What is Agile, and why it works so well?

Sunscrapers Team

8 December 2022, 6 min read

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What's inside

  1. Intro
  2. What is Agile methodology software development
  3. What are the agile practices our development team uses?
  4. Why do we implement Agile?
  5. Contact us
  6. Read more


At Sunscrapers, Agile is more than a collection of software development techniques or ceremonies. For us, Agile is a group of methodologies teams can mix as they like – as long as they stay committed to short feedback cycles and continuous improvement of their process.

The core values of Agile are frequent iteration, high quality, continuous learning, adaptation, open communication, and trust between team members.

Fortunately, they closely aligned with the core values shared by our team.

Read on to find out how we apply the Agile methodologies in our projects and see some best practices that help us deliver high-quality work to our clients.

What is Agile methodology software development

Here’s a short agile methodology overview.

Agile was born as a methodology in 2001 with the publication of the Agile Manifesto. Since then, we’ve witnessed the emergence of many different agile methods and frameworks, such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, or Extreme Programming (XP).

Most development teams work in Scrum or XP for iterative development. Service-oriented teams like IT, HR, and other business teams tend to use Kanban.

The Agile Manifesto didn’t prescribe daily stand-up meetings or two-week iterations. It offered a set of core values that put some things over others.

The realization of these values is entirely up to an agile development team and can take on many shapes. Agile teams often combine practices from a few different frameworks, putting that mix together with methods that are unique to the team. To us, that’s a practical approach – it’s not about “Scrum” but agility itself.

What are the agile practices our development team uses?

Agile development practices are the foundation of our success. Our teams follow the Scrum framework that generally encourages them to self-organize while completing tasks, reflects on their workflows and processes, and continuously improve how they work and collaborate.

Here's a closer look at our framework that enables the efficient implementation of agile principles and values.

Sprint planning

This meeting happens at the beginning of a sprint and includes the team, scrum master, and product owner. The sprint planning meeting aims to set the team up for success during the following sprint. During the meeting, the product owner presents a prioritized product backlog and discusses every single item with the team. Together, they estimate the effort involved in the sprint and ensure that the team can deliver everything as promised. Our development teams are skilled at making sprint forecasts that outline how much work they can complete from the product backlog.

We use the sprint planning meeting to talk about the details of the work to be done. It's essential to reach a consensus about the next sprint's plan. Over the years, we've learned that effective planning increases the team's chances of meeting the sprint commitments successfully.

Daily standup meetings

The team, product owner, and scrum master come together during these short daily meetings to let everyone know what the team is going through as team members work on sprint tasks. Note that this is not a detailed status update meeting. It's short and light but also informative for everyone involved. The idea is to have each team member tell everyone what they did yesterday, what they'll be working on today, and whether anything is preventing them from completing tasks.

Daily standup meetings help us build transparency and accountability throughout the agile development team, making everyone feel happy to report their progress.

Sprint retrospective

One of the most important agile practices is a sprint retrospective, a meeting that centers on the team’s progress rather than the project. We always organize a retrospective at the end of an iteration or individual sprint.

During one hour, the team, product owner, and scrum master talk about the achievements of the most recent iteration or sprint to understand what went well and what didn't. The objective of this meeting is to identify weaker areas and offer the team support in focusing on them in future iterations. Short iteration is an agile method that powers this type of continuous growth. It is the most groundbreaking characteristic of agile - that is why many teams practice it.

Continuous improvement is the force that sustains and drives development in teams. It's the most popular agile feature, and retrospectives play a key role there.

Here's something we learned about retrospectives:

Even if things are going well, we always do retrospectives and analyze our team's performance. They're the team’s most valuable source of guidance, allowing developers to celebrate wins during development cycles.

Why do we implement Agile?

Here are a few things that make Agile indispensable to our teams:

  • Quick response to changes – whether in the marketplace or new feedback from end users, Agile enables us to quickly change the direction of development without going against plans formulated over months. Shipping in small increments allows our teams to gather feedback and integrate it at a minimal cost.

  • Human interactions over rigid processes – Agile helps us to collaborate with clients efficiently without forcing everyone to stick to predefined arrangements. It also helps us focus on delivering value as quickly as possible because that’s just more important than creating extremely detailed documentation.

  • Shared vision and ownership – our teams share core Agile values and are empowered to set their standards for quality and completeness. Their definition of done orchestrates their work and how quickly they churn it out.

Putting your trust in teams might be a little scary at first, but this is how teams get to feel a greater sense of ownership and work hard to meet the expectations over time.

At Sunscrapers, we follow such a process when dealing with software development.

This is what our agile-driven development process looks like. Of course, we often adjust these elements to the project’s unique requirements and the client’s operations to deliver the best results.

Since we know what agility is all about and why it works so well for development teams, it’s time for some practice. Stay tuned for our next article, where we’ll talk about 7 Agile Best Practices you should know.

Contact us

Get in touch with us if you need help choosing a suitable working model for your business. We help companies from different industries meet their technology needs with careful planning and choosing the most appropriate working models.

Reach out to us at hello@sunscrapers.com

Read more

  1. Project management methodologies: Agile vs. Waterfall vs. Scrum vs. Kanban
  2. ​​Agile vs. waterfall - what’s better for my business?
  3. Outsourcing best practices: How to manage agile collaborations with challenging clients

Articles mentioned in the post:

  1. The Agile Manifesto
  2. 6 proven practices for scaling agile development teams
  3. Self-organising teams – reality, myth, or utopia?

Sunscrapers Team

Sunscrapers empowers visionary leaders to ride the wave of the digital transformation with solutions that generate tangible business results. Thanks to agile and lean startup methods, we deliver high-quality software at top speed and efficiency.




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