What Is Agile Methodology? Part One

This article is the first of a three-part series on introducing the concept of agile methodology by Sami Shaker, a Software Test Manager at Fratoria.

Writing about agile methodology is a tricky business. It took me days to think about where to start. I am greatly aware that I am writing about a working concept that challenges what Middle Eastern management culture is based on.

Agile is more than just a management approach; it is a philosophical approach for a work lifestyle. It emphasises the saying “all for one and one for all”. The whole team is involved in the planning and decides how to approach the product. Quality is at the center of team focus and the client is involved from day one. The client is a central piece, yet the team decides how to approach clients through a series of meetings and rituals which helps team members gain a better understanding of what they are building.

Concept of agile software development

Agile Patterns

  1. Scrum
  2. Extreme programming XP
  3. Lean
  4. Knaban

We will go through each pattern in future articles.

Agile Teams

In an Agile team, there are key figures who have certain commitments to fulfill:

The Scrum Master: The scrum master has the role of facilitating the team and making sure that there are no impediments whatsoever that can delay the team’s progress. 

The Product Owner: The Product owner is the client representative within the team. 

The Dev Team: This team is responsible for building the product and securing the quality of what they are building by testing the functional and technical requirements. 

The Stakeholders: The most important group in an Agile team are the stakeholders. They will judge the results of the final product.

Within the Agile process, there are certain rituals and ‘games’ which should be performed and well-guarded by the scrum master. Agile calls it ‘games’ because, in an Agile environment, work is fun. If you don’t like your job then you are in the wrong one. These rituals are made to ensure that there will be less time wasted in meetings and pointless conversations. The team keeps its focus on the development of the project in order to meet the requirements at the estimated delivery time. 

Time is a very essential element in Agile. In later articles, it will become clearer how everything is timed in an Agile approach.

What is to Come…

Agile is a thinking method that is subjected to many external elements, which cannot be explained in just one article. 

In this series, we will discuss other concepts to help us understand and analyse Agile and its best practices for the Iraqi working culture. Theories are generally made to create a framework, but ultimately, we are the ones who decide what and how to implement them in practice. 

Always keep in mind that the word Agile means flexibility. But the organisation is essential to meet the needs of those who are paying the bills.

Read part two here.

Sami Shaker 

Contributing Writer

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