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What Does Metrics Mean For Agile Teams

Most of the places I have worked, I spent a lot of time in measuring multiple dimensions of software for the entire lifecycle of the product. Many try to see what is the “best practice” in the industry and put a wrapper on them to make their own metrics. I have been thinking for a while on what makes sense, and is there a silver bullet like the Grand Unified Theory. While at it, it looks to me that we are trying to contain ourselves in one direction in as chaotic as a place of Software Product Development. Organizations tend to copy “what worked for them” without even caring for the constraints and conditions that the specific metric worked for “them”. Then, what to measure? In my view, organizations which have understood what and how much to measure a products usefulness, have survived and thrived. These have eventually emerged as the Agile organizations. When they have multiple products, they have different lenses for each of them as well. Some products will need a lot of statistics and data while some may need only a few! And, how do you arrive at what to measure? For me the closest guide is 7th principle from Agile Manifesto “Working software is the primary measure of progress”. If you can define what is the working software for you, it becomes easier to measure the progress. Again, each one in their role, see the “working software” in a different way. Hence it becomes very important to have a holistic view of who is the customer, who is the builder, who is the sponsor and who manages the process. Let us try to think from each perspective.  Note: These thoughts for building a product or service should only serve as a starting point and none of them are given in any order of preference. “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams” and so does the metrics and measurement.  Before proceeding to a detailed discussion on the metrics for product owners, investors and developers, let us quickly go through the essential Scrum metrics. Business/Product Owner/Product Manager In a functional Agile team, this role is primarily responsible for understanding the market and synthesizing the data. They have “Hypothesis” around what makes the organization profitable. When all they are working with is a hypothesis and not much of clarity, they will be interested in forward looking metrics. The following could be the measures they need: 1. Cost of Delay: Cost of Delay is "a way of communicating the impact of time on the outcomes we hope to achieve". More formally, it is the total expected value with respect to time. Cost of Delay combines an understanding of value with how that value leaks away over time. It is the answer to the question: "What would it cost us if this was delayed by 1 month?". Or, alternatively, "what would it be worth to us if we could get this 1 month earlier?" 2. Product Market Fit : Product/market fit is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand. Product/market fit is the first step to building a successful venture in which the company meets early adopters, gathers feedback and gauges interest in its product(s). 3. Riskiest Assumption Test (RAT): A Riskiest Assumption Test is explicit. There is no need to build more than what’s required to test your largest unknown. No expectation of perfect code or design.  4. Minimum Viable Product (MVP): The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. It is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development. 5. Minimum Marketable Product (MMP):  MMP is based on the idea that less is more. It describes the product with the smallest possible feature set that addresses the needs of the initial users (innovators and early adopters), and can hence be marketed and/or sold. The MMP is a tool to reduce time-to-market: It can be launched more quickly than a fat, feature-rich one. 6. Cycle Time:  Cycle time is the total time from the beginning to the end of your process, as defined by you and your customer. Cycle time includes process time, during which a unit is acted upon to bring it closer to an output, and delay time, during which a unit of work is spent waiting to take the next action.   The “Product” group should have a mechanism to understand and keep an eye on the metrics that are important to Sponsors/Investors as well. This will make sure the loop is closed and any suggestion to “Pivot” is indicated by them.    Sponsor/Investor  Interestingly, this group has interest in the same metrics that are used by Business/Product Managers before the product is launched. I am inclined to use thoughts from “lean start-up” as they are more “actionable” and not “vanity metrics”. During and after the product launch, the following are the measurement/information they will be most interested in: 1. Employee Satisfaction: Happier and motivated employees make sure they keep the customer happy and engaged. Employee satisfaction is the terminology used to describe whether employees are happy and fulfilling their desires and needs at work. Employee satisfaction is a factor in employee motivation, employee goal achievement, and positive employee morale in the workplace. 2. Viral coefficient: A viral coefficient is a number which tells you how many customers each is your present customer bringing to you on an average. So this means if your viral coefficient is 2 then each of your current customer is bringing in 2 customers to your business. This metric calculates the exponential referral cycle, sometimes called virality, that accelerates company growth. Virality is the inherent incentive for customers to refer friends or colleagues to your company. 3. Sunk Costs: In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs (also known as retrospective costs) are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken. 4. Viral Cycle Time: Viral cycle time is the time it takes for one such cycle to complete. In other words, viral cycle time is the amount of time it takes for a user to invite another user. 5. Net Promoter Score: Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and claims to be correlated with revenue growth.  The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale. Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters. Those who respond with a score of 0 to 6 are labelled Detractors. Responses of 7 and 8 are labelled Passives, and their behavior falls in the middle of Promoters and Detractors. The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. For purposes of calculating a Net Promoter Score, Passives count towards the total number of respondents, thus decreasing the percentage of detractors and promoters and pushing the net score towards 0. 6. Customer Happiness Index (CHI): Instead of using NPS, the organization could also create a Customer Happiness Index of its own including the parameters it wants to measure. This approach has a benefit, as the organization has to “talk to the customer” and can understand the parameters that are necessary for its context. 7. % Paying Customers: Understanding the demography of how many people are using the paid product/services in the overall customer base helps us to understand the market better. 8. Conversion Rate: The gist of the funnel is that you start with people who are suspects, who then convert to prospects then convert leads which convert into sales. The percent conversion at each step is calculated. The overall conversion rate of a sales funnel is determined by taking the number of sales divided by number of suspects times 100. 9. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):  CAC can be calculated by simply dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent. For example, if a company spent $100 on marketing in a year and acquired 100 customers in the same year, their CAC is $1.00. 10. Customer Stickiness: Customer stickiness is the increased chance to utilize the same product or service that was bought in the last time period.  Developer/Builder Sadly, we try to measure everything here. While the measures and metrics here give you an indication of “are we building it right?”, it doesn’t guarantee “are we building the right thing”. It is vital for a developers to know the metric they are getting along with having a view of all other metrics we talked about till now. The metric we use here, should always supplement the metrics that we talked about. This is something the Agile methodologies have rightly incorporated.  This group is technology oriented and hence, the metrics are more technical in nature as well.  Some of the metrics that could help understanding “building it right” are: 1. Health of CI/CD pipeline: Are the builds happening right? Are they fast enough for the teams to experiment often?  2. Number of Green builds per day/week : Discipline within the team, so as to get code checked in daily, and builds are made often. The team can work in small batches as they know that the last logical piece of code they have submitted is working.   3. % of green builds : To continue, not just the number of builds are important, but also how many of them were good. A good developer doesn’t want others to be stuck because of him/her. 4. Unit Test Coverage: Adherence to Agile Test Pyramid is the only way to be in the fast zone of Product Development. The Unit Tests should comprise ~80% of all tests and an essential part of building the quality-in.  5. Code Coverage: Code coverage is a term to describe which application code is exercised when the application is running. Measuring code coverage is a technique for understanding exactly which application code is being exercised.  6. Non-Functional Test Coverage: It is essential to understand the non-functional requirements, called often as “ility tests” (usability, accessibility, reliability etc.) as they help in understanding what the customers or market don’t explicitly ask for.  7. Benchmarking of NFR’s: Benchmarking is an important part of understanding where we can reach. It could be against customer wishes or against industry standards. When we understand the current measures, we can aim/plan or negotiate the future measures. 8. Defects found per unit of Unit/Functional/Integration Test: While the number of defects might not indicate anything substantial, they do slow us down in building. If we can find a pattern or the magnitude, planning for releases becomes easy and market commitments live their date. 9. Number of defects per feature from Production/UAT/Customer: Feature is what customers pay for in most cases. Understanding the important features and making sure they are built with quality makes developers and builders of the system to concentrate more on where it matters.  10.Defects that can be lived with: Not all defects kill you! Pay attention to the most important ones and spend as less time as possible with the other ones. When delivering often is the necessity for a system/product/service, perfection is not always an answer and asked for as well.  11. Rework: Unknowingly we spend a lot of time on rework, which can well be utilized for the “work”. Practices like Split-testing, Pair Work (E.g. : Dev-Test, Test-Documentation etc. working in pair), having separate environments, testing and fixing with Developer can help the teams avoid the cost of late defect fixes.  Customer/User The person for whom we are building a solution is also a part of the system. The customers may or may not understand any of the numbers, measurements and metrics. They want their problems to be solved in a simplistic way, without learning too many things in the process. We should not be adding more stress to them. The organizations or entrepreneurs who understand the above statement and work towards that will succeed and thrive!!! Five #agile metrics you won't hate... and the anti-patterns to watch for: https://t.co/FkaX8fmZoR pic.twitter.com/8Xs3mYdrRg — Atlassian Jira (@Jira) December 28, 2015   Summary We may or may not be able to demarcate different roles as I have done here in the real world. Care has to be taken to understand “what”, “when” and “how much” to measure depending on the circumstances a product/service works. Most of the measures talked about links us back to the customer and it is thoroughly essential that we take that view from the first step we take towards building a product or service.   
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What Does Metrics Mean For Agile Teams

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What Does Metrics Mean For Agile Teams

Most of the places I have worked, I spent a lot of time in measuring multiple dimensions of software for the entire lifecycle of the product. Many try to see what is the “best practice” in the industry and put a wrapper on them to make their own metrics. I have been thinking for a while on what makes sense, and is there a silver bullet like the Grand Unified Theory.

While at it, it looks to me that we are trying to contain ourselves in one direction in as chaotic as a place of Software Product Development. Organizations tend to copy “what worked for them” without even caring for the constraints and conditions that the specific metric worked for “them”.

Then, what to measure? In my view, organizations which have understood what and how much to measure a products usefulness, have survived and thrived. These have eventually emerged as the Agile organizations. When they have multiple products, they have different lenses for each of them as well. Some products will need a lot of statistics and data while some may need only a few!

And, how do you arrive at what to measure? For me the closest guide is 7th principle from Agile Manifesto “Working software is the primary measure of progress”. If you can define what is the working software for you, it becomes easier to measure the progress.

Again, each one in their role, see the “working software” in a different way. Hence it becomes very important to have a holistic view of who is the customer, who is the builder, who is the sponsor and who manages the process. Let us try to think from each perspective. 

Note: These thoughts for building a product or service should only serve as a starting point and none of them are given in any order of preference. “The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams” and so does the metrics and measurement. 

Before proceeding to a detailed discussion on the metrics for product owners, investors and developers, let us quickly go through the essential Scrum metrics.

Business/Product Owner/Product Manager

In a functional Agile team, this role is primarily responsible for understanding the market and synthesizing the data. They have “Hypothesis” around what makes the organization profitable. When all they are working with is a hypothesis and not much of clarity, they will be interested in forward looking metrics. The following could be the measures they need:

1. Cost of Delay: Cost of Delay is "a way of communicating the impact of time on the outcomes we hope to achieve". More formally, it is the total expected value with respect to time. Cost of Delay combines an understanding of value with how that value leaks away over time.

It is the answer to the question: "What would it cost us if this was delayed by 1 month?". Or, alternatively, "what would it be worth to us if we could get this 1 month earlier?"

2. Product Market Fit : Product/market fit is the degree to which a product satisfies a strong market demand. Product/market fit is the first step to building a successful venture in which the company meets early adopters, gathers feedback and gauges interest in its product(s).

3. Riskiest Assumption Test (RAT): A Riskiest Assumption Test is explicit. There is no need to build more than what’s required to test your largest unknown. No expectation of perfect code or design. 

4. Minimum Viable Product (MVP): The version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. It is a product with just enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for future product development.

5. Minimum Marketable Product (MMP):  MMP is based on the idea that less is more. It describes the product with the smallest possible feature set that addresses the needs of the initial users (innovators and early adopters), and can hence be marketed and/or sold. The MMP is a tool to reduce time-to-market: It can be launched more quickly than a fat, feature-rich one.

6. Cycle Time:  Cycle time is the total time from the beginning to the end of your process, as defined by you and your customer. Cycle time includes process time, during which a unit is acted upon to bring it closer to an output, and delay time, during which a unit of work is spent waiting to take the next action.
 
The “Product” group should have a mechanism to understand and keep an eye on the metrics that are important to Sponsors/Investors as well. This will make sure the loop is closed and any suggestion to “Pivot” is indicated by them.   

Sponsor/Investor 

Interestingly, this group has interest in the same metrics that are used by Business/Product Managers before the product is launched. I am inclined to use thoughts from “lean start-up” as they are more “actionable” and not “vanity metrics”. During and after the product launch, the following are the measurement/information they will be most interested in:

1. Employee Satisfaction: Happier and motivated employees make sure they keep the customer happy and engaged. Employee satisfaction is the terminology used to describe whether employees are happy and fulfilling their desires and needs at work. Employee satisfaction is a factor in employee motivation, employee goal achievement, and positive employee morale in the workplace.

2. Viral coefficient: A viral coefficient is a number which tells you how many customers each is your present customer bringing to you on an average. So this means if your viral coefficient is 2 then each of your current customer is bringing in 2 customers to your business. This metric calculates the exponential referral cycle, sometimes called virality, that accelerates company growth. Virality is the inherent incentive for customers to refer friends or colleagues to your company.

3. Sunk Costs: In economics and business decision-making, a sunk cost is a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs (also known as retrospective costs) are sometimes contrasted with prospective costs, which are future costs that may be incurred or changed if an action is taken.

4. Viral Cycle Time: Viral cycle time is the time it takes for one such cycle to complete. In other words, viral cycle time is the amount of time it takes for a user to invite another user.

5. Net Promoter Score: Net Promoter or Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a management tool that can be used to gauge the loyalty of a firm's customer relationships. It serves as an alternative to traditional customer satisfaction research and claims to be correlated with revenue growth. 

The Net Promoter Score is calculated based on responses to a single question: How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague? The scoring for this answer is most often based on a 0 to 10 scale.

Those who respond with a score of 9 to 10 are called Promoters. Those who respond with a score of 0 to 6 are labelled Detractors. Responses of 7 and 8 are labelled Passives, and their behavior falls in the middle of Promoters and Detractors. The Net Promoter Score is calculated by subtracting the percentage of customers who are Detractors from the percentage of customers who are Promoters. For purposes of calculating a Net Promoter Score, Passives count towards the total number of respondents, thus decreasing the percentage of detractors and promoters and pushing the net score towards 0.

6. Customer Happiness Index (CHI): Instead of using NPS, the organization could also create a Customer Happiness Index of its own including the parameters it wants to measure. This approach has a benefit, as the organization has to “talk to the customer” and can understand the parameters that are necessary for its context.

7. % Paying Customers: Understanding the demography of how many people are using the paid product/services in the overall customer base helps us to understand the market better.

8. Conversion Rate: The gist of the funnel is that you start with people who are suspects, who then convert to prospects then convert leads which convert into sales. The percent conversion at each step is calculated. The overall conversion rate of a sales funnel is determined by taking the number of sales divided by number of suspects times 100.

9. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC):  CAC can be calculated by simply dividing all the costs spent on acquiring more customers (marketing expenses) by the number of customers acquired in the period the money was spent. For example, if a company spent $100 on marketing in a year and acquired 100 customers in the same year, their CAC is $1.00.

10. Customer Stickiness: Customer stickiness is the increased chance to utilize the same product or service that was bought in the last time period. 

Developer/Builder

Sadly, we try to measure everything here. While the measures and metrics here give you an indication of “are we building it right?”, it doesn’t guarantee “are we building the right thing”. It is vital for a developers to know the metric they are getting along with having a view of all other metrics we talked about till now. The metric we use here, should always supplement the metrics that we talked about. This is something the Agile methodologies have rightly incorporated. 

This group is technology oriented and hence, the metrics are more technical in nature as well. 

Some of the metrics that could help understanding “building it right” are:

1. Health of CI/CD pipeline: Are the builds happening right? Are they fast enough for the teams to experiment often? 

2. Number of Green builds per day/week : Discipline within the team, so as to get code checked in daily, and builds are made often. The team can work in small batches as they know that the last logical piece of code they have submitted is working.  

3. % of green builds : To continue, not just the number of builds are important, but also how many of them were good. A good developer doesn’t want others to be stuck because of him/her.

4. Unit Test Coverage: Adherence to Agile Test Pyramid is the only way to be in the fast zone of Product Development. The Unit Tests should comprise ~80% of all tests and an essential part of building the quality-in. 

5. Code Coverage: Code coverage is a term to describe which application code is exercised when the application is running. Measuring code coverage is a technique for understanding exactly which application code is being exercised. 

6. Non-Functional Test Coverage: It is essential to understand the non-functional requirements, called often as “ility tests” (usability, accessibility, reliability etc.) as they help in understanding what the customers or market don’t explicitly ask for. 

7. Benchmarking of NFR’s: Benchmarking is an important part of understanding where we can reach. It could be against customer wishes or against industry standards. When we understand the current measures, we can aim/plan or negotiate the future measures.

8. Defects found per unit of Unit/Functional/Integration Test: While the number of defects might not indicate anything substantial, they do slow us down in building. If we can find a pattern or the magnitude, planning for releases becomes easy and market commitments live their date.

9. Number of defects per feature from Production/UAT/Customer: Feature is what customers pay for in most cases. Understanding the important features and making sure they are built with quality makes developers and builders of the system to concentrate more on where it matters. 

10.Defects that can be lived with: Not all defects kill you! Pay attention to the most important ones and spend as less time as possible with the other ones. When delivering often is the necessity for a system/product/service, perfection is not always an answer and asked for as well. 

11. Rework: Unknowingly we spend a lot of time on rework, which can well be utilized for the “work”. Practices like Split-testing, Pair Work (E.g. : Dev-Test, Test-Documentation etc. working in pair), having separate environments, testing and fixing with Developer can help the teams avoid the cost of late defect fixes. 

Customer/User
The person for whom we are building a solution is also a part of the system. The customers may or may not understand any of the numbers, measurements and metrics. They want their problems to be solved in a simplistic way, without learning too many things in the process. We should not be adding more stress to them.
The organizations or entrepreneurs who understand the above statement and work towards that will succeed and thrive!!!

 

Summary

We may or may not be able to demarcate different roles as I have done here in the real world. Care has to be taken to understand “what”, “when” and “how much” to measure depending on the circumstances a product/service works. Most of the measures talked about links us back to the customer and it is thoroughly essential that we take that view from the first step we take towards building a product or service. 
 

Ashwinee

Ashwinee Kalkura

Blog Author

Ashwinee Kalkura's qualifications include SPC4, PMP, CSM, CSP, SA, SASM, SSM, ICP-ACC and SSGB professional certifications. He has a progressive experience of 16 years in Networking, Mobile and Retail industry and multiple methodologies. Ashwinee is currently working as Head of Agile & SAFe consulting at KnowledgeHut. He has delivered SAFe training for 450+ candidates in APAC region.

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In this fast-moving world, project management has become one of the most important pillars that are helping businesses run without any glitch in their processes. Both small and large scale organizations around the world are exploiting technology and depending on project management systems to deliver the software development project successfully. Whether it is team workflow management or timing, these tools help to ensure that everything is going well without any obstacles. While there are tens of different project management approaches, Agile is considered one of the most practical and flexible software development mechanism that exist today. It is capable of executing a variety of tasks, but what sets it apart from others? Let’s find it out. Here’s a brief comparison of Agile management and traditional project management software:                                                                                                                    Traditional vs Agile Project Management Overview of Agile and Traditional Project Management What is Traditional Project Management? The traditional Project Management (waterfall) approach is linear where all the phases of a process occur in sequence. Its concept depends on predictable tools and predictable experience. Each and every project follows the same life cycle which includes the stages such as feasibility, plan, design, build, test, production, support, as shown in the figure above. The entire project is planned upfront without any scope for changing requirements. This approach assumes that time and cost are variables and requirements are fixed. This is the reason why traditional project management faces budget and timeline issues. What is Agile Project Management? When a traditional system focuses on upfront planning where factors like cost, scope, and time are given importance, Agile management gives prominence to teamwork, customer collaboration, and flexibility. It is an iterative approach that focuses more on incorporating customer feedback and continuous releases with every iteration of software development project. The basic concept behind Agile software development is that it delves into evolving changes and collaborative effort to bring out results rather than a predefined process. Adaptive planning is perhaps the biggest feature of Agile and one that makes it a crowd favorite among project managers. Scrum and Kanban are two of the most widely used Agile frameworks. They are very well known for encouraging decision-making and preventing time consumption on variables that are bound to change. It stresses customer satisfaction and uses available teams to fast-track software development at every stage. The table below shows the major differences between Agile project management and traditional project management.                                                                                Table: Agile project management vs traditional project management   Why is Agile Preferred and why not the traditional project management? Agile is preferred by most developers and managers because of a variety of reasons. Let’s have a look at the most common ones: 1. Project complexity Traditional: This method is the best fit for small or less complex projects as it follows linear approach. Sudden changes in the project or any other complexities can block the entire process and make the team go back to step one and start all over again. Agile: This is the best methodology to follow in case of complex projects. A complex project may have various interconnected phases and each stage may be dependent on many others rather than a single one as in simple projects. 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Scope for feedback and changes Traditional Each and every process is clearly detailed and defined at the start of the project in the traditional approach. It cannot deal with any big change or feedback that might require a change in the process. Mostly, the project delivery time and budget are fixed, allows change very rarely. Agile There is a high acceptance for feedback and change in this method. The process is very flexible and allows constant feedback that can help to provide better output within the fixed project delivery time. The main reason that managers or developers choose agile direction is for the flexibility it offers. 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The teams only interact with each other for project discussion and process linking as they are otherwise not self-sufficient. Generally speaking, an Agile project consists of three parts: The product owner – the expert on the project (for which the product is being developed) and is the main person who oversees the projects The scrum master – this person manages the process involved in Agile. He/she looks after the iterations and its completion The team – individuals who play significant and minor roles in the software development process Customer Engagement In Agile, customer engagement is at the very top. The customer is regarded highly in its frameworks as after every iteration, feedback is generated and acted upon. Overall, Agile is clearly the winner among project management systems. When compared with other traditional approaches, Agile’s features come to the fore and reiterate why it is one of the top software used by companies globally. Can Agile Coexist with Other Approaches? This is a question asked by many project managers, and opinions of experts seem to be divided. While some say it is possible for Agile to coexist with traditional project management systems, they suggest being cautious and using them for different terms. For example, using two different approaches on the same project can be counter-productive and highly explosive. As Agile and most other frameworks are totally contrasting to each other, the projects may go for a toss. On the other hand, some experts believe that it is not possible for Agile and other tools to co-exist because of their contrast. Using them together can cause disorder in the entire company system, making the productivity to go for a toss. Agile vs Traditional- Adoption Growth According to a recent online survey of 601 IT and development professionals, it is proved that Agile is the new typical formula for project success. The majority of projects and development teams are now adopting this methodology, while the traditional waterfall approaches have many flaws.    Traditional organizations vs. #Agile organizations #SALC16 pic.twitter.com/bBgxkQB1fI — Scrum Alliance (@ScrumAlliance) January 20, 2016 Agile was first introduced about 15 years ago as a substitute for traditional software development approaches. Many people considered it as challenging to implement traditional approach practices and Agile adopters stated that this new style of software development improves team collaboration and is more customer-centric.  Though Agile method was present more than a decade ago, the vast majority of organizations have adopted the practice in the last 5 years. Moreover, the survey reported that agile adoption saw an inflection point between the year 2009-2010. As shown in the above figure, agile adoption seems to have slow incremental growth till 2008 and then its growth was accelerated after gaining traction in the market. Reasons for the transition to Agile Most of the organizations who transitioned from traditional to agile project management have listed the following reasons: Improves collaboration between teams- 54% Enhances the quality level of software in organizations- 52% Results in enhanced customer satisfaction- 49% Speeds time to market- 43% Reduces development cost- 42% The Verdict In traditional software development, the customer involves only before the start of the development process. So, there might be a number of mistakes and a large amount of money needs to be spent to rework on them. Since in the Agile software development, the customer involves at each stage, the corrections can be made once the defects are detected. This helps us in saving cost. As we can see, Agile project management is really in-demand for teams. It helps the team to work on the top priority ones at the right time and allows them to walk through the risks much faster than they would with traditional project management tools.
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Agile Project Management Vs. Traditional Project M...

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Difference Between Agile and Scrum

Agile describes a set of guiding principles that uses iterative approach for software development, while Scrum is a specific set of rules that are to be followed while practicing the Agile software development. Agile Agile management represents various o software-development methodologies that have been influenced by iterative and incremental development, which includes Extreme Programming (XP), Rational Unified Process (RUP), Scrum, and others. Agile process or methods provide an environment where there is constant evolution in requirements and evolution as a result of collaboration between self-organising cross-functional teams. Agile methodologies foster a disciplined project-management approach that encourages a set of best practices, allowing a rapid delivery of high-quality software and enhancing a business approach, which aligns development with the customer needs. The Agile methodologies stand in contrast to the traditional waterfall methodology, where all the requirements are initially analysed and documented before the development begins. While in Agile approach, requirements are like the actual software-development advances within each iteration. This approach provides flexibility in accommodating changes in the requirements and priorities of the business. The Agile development process aligns with the concepts of Agile Manifesto. Also known as Manifesto for Agile Software Development, the Agile Manifesto is a formal declaration of 4 key values and 12 principles supporting an iterative approach to software development. The Agile development methodology enables assessment of project direction throughout the development lifecycle. This is achieved through regular iterations, and when revaluation is done at every iteration, it greatly reduces the development costs and time. Agile helps the companies to build the right product. Benefits of Agile include as follows: Benefits the Customers In the traditional waterfall model, the high-value features are developed and delivered in longer cycles compared to the Agile approach, which enables delivery within short cycles. This enables the vendors to be more responsive to the development requests of the customers. Benefits the Vendors Adopting Agile benefits the vendors by having an improved customer satisfaction and customer retention, leading to more customer contacts through positive references. The Agile allows the vendor’s focus to be on the development effort of high-value features, decrease the overheads, and improve efficiency. Quality With Agile development, there is a regular inspection of the working product, with testing integrated at every iteration, as it develops throughout the lifecycle. This in turn retains the quality of the product and also allows the product owner to make necessary adjustments whenever a quality issue arises. Visibility Agile methodology is a collaborative approach that encourages active user participation throughout the product development. This gives an exceptional and clear visibility of the project’s progress and product development to the stakeholders. Cost Control Agile development process has fixed timescale where the requirements emerge and evolve as the project progresses and the product is developed. This enables a fixed budget. Risk Management In Agile methodology, small incremental releases are made visible to the product owner throughout the development cycle, which helps identify issues at an early stage, and it makes easier to respond to change, if any. Agile development ensures clear visibility, which allows necessary decisions to be taken at the earliest possible opportunity. Scrum Scrum, on the other hand, is a subset of Agile. A Scrum is a simple and flexible Agile methodology for software development. The Scrum is not a technique or a process but a lightweight and simple framework to address complex problems of a project and deliver a high-value product creatively. The major distinguishing attributes of Scrum are as follows: Simplicity The development in Scrum is done in sprints, which are 1, 2, and 3 weeks in length. The Scrum team consists of: Product Owner: The major responsibility of the product owner is to maximize the value of the product and work of the development team. Additional duties include managing the product catalogue. Scrum Master: The development team consists of self-organising professionals who turn the product catalogue into product increment at the end of each sprint. Development Team: The Scrum Masters make sure that the Scrum team is abiding by the Scrum theory and its rules. Flexibility In the traditional waterfall model, when the business and technical requirements are documented and detailed, it results in endless documentation. The Scrum makes use of user stories to describe the functions needed to be developed. A tool called Pivotal Tracker is used to store these user stories in a backlog. If a change needs to be made or a need arises to add to the user stories, in that case the team can adjust as early as the next sprint. This allows the business to change their minds and the development team to be flexible enough to adjust to those changes. The ability to accommodate change is a powerful attribute of the Scrum methodology. Communication and Collaboration In Scrum methodology, the communication between business users takes place on a daily/weekly basis according to the sprint schedule. This close communication and collaboration is a crucial factor, promoting the success of the Scrum methodology. The Scrum team achieves collaboration in following ways: The Product Owner, the Scrum Master, and the development team work closely on a daily basis. Sprint-planning meetings are conducted, which allows the development team to organise its work based on the knowledge gathered from the business priorities. Conducting daily scrum meetings where the development team can account for the work completed, its future prospects, and deal with issues if any. Conducting sprint reviews allows the team members to evaluate their former work by recommending better practices with every sprint. There are more details on Agile & scum differences
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Difference Between Agile and Scrum

Agile describes a set of guiding principles that u... Read More

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