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Introduction to Refactoring in Agile

Updated: Apr 14

Agile can be seen everywhere as it has targeted the main pain points of an organization i.e. better products with accelerated time to market. In cases, where the solution or project becomes complex with tight deadlines, teams have to face so many challenges in maintaining the quality. Along with various other factors to maintain the quality of product agile has introduced the refactoring practice.


Simple refactoring can be explained as the process used by development teams to clean the existing code without changing its functionality. Refactoring in Agile provides various benefits we will discuss further. Refactoring includes designing and structuring software’s internal behavior without affecting external behavior.

Why Refactor?

“Every action has a reason, even if we are not wise enough to see it.”

So let’s be wise and know the reason we should take the refactoring for. Most people will ask why refactor or change the code which already works?

As the project proceeds further software grows to make it complex to maintain and change as per requirement. To avoid this complexity and have better maintenance and ease for change refactoring is introduced. Refactoring helps in

  • Removal of duplication

  • Code and software development simpler

  • Pay off debt. before moving towards new features

Refactoring and Agile

As agile at basic means speed and velocity it becomes necessary for agile to move quickly without placing a lot of value on extensive planning and rigidity. To achieve this quick movement agile requires refactoring. In agile work and software development is in continuous development, hence in continuous improvement. When agile software is in continuous addition of new features or functionality, it is bound to make the development code more complex and less clean. Refactoring helps in a better understanding of its domain by providing increased cohesion.


While doing refactoring of the code, developers are meant to read it instead of writing and moving further so it also helps in making code easy to understand and efficient updates. The refactoring helps in gaining more knowledge of the code by a particular team member who reads it, which he can share with others, making team as a whole.

Benefits of Refactoring

Easy to Maintain Code

When with refactoring we get clean and clear code based which is organized then it becomes easy to maintain the code with every achieved step of added functionality and fixed bug. The team member can easily read and understand the code for identifying the required modification in a specific area of code.

Provides Faster Time to Market

Code refactoring reduces the impediments on the way and helps in increasing the process of iteration and incremental development. Hence helping accelerate the shipping and upgrading.

Improves Readability of code

Refactoring in agile includes making the computer understandable codes with human-understandable codes which helps to understand the code much more easily and readable making it understandable for even newly joined team members or replaced teams.

Code Rots Reduced

When the complexity of code is increased at a certain level that it becomes harder to maintain than code rots have occurred. It is similar to code rust layers. With regular refactoring in agile software, it becomes easy to decrease the code rots making codes understandable and cleaner.

Reduces Memory Consumption

Refactoring reduced and deletes all duplication and inconsistencies of codes. It also reduces the lines of code. This reduction by refactoring helps in the reduction of memory consumption by the lengthy and duplicated codes. This also helps in refining the compilation speed.

Promotes Combined Ownership

Combined ownership means the correction and changes in the code can be done by every team member for completing the task and enhancing its development. Code refactoring promotes combined ownership within the agile team members and helps in taking the combined decision making within the team regarding design and maintaining code quality.

When to Go for Refactoring

“To know who to strike is competence; to know how to strike is a skill; to know where and when to strike is art; to know why to strike is victory.”

It is always necessary when is the best time to do refactoring making it easy not to constantly worry about doing it. Every time is better to do the refactoring but this also creates a constant bugging in the head to do it. Whereas, if a specific time is decided to complete refactoring we have time to think about other processes.

The best time to complete refactoring is to do in while adding new functionality in the code and also during alignment in business requests. During both the time, it includes new updates and the addition of functionalities and features within the codes. So refactoring can be a normal phase while updating the codes. In agile as delivery is faster it is also a good time of refactoring after finished product delivery.

About Advance Agility

We, at Advance Agility, are the new-age Agile Coaching, Consulting and IT services company. We enable end-to-end Digital Transformation. Agile execution is integral to our being. We are doing SAFe implementation with small, medium and large organization across the globe. Our vision is to be the leading Agile execution player globally. To keep adding value at every process stage. We are on a mission to empower our clients, move from concept to cash in the shortest sustainable lead time by adopting human centric approach to business agility. Embracing the change is in our DNA. Things that keep us apart are Quicker and Seamless execution with End-to-end gamut of services. Our Global presence and Stellar Track Record give us an edge over our competitor. Connect with us at to learn about SAFe and SAFe Implementation. Write to us at for any agile training or consulting needs. We are always looking for competent agile trainers as well. So if you are a good trainer or want to become one, do get in touch with us to that we can learn, grow and achieve together. Connect with us for boosting your work principles and practices as Scrum Masters or Agile leaders



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