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Agile Model 101: How to Plan Work Iterations with Agile

by Fredrick Gitaka
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If you are taking too long on working with large batches of features, then possibly you might be lacking innovation and organization. The solution to this scenario is agile. It is a flow that helps us with turning around the strategies of the market. Agile is not only meant for smaller projects that got no documentation, no planning, or for cowboy coding. It is a mindset that guides people by putting their things together in an ultimately executable way without any regrets.

Agile is carried out with three principles including transparency (to maintain focus, discipline and the alignment of work), flow efficiency (to increment value delivery and to remove blocks), empowerment (to enable innovation, and trust people). 

The agile principles are meant to adapt to various environments, improve the ability to attract talent, and also increase innovation. Agile could be used as a proper guide, to guide you with your scalable workflow, however agile planning and agile estimation are two different things. So, let’s get started with all the details on the Agile Iterative approach. 

AGILE ITERATIVE APPROACH:

WHY DO WE NEED IT?

The agile, iterative approach is one way of implementing the agile methodology for your project. In a specific project situation, you might not have a defined plan for the project. You will have to adapt to every changing situation of your workflow. Your development must be incremental and to help you with that, the agile, iterative approach could be implemented. 

This method will account for the reduction in the time taken for the completion of a project without any pressure. This method also helps teams with reducing their work time compared to the old audit approach. Since it has a robust organizable impact, it will help in increasing the value of the product that is yet to be developed.

WHAT IS THE AGILE ITERATIVE APPROACH?

The general idea is to divide the development of software into sequences of repeated cycles. Each iteration of the sequence will be allocated a particular time called the time box (a single timebox lasts from 2-4 weeks). 

As per the formal agile method, each of the iterations will have its own plan analysis, design, code, and test. The iterative planning is done by the team in collaboration with the product owner and then facilitated by the scrum master.

THE CENTRAL IDEA:

The team will have to understand the product owner completely, understand his priorities, and conclusively estimate the proposed work. They will have to give sincere estimates based on the capacity-based planning technique. 

The goal is not to commit more work, but to produce the committed work with increments. The iterative plans help us with keeping our team on tasks and eventually the project on schedule. And this keeps development at a sustainable phase. 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

This method is mainly used to build and deliver products incrementally and eventually adding value to it. This incremental procedure is basically the key to competitive advantage. 

The team will commit itself to provide a shippable product by incrementing the product at every sprint. The agile team will make sure that the PDCA (plan, design, check, adjust) cycle is implemented on every planned iteration separately as follows:

ITERATION PLANNING (P – Plan):

Here, the team’s work is to collaborate and plan the details of the next iteration. The finished part of the plan is also discussed, and anything that is left to be worked out from the backlog is also added to the upcoming iterations.

ITERATION EXECUTION (D – Design):

This is where the actual development of the project takes place. Everything that is a part of the event, i.e., designing and coding occur during this step. Testing is also carried out if it is the second or third iteration.

The next step is the review process. In order to do that, the user feedbacks and stories are collected in this step itself to save time during discussions.

ITERATIVE REVIEW (C – Check):

This is where the checking takes place, plainly known as the check step of the method. This is carried out with the client, where the team will show the client their finished work with the products that have been tested and made deliverable. The client then examines the merchandise and checks if all their mentioned criteria had been met. 

ITERATIVE RETROSPECT (A – Adjust)

The team will go through their entire planned process of iterations beginning from the first one. Any improvements needed are worked on in this step. Also, any problem with its causing factor is identified, and the backlog is refined before the team kicks off with the next iteration. This also helps many of the firms to plan a budget, or for individuals as well. 

Until the entire software is ready to be pinched in the market, any improvisations or optimizations needed are noted and made sure that they aren’t carried forward to the upcoming events.

BENEFITS OF USING THE AGILE ITERATIVE APPROACH:

To compete with the waterfall strategy and to come up with a more flexible approach, the iterative procedure was brought up. On an iterative basis, you will be able to achieve a deliverable product with maximum values and benefits.
This method will stimulate client involvement and contribution as every iteration will require customer feedback and then in accordance, the backlog and the team adapt to the necessary changes made. 

As in every iteration, the risk factors and the causes for it are collectively listed, there are very minimal chances of going out of the client’s mentioned criteria and requirements.

This method will allow the team members to split their work and focus on a particular task in every iteration.

In most of the iterations, the testing is also eventually done, once the design and coding are finished. Because of this, the time that is required to achieve a complete product is reduced.

This method will always give space for evolution and idea development.

Every time, the team will have to commit themselves to some tasks that have been prioritized and then eventually assigned to them.

Whatever job is planned for a particular iteration, it will be carried out without any delay in their task hours. And if some tasks exceed their time, the backlog is updated accordingly.

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