Why Agile?

Software development has come a long way since its humble beginnings. In early
stages, requirements were limited; Customer interaction diminishes once
requirements were frozen. Software once deployed run for limited periods of time
giving way to a totally new system. These were the regular trends observed till 10
years back. The existing methodologies weren’t sufficient to be able to successfully
cater to the changing market scenario. Customers started to involve themselves
more into the application development process. After all, it is they who are going to
be the end users of the system and hence want the system to be tailor made to
their requirements.
Agile as a software development methodology: Exactly 12 years ago, in
February, 2001 came the agile manifesto proposed by a group of 17 established
software developers that radically would change the way software would be
developed in future. A more customer-centric approach involving their continuous
involvement to make sure that the requirements are properly communicated,
regular demonstration of working software to ensure the system is built according to
the requirement. The ability to implement frequent changes to working software is
another key area that is sought after by the customers.
Agile Methodology in DevLabs: As a product manager at QAIT Devlabs, I am
involved since the inception of a successful product that has evolved and grown
tremendously since it was started as early as June 2010. Having come to know
about the client and the product that we would be developing, choosing Agile as a
methodology was not at all a tough decision. The client has a clear vision and scope
of the product and its growth. As a product, it should be designed to satisfy
customer base of varied needs and hence is subject to constant enhancements. In
other words, the product should evolve and grow with the trends at the given point
of time.
Trying to religiously stick to the following basics of Agile Methodology helped a lot in
maintaining the focus of the entire team towards the product development:


Smaller team
Clear identification of strengths and weaknesses
Daily standup calls: This had been a great factor in the success of the
product development. Everyone of us would apprise each other of the
tasks that are in progress, difficulties faced, if any etc. This meeting would
be of just 10 minutes
Rigorous code review in pairs: Task is to identify cases of logic
improvements, code efficiency etc.
Sprint planning meeting: Identify tasks from requirements. The entire
team participates in estimation of effort.
Daily client call: Daily client call is scheduled and every team member
gets an opportunity to talk on their tasks. This gives immense confidence

. sharing test case documentation and explaining bug scenarios once a build is deployed in the development environment. We had two major releases since launch and several feature enhancements. Minutes of meeting is prepared and shared with the client and the team. By following the basics of Agile. QA actively works with the development team in areas of requirement document preparation. results were evident. Conclusion: The product continues to be in development/enhancement and continues to grow at a very hectic pace. Our agile development team has disproved critics who often say: “Agile methodologies are best suited only for development and non-consequential projects” The product development has stood the test of over two and half years and continue to grow and gain the confidence of the customer with active user base of over 9000.vii) to the customer who is sitting in a remote place. The product has won several awards not only because of the features it has provided and the satisfied customers but also was awarded in software development category as well.