When conducting testing within an IT department, often times employees with go through a process known as the SDLC or the software development life cycle. This cycle is basically the steps and procedures that are taken when a new piece of software is implemented, tested, or even created in the environment of an Information Technology department.
Considered a subset of the systems development life cycle, the SDLC has five different steps which need to be taken overall, with five different methodologies in which to implement this type of development strategy. The steps taken are usually –
Among these are several different methodologies in which developers can chose to utilize. The Agile model is often cited as something extreme to that of the other known models, however this model is also one that fosters collaboration and teamwork, as well as being rather flexible in its implementation.
The idea for the Agile model started as early as the mid-1990s in response to what was known as the heavy weight methodologies, as these were thought to be micromanaged and regimented. Called lightweight at first, several different methods took the approach that earlier software developers had early on, with the welcoming of changes and the aspect of flexibility.
It was in 2001 when a group of software developers got together to discuss these different lightweight approaches and came up with the Agile Manifesto, a listing of different practices that were recognized as part of the lightweight school of method thought.
The Agile model works on the notion that is similar to the Water Fall model; where the Water Fall model takes the above steps in sequential order. Agile follows the same method, however all of the stages of the software is done in chunks, usually released little by little until each chunk has been tested before the overall software has been tested.
It’s a bit like beta testing; when a user signs up to beta test a software product, he or she – if using the Agile model – might test out a certain aspect that is being used, like a particular area in a video game. Then another chunk could be to test out the area for a certain program in an office suite, like a spreadsheet program.
The difference is that testing continues and continues to be released until the issues have been reduced or removed; with the other models, like Water Fall, the build is not released for testing.
The Agile model is still relatively new, however early statistics show that there has been an increase of productivity, quality, and overall business satisfaction when the method is used. Studies are still being done for large corporations.
How is your organization aligning the use of the Agile model across various divisions?
Available here and other leading retailers:
David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.