Developing software is a complex process, which can sometimes be very time-consuming. IT companies are competing in providing business solutions of the highest quality in the shortest possible time. The Agile methodology is one of the ways to achieve it. It is a very popular approach to digital product development. What is it, and what are its benefits?
No matter if you run a small or a large software house, you should plan each element of the development process carefully. With the right strategy and defined steps to follow in order to build an application, you can develop efficiently. The Agile methodology has been the methodology of choice for many experienced IT entrepreneurs. What makes it so popular, and what are the advantages of this approach?
What is Agile methodology?
Agile is a method of project management. The goal of leveraging it is to make a company capable of rapid software development and providing clients with the expected business value in the shortest possible time. Those who are interested in Agile, probably have heard terms like Scrum, Kanban etc. Those are methodologies used in Agile project management. It would take a lot of time to describe the principles of Agile methodology in detail. In this article, we decided to focus on benefits.
How is Agile different from the traditional approach to project management?
To understand the advantages of using the Agile approach, you need to first learn how it is different from traditional project management solutions. When people talk about traditional software project management, they are usually referring to the Waterfall Model. Compared to the Agile method, it is not iterative. It is more linear and the requirements are being fully defined before the project starts. The workflows in cascades, like a waterfall — from one phase to another and each of them must be completed before the next starts.
There are numerous rules and IT product building methods involved in the Agile approach. The bottom line lies in iterative planning and flexibility, which allows the software development team to adapt to the new situation and requirements as they change. The IT market is rather dynamic, hence Agile methodology serves its purpose perfectly – by enabling developers to improve their productivity. The goal is to provide customers with business value early in the process of development to lower the development risks and build a business solution more efficiently.
5 advantages of using Agile methodology in your projects
Each software development method has its drawbacks and benefits. Usually, a company chooses the approach, whose weaknesses have the minimal possible negative effect on the projects carried out by the organization. This means that to select the right project management model for your software house, you should carefully analyze what types of projects you usually implement. Then, consider how the method you are interested in will affect the productivity of your development teams. Here are the most important benefits of the Agile approach.
1. Improved team collaboration
Software development is difficult, not only because it requires coding and vast knowledge of IT solutions. You surely know that the software development process requires designing UX and creating graphical designs, creating content, developing backend and frontend, etc. In short, there are a variety of tasks and multiple experts who need to cooperate daily.
It has been proven by companies all over the world that chose Agile, that implementing this technology gives development teams much more lines of communication than a traditional approach to project management. The team consists of an actual development team and internal participants (for example specialists from the customer side). The success of the whole project relies on high-quality feedback, effective communication, and high motivation.
2. More transparency between the client and your team
The Agile approach is also more transparent than other methods of project development. As the client’s in-house employees are working closely with your development team, the communication is significantly improved. Customer’s representatives are aware of your progress – they participate in regular meetings and know what features are currently ready, how the designs look, and what the next steps of the development are. The client can provide the development team with useful feedback or ask questions anytime.
The fact that the customer is actively engaged in the project certainly increases transparency. This way, there is more trust and openness and the software being built is adjusted to the individual needs of the client as much as it is possible on an ongoing basis.
3. Achieving high product quality
The iterative character of the projects in Agile methodology ensures that the team can find most errors and come up with the right solutions quite quickly. This approach gives your development team the flexibility to deal with the problems as soon as they occur and react to the customer’s feedback shortly after receiving their suggestions. That allows developers to constantly improve the digital product through every stage of the development process.
In Agile development, tests are performed along the entire development cycle. Systems and features are checked regularly. Any changes can be made as soon as they are needed. The development team is capable of addressing existing issues the moment they are found. In the Agile method, automated testing tools may also be leveraged to improve the efficiency of testing.
4. Lower risk
The chance of experiencing total project failure is much less likely when the project development team follows the Agile approach. It is mainly due to the high flexibility of the method that enables the development team to easily adjust to even really difficult situations. Delivering a business value to the customers at an early stage of the development process means that you have a working product as early as in one of the first sprints, and it can be modified or improved at the future stages of development.
A digital product can be changed and adjusted to dynamic market expectations or customers’ requirements anytime. The ability to perform tests during all the development phases reduces the risk of encountering more serious problems at the latest stages of software development.
5. Better project control
The Agile approach to software development assures greater control among the project team members and the customer. The entire work can be divided into stages and specific parts – increments. Tasks can be taken care of more efficiently than in other software development approaches. Each potential issue can be addressed during the regular meetings, and each participant of the project can point out the problems, discuss or express the need for additional information. Problems are spotted shortly after they occur, and your team members can handle them effectively.
Work with an agile software development team
Most of the companies in the software development market nowadays leverage the Agile method of project management. It has been tested by numerous IT organizations and proved to be one of the most efficient ways to develop high-quality digital products in quite a short time. If you want to develop your business software following Agile principles, we will be happy to learn more about your vision and your expectations.