Agile software development is widely used globally, across organizations of all kinds. However, Agile is never “just Agile.” With such a broad array of businesses that have adopted it as a delivery mechanism, many different Agile delivery frameworks have now been developed. These include Scrum, Scrumban, and Kanban, among others. The question for any organization looking to use Agile is: which framework is best for them?
Matching your needs to Agile frameworks
So you want to adopt an Agile approach to your work. Now the question is, which framework is best suited to your business? Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of choosing a framework merely because it is popular. Scrum is widely used, but perhaps it does not fit your enterprise. To choose the right framework, go back to basics and examine the nature of the problems you are looking to solve. The Cynefin framework can be helpful in this regard. It presents a fourfold model of organizational problems. By placing your specific problems into one of these categories, you give yourself a clearer picture of what you are dealing with, and you can then choose your Agile framework to match that type of problem.
Once you have a good understanding of where your project fits into this model, it is quite simple to choose the appropriate Agile framework. Complex problems are best suited to Scrum and XP – lightweight frameworks that allow developers to experiment and test to assess how viable their solutions are at every step. Complicated workflows are best solved using Lean or Kanban. These two frameworks are especially good for optimizing workflows and coordinating several competing goals, problems, and possible solutions. For more obvious problems, traditional software development approaches are perfectly sufficient, or you could opt for Waterfall. With the way forward being so clear and uncomplicated, Agile is not really needed. On the other hand, if you are trying to master chaos, Agile simply won’t help at all. Chaotic problems put development teams in firefighting mode, constantly looking in all directions for possible new challenges and requirements. A freeflow, trial and error approach is the only solution, and there would be no point in applying Agile.
Here is a closer look at the various Agile frameworks and their attributes:
- Scrum: Probably the best-known Agile framework, the Scrum methodology breaks a project down into different stages or cycles, which are described as sprints. By managing each sprint, one at a time, the development time is maximized and dedicated, enabling the development team to focus their energies on a set of mini-goals, one after the other, building up to completion one step at a time.
- Kanban: The name of this methodology comes from the Japanese word for “visual board” or “signboard”. It uses visual methods to develop and manage projects. The Kanban board is divided into columns that visually depict the process flow.
- XP: Extreme Programming (XP) much like Scrum does, in that it breaks a development project up into sprints or short development cycles. The emphasis here is on teamwork on feedback, with a push for constant development and customer satisfaction.
- Crystal: This is a group of smaller Agile development methodologies, each assigned a particular color (Yellow, Red, Orange, Clear, etc.) Each one has its own set of features depending on its primary goals and focuses, as well as factors such as team size, criticality, and project priorities.
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM): DSDM provides a comprehensive structure for software development, to standardize the development and delivery processes for maximum quality and customer satisfaction. The DSDM structure helps development teams to create a plan, execute, manage, and scale the procedure of a development project.
- Feature-driven development (FDD): FDD breaks development projects down into specific features. The team starts by creating an overarching plan of the project, then narrows it down to focus on each factor in turn. The team plans each characteristic, creates designs according to each individual characteristic, and then starts to build piece by piece. Using this piecemeal approach, a development team can drive a project forward incrementally and at a steady pace.
- Lean: This popular methodology is based on seven principles:
- Eliminate what doesn’t matter
- Focus on quality development
- Knowledge creation
- Defer commitments (i.e. don’t commit to any goals or deadlines until you have a thorough understanding of what is required and what can be delivered)
- Deliver promptly
- Respect the team
- Optimize the whole
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): SAFe involves a set of organizational patterns for implementing Agile practices at enterprise level. It is a relatively light framework that still maintains centralized decision making.
Let Giga IT guide you through the software development process
At Giga IT, we master all the necessary approaches for all four of these scenarios. We can tackle software development with a traditional or Waterfall approach, or we can go into Agile mode for more complex projects. We work closely with our customers to assess their software development needs and then choose and implement the appropriate solution. Whatever software development goals you may have, our Agile dedicated teams help you meet them. Contact us today and tell us about your project. We will soon have the right team and the right Agile framework in place to solve problems innovatively, effectively, and on time.