What is Agile SDLC? (Phases, Methodologies, and Disadvantages)

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Agile SDLC

Traditional software development life cycles often stretched development timelines, presenting challenges for startups and smaller companies racing against time and competition.

Then came in the Agile Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), a dynamic alternative designed for efficiency and adaptability.

Agile SDLC is a newer, more flexible way of developing software. It is an alternative to the traditional waterfall model, which can be inflexible and lead to missed deadlines and budget overruns.

This blog post will discuss the definition of Agile SDLC, its phases, disadvantages, methodologies, and reasons for popularity. The post also compares the agile model with the waterfall model.

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Agile software development is a process that allows for incremental and iterative changes to the software.

The agile SDLC is a framework that allows for these gradual changes and emphasizes close collaboration between developers and consumers throughout the software development process.

This close collaboration will enable customers to give feedback early and often, which helps ensure that the software meets their needs.

Why is Agile becoming a more popular model?

  • It’s more effective than the traditional waterfall model in delivering software that meets customer needs.
  • It’s more responsive to change, which makes it well-suited for today’s fast-paced, ever-changing business environment.
  • It allows teams to be self-organizing and self-managing, which fosters creativity and empowerment.
  • It’s been shown to improve productivity and decrease costs.

What are the Agile SDLC phases involved in the process?

Phases Involved in the AGILE SDLC Process
  • Planning: In the planning stage, the team creates a roadmap for the project. This roadmap outlines the goals, objectives, and timeline for the project.
  • Requirement gathering: The team gathers data about the customer’s requirements in the analysis stage. This information determines the software’s features and how it should work.
  • Design: In the design stage, the team creates a software prototype. This prototype tests the design’s feasibility and gathers customer feedback.
  • Development or coding: The developers review and break down requirements into smaller tasks that can be completed efficiently and quickly. In the development stage, the team writes the code for the software.
  • Testing: The software is tested in the testing stage to ensure that it meets the customer’s requirements. If the team finds bugs, they fix them.
  • Implementation: The software is ready for implementation once it passes the testing stage. The team helps the customer install and use the software in this stage.
  • Maintenance: The team provides maintenance and support after the software is up and running. That also makes sure that the software is updated as needed.

Agile model vs waterfall model

The agile model is becoming the preferred model for software development as it is more effective and responsive to change than the traditional waterfall model.

Agile SDLC model Waterfall model
It is iterative; takes small steps and changes along the way based on customer feedback.The waterfall model is linear, which means that the waterfall model progresses straight.
It embraces change.It doesn’t allow for change.
Allows multiple jobs to be completed simultaneously.Focuses on completing tasks one at a time.
Allows for needs to emerge during the development process.The waterfall model requires all requirements to be known upfront.
It allows for overlap and parallelism between phases.It is based on sequential phases.

Key considerations while implementing Agile SLDC

Implementing Agile SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) can be highly beneficial for many organizations, but it requires careful planning and consideration.
Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

Organizational culture

Agile methodologies encourage collaboration, openness, and adaptability. Make sure that your company is prepared to embrace these cultural shifts, which involve empowering cross-functional teams, fostering a culture of ongoing feedback, and championing transparency.

Training and skill development

Invest in training and skill development for your team members. Agile practices may be new to some, so providing training and resources can help team members understand and implement Agile principles effectively.

Clear objectives and metrics

Establish precise project goals, criteria for success, and key performance indicators (KPIs). The agile approach emphasizes regular assessment and adjustment, making it essential to have clearly defined metrics for evaluating progress and making informed decisions.

Effective communication

Agile functions with communication and collaboration among team members, stakeholders, and customers. Inculcate effective communication channels and practices to ensure that information flows freely and everyone is on the same page.

Stakeholder involvement

At every developmental stage keep the stakeholders updated with the progress. Input from clients, workers, or customers is very important in order to prioritize features and ensure that the product meets their requirements.

Prioritization and Backlog management

Keep a well-structured list of product tasks, known as the backlog, with clear priorities. Continuously review and update the backlog based on changing needs and feedback from stakeholders.

Iterative development

It is important to know that the development process happens in small steps with Agile. Instead of waiting for a finished product, be ready to release smaller parts that work well on their own at regular intervals.

Flexibility and Adaptation

Agile projects are known for their flexibility in adapting to changing requirements and situations. Embrace change as a normal aspect of the process and be open to adjusting project plans and priorities accordingly.

Continuous improvement

Agile promotes a culture of constant improvement. Conduct retrospectives at the end of each iteration to identify areas that need to be improved and make necessary adjustments to the process.

Tools and Technology

Select appropriate Agile project management and collaboration tools to support your team’s workflow. These tools can enhance transparency, communication, and tracking of work items.

Risk management

Identify possible risks and challenges at an early stage of the project and create strategies to minimize their impact. Agile’s iterative approach enables more frequent risk assessment and the ability to adjust plans accordingly.

Empowerment and Ownership

Encourage teams to take ownership and empower them to make decisions. Foster a culture of self-organization and trust, allowing team members to collaborate effectively.

Scaling Agile

Consider how Agile practices will scale across larger projects or multiple teams. Implement frameworks like SAFe, LeSS, or Scrum of Scrums when necessary to coordinate efforts across a larger organization.

Executive support

Gain support from executive leadership. Having leadership buy-in and support is crucial for removing organizational roadblocks and facilitating the adoption of Agile principles.


Although Agile prioritizes functional software over extensive documentation, it still emphasizes the creation and upkeep of essential documentation, particularly for compliance and regulatory requirements.

Agile SDLC best practices

Infographic of Agile SDLC Best Practices
  1. Customer involvement: Customers should be involved throughout the agile SDLC process to meet their needs.
  2. Self-organizing teams: Teams should be self-organizing, so they can make decisions and solve problems quickly.
  3. Incremental delivery: The agile model focuses on incremental small development sprints, allowing for more customer feedback and a better final product.
  4. Working software: Agile aims to produce software that meets customer needs rather than focusing on documentation or other deliverables.
  5. Continuous improvement: Agile teams should constantly look for ways to improve their process and the software they deliver.

Agile SDLC methodologies


It involves short development sprints (usually two weeks) during which a team works to complete a set amount of work.

After finishing each sprint, the team shows the completed work to the customer and gathers feedback. This feedback is then used to guide future sprints. 


It helps teams visualize their work, so they can see what needs to be done and who is working on what tasks. This transparency can help teams manage their workflow and improve their process over time.


Focuses on eliminating waste and reducing unnecessary work. In software development, this means creating a lean process that delivers value to the customer quickly and efficiently.

XP (Extreme Programming)

XP is a method that focuses on delivering working software early and often. XP teams work in short development cycles (usually two weeks) and aim to release new software weekly.

FDD (Feature-Driven Development)

This methodology focuses on delivering software in short development cycles (usually two weeks). FDD(Feature-driven development) teams work to break down requirements into smaller tasks that can be completed efficiently and quickly.

DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method)

It is an agile methodology that focuses on delivering working software quickly. DSDM teams work in short development cycles and use a timeboxing approach to ensure that each sprint is completed on time.


This a family of agile methodologies that deliver software based on customer needs. Crystal Clear, for example, is a methodology that focuses on transparency and communication to ensure that the customer’s needs are met.

Which methodology is suitable for your team?

The answer to this question depends on your team’s specific needs and goals. For example, if you’re looking for a methodology that focuses on delivering working software quickly, then XP or DSDM might be a good choice.

If you’re looking for a methodology that involves the customer in the development process, then Scrum or FDD might be a better option. But in the end, it’s up to your team to decide which methodology will work best for you.


  • Agile techniques can be challenging to manage and control. They are self-organizing, which means they make their own decisions about how to complete tasks. This can lead to problems if team members do not communicate well or if they do not have the same goals in mind.
  • They often require more time and effort upfront. Typically the agile teams invest in thorough planning and preparation for each sprint. This process can pose challenges, especially if team members lack experience with Agile methodologies.
  • Agile methods can be disruptive to businesses that are used to traditional waterfall development. That is because agile teams work in short sprints and deliver software frequently. This can further disrupt enterprises that are used to longer development cycles and less frequent releases.
  • Agile methods may carry inherent risks that can impact the project’s outcomes. That is because there is less of a well-defined path to follow and more reliance on the team to develop creative solutions. That could cause further problems if not appropriately managed.


In conclusion, Agile SDLC stands as a versatile family of software development methodologies renowned for their ability to deliver functional software in tune with ever-evolving project requirements swiftly.

Yet, like any approach, Agile methods come with their set of advantages and limitations.

Observing the characteristics of Agile, you’ll find a diverse range of methodologies, each offering unique strengths and grappling with distinct challenges.

The key lies in your team’s ability to discern and adapt, selecting the methodology that harmonizes best with your project’s nature and objectives. Thank you for the readership.