Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What are Agile Methodologies

Todd Burton writes for PM Hut that, the first step to examine what has to be done to launch a lean startup. One of my colleagues noted that “lean startups are all about using project methodologies (agile) to increase agility & flexibility and to fully utilize open-source platforms to lower costs” [Jeong, 2011]. With the goal of launching a startup using offshore development, the question remained how do we develop a lean startup, yet with offshore (not opensource) development teams?

A logical beginning for me was to examine what exactly is an agile methodology? Understanding this will allow clarification and direction moving forward. This piece will outline common agile methodologies and their potential for launching a lean startup.

In order to better understand agile, I examined popular agile methodologies in today’s marketplace. This following section will outline the following methodologies; SCRUM, XP, RUP & RAD.
  • SCRUM SCRUM utilizes small teams to deliver increments of software using “sprints”. These sprints may last for 14-30 days, during which all parties strive to achieve a specific goal. Each day begins with a kick-off meeting to assure quality control. Martin Kearns, from IT firm Renewtek states “SCRUM enables developers to prioritize work based on actual business value…which then leads to regular returns on investment and improved communication channels to management and product owners” [Baltzan et al, 2010].

  • XP
    XP (eXtreme Programming) utilizes small project phases that act as tollgates for a developer to proceed (i.e. phase X must be completed before phase Y). Its central focus is on the facilitation of planning, designing, coding and testing, and integrating these throughout each small project. XP stresses customer satisfaction and empowers project staff to change requirements instantly to accommodate customer demand. As XP relies on many parts making up a whole, successful teamwork is inherent in this methodology [Baltzan et al, 2010].

  • RUP
    RUP (rational unified process) is a framework that breaks software development into four gates; inception, elaboration, construction and transition. Each gate has a list of deliverables that must be accepted by stakeholders before advancing to the next stage. Its focus is quickly adding or removing large chunks of reusable software to solve common problems [Baltzan et al, 2010].

  • RAD
    Rapid Application Development, or RAD, is a methodology based on broad user involvement in prototype development to hasten the software development process. It utilizes iteration to collect changing business requirements while proactively involving software users in analysis, design and development. This methodology is often known for prototypes turning into final solutions [Baltzan et al, 2010].
Read the full article at:

No comments:

Post a Comment