What is Agile and what are user stories?

Agile methodology employs a collective group of ideas from every individual in a group who plans a project together with the other members.  Every step of the process is planned at the first meeting then and there, but there are still biweekly re-evaluations to assess which direction the project needs to go.  Compared with other planning methods, Agile is much more adaptable and is structured such that each participating member agrees to the terms the team decides on.

The deadlines are not rigid and random, but can be adjusted according to the visualization of the project in motion instead.  Team members can offer their own projected completion dates which can be earlier or later depending on the workload and pace of the members rather than having the leader pushing for unrealistic deadlines.

Agile can be applied to other development projects such as software testing.  In this situation, Agile can be used to divide the workload into things like patching bugs, finding glitches, and other aspects of testing.  Any group project can be organized by the Agile method to ensure professional collaboration among the team.  Of course, each member must be committed to what they agreed to and respect the deadlines set for them.  The situation may change over time, and he/she can report that change and request for more or less time depending.  Again, Agile’s flexibility allows a project to be more versatile compared to other methods such as the waterfall model.

what-is-agile-development

As seen from this diagram, the development process never stops with Agile — it continues to adapt itself to achieve its purposes.  Often times with the waterfall model, people work on a project for months, only to realize that by the time they complete it, it becomes irrelevant as it has become outdated and a new one needs to be done.

User stories are a unique way for Agile team members to assess a product they are creating.  For example, suppose an Agile group is creating a video game.  Some questions that may lead them through the developmental process include: Which age group or demographic are we targeting to sell this product to?  What kind of features would keep people playing this game?  Is its theme or its characters marketable?

User stories put the developers in the hypothetical viewpoint of the customers.  Developers envision what a satisfied customer would say about their product and would actively modify their product to actualize those user stories.  Eventually, the end product will be something that intentionally caters to its customers’ needs.

SmartBear_Types of Agile Teams to Avoid_InfoToon

References

Agile Project Management. (2014, August 11). Agile Project Management Meets Customer Needs – New Horizons Computer        Training – Industry News & Related Courses.

Retrieved from: http://computertrainingcenters.com/agile-development-meets-customer-needs/

Agile Teams to Avoid in 2012. (2014, January 4).

Retrieved from: http://images.smartbear.com/images/blog/agile-infotoon/agile-teams-to-avoid-2012-smartbear-software.jpg

West, D., & Grant, T. (2010, January 20). Agile Development: Mainstream Adoption Has Changed Agility.

Retrieved from: http://bit.ly/1qkt3h4

What is the Agile Software Development Methodology? (2014, July 10).

Retrieved from: http://agilemethodology.org/

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