage is the second last stage of the Agile System Development Lifecycle. This stage involves the ongoing support of the system to keep it up and running. Moreover, it also involves the removal of any bugs that might occur after deployment.

Over time, new iterations will be added and all features and requirements would be upgraded accordingly.

Voilà! There you have it. Your project is already for your client. Wasn’t that hard right? Well, that is why it’s called agile. However, before we end our article, let’s see some tips on how you can manage the agile system development lifecycle effectively.

Tips on effectively managing Agile System Development Lifecycle

Managing an agile system lifecycle can be challenging as it is always changing. Thus, you’d need some tips to keep you going smoothly.

  • Continuous collaboration with the stakeholders
  • Pick the right agile methodology for the project
  • Effectively plan all the iterations
  • Daily stand-up meetings with the whole team
  • Test the iterations with the stakeholders
  • Use proper project management software to effectively manage the whole lifecycle e.g nTask.

Manage your Agile System Development Lifecycle with nTask 

Here is how you can utilize nTask to manage your agile lifecycle effectively:

  • Task management
  • Kanban board and Gantt charts for effective visualization
  • File attachment and document management
  • Track progress of all tasks
  • See all your progress in graphs
  • Create your workspaces
  • Collaborate and coordinate with the whole team
  • Issues and risk management

Conclusion

To conclude, Agile methodology requires a well-thought plan and strategy for its effective implementation. Thus, if you plan on choosing it you need to have full-fledge knowledge of how it works. You can also check out our other blogs on what agile methodology is.

Thus, agile methodology is a great way to achieve short-term goals effectively and manage the whole project in small blocks as per the user requirements.

We hope that you had a great time reading this blog and now you are confident enough to apply it to your organization.

Best of luck!

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