The agile stages of a software’s life cycle

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If technology companies want to stay competitive in an ever-changing industry, software development teams need a way to evolve their products as much as possible in a short period of time. The Agile software development methodology was designed specifically for rapid software development and deployment.

The Agile approach takes into account the constant changes that occur in technology development. This allows teams to ✂️ break down the lengthy definition requirements, build and test phases into smaller segments, and ultimately to deliver functional software faster and more frequently. Bocasay, leader in offshore IT projects developments, is sharing in this article the agile stages of a software’s life cycle.

How does the agile method work in software development?  - ©Canva
How does the agile method work in software development? – ©Canva

Let’s look at the 5 stages of the agile software development life cycle.

1. 🚀 Project Initiation

This is the first stage of the agile software development lifecycle. Often referred to as the design or visioning phase, this initial step involves establishing the project vision and defining the return on investment. It is a discussion of feasibility from a macro perspective that does not get into specific details.

During this step, you need to identify the team members and determine the time and work resources required to complete the project. Taking stock of resources is critical to determining economic feasibility for project approval.

2. 🗓️ Planning

This speculative phase is when the agile lifecycle really takes shape for the team. Planning is when the team gets together with the product owner and identifies exactly what they are looking for. They discuss how this will be made possible by building the userstory backlog.

A good way to create the stories is to see how the end user might describe the feature or product. A story should include the type of user, what they want from the product and why.

The business opportunity should be considered in a broader context here. This will impact the viability of the project from a functional and financial perspective.

You need to estimate the risks and develop milestones with an initial launch plan. Planning is only complete when your backlog is complete and you have prioritized the items based on their business value and dependency.

𝔹𝕠𝕔𝕒𝕤𝕒𝕪 𝕥𝕖𝕒𝕞𝕤 𝕒𝕣𝕖 𝕖𝕩𝕡𝕖𝕣𝕥𝕤 𝕚𝕟 𝕠𝕗𝕗𝕤𝕙𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕀𝕋 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕛𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕤 𝕕𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕡𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕕𝕚𝕘𝕚𝕥𝕒𝕝 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕛𝕖𝕔𝕥𝕤. 𝕊𝕦𝕡𝕡𝕠𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕒𝕘𝕚𝕝𝕖 𝕞𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕕𝕤, 𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕕𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕡𝕖𝕣𝕤 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕠𝕞𝕡𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝔸 𝕥𝕠 ℤ.

3. 💻 Development

Once requirements have been defined based on input from product owners and stakeholders, implementation can begin. Agile product development delivers high-quality products in incremental phases, sprints, or iterations.

Developers begin building the first iteration of the product with the goal of having a functional, usable product at the end of the sprint. This product is far from being the final version and will undergo a number of successive revisions, so it should only have minimal functionality. This functionality can be extended in future iterations of the agile lifecycle.

Teams deliver these sprints by:

  • Ensuring collaboration with functional and technical team members and stakeholders.
  • Maintaining quality by following coding conventions and style guidelines.
  • Adhere to priorities set by stakeholders who have full control of the project scope, budget, and schedule.
  • Deliver functional products, however limited, at the end of each cycle.
  • Test continuously.

After as many sprints as it takes to go from a minimum viable product (MVP) in the early sprints to a fully functional solution, the product is now ready to go into production.

At this point in the agile lifecycle, you will have gone through several iterations and hopefully tested after each cycle. This is not always the case, so you need to schedule final tests.

Final testing and acceptance should be done by the quality manager to catch errors. Unlike iteration testing, you surely want to involve a subset of end users for these tests.

Following testing, you will almost certainly need to rework the product to correct any defects that have been detected.

You can also train end users or staff, but your main goal is to ✅ deploy your solution to production.

4. 👩💻 Production

Your product has now been deployed and is being used by end users. It is important to closely monitor these early stages for errors or missed defects during testing. A handoff with appropriate training should take place between the production and support teams.

These final processes and handoffs can vary depending on the type of product you are producing.

The production phase usually ends when the product is ready for removal.

5. 🔚 Product Removal

The final stage of the Agile lifecycle. The product is now in the “end of life” stage and will be removed from production and retired. Customers are notified and informed of the migration to newer versions or alternative options.

Products can be retired for a variety of reasons. In most cases, it is because a newer version is being deployed and/or the older version is no longer supported. In this case, some minor or major software updates may be performed on the newer system.

It may also be a retirement because the product is not profitable under the current business model and therefore needs to be phased out.

The stages of the agile life cycle  - ©Canva
Contact Bocasay and its offshore IT projects teams – ©Canva

👌 Making the Agile Process work for your project.

As with any methodology, there are advantages and disadvantages.

The agile method is best suited to situations where customers and project stakeholders are:

  • available for input,
  • where the functional parts of the software are quickly accessible,
  • where flexibility is desired to adapt to changing needs,
  • and where the team is co-located and can collaborate effectively.

As with any change, integrating Agile processes into your organization can be challenging. Below are four activities that will help you with agile software development:

  • Daily Meetings: Hold regular or daily meetings to maintain open communication, hold employees accountable, and move each iteration forward.
  • Live Demos: Conduct live demos of the final product at the end of each iteration to show progress.
  • Share Feedback: Collect feedback from stakeholders and customers and share it with the entire team before the next iteration begins.
  • Stay Agile: Make changes to your process based on feedback to ensure that each iteration is better than the last.

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