Nowadays, the software development process hinges on a company’s flexibility. Adapting to changes has become the name of the game, forcing team members to switch their daily priorities in a blink of an eye. In fact, if you want to become known as an elite custom software development company, you need to introduce procedures that would expedite time to market.
With the introduction of agile methodologies, software brands can ensure smooth and prompt software development. Furthermore, staying true to agile allows you to improve the quality of your products and services. So, it’s not a surprise that this methodology has become popular all over the world.
In this article, we talk about the agile methodology and how it can help your business. Check it out!
What is agile methodology?
Today, at least 71% of companies in the USA are using agile methodologies. Unlike waterfall projects, which have a 49% success rate, agile software development boasts a whopping 64% rate.
The agile development methodology is an effective approach to managing projects that puts people in the limelight instead of going overboard with procedures and tools. The four core values of agile, which are outlined in the Manifesto, are crucial to this methodology. These values are:
- Prioritizing individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Developing working software over comprehensive documentation
- Collaborating with customers over negotiating contracts
- Responding to change by adhering to a plan
This methodology shines when you have to tackle a long, arduous process and don’t know what kind of results you’ll get. The reason why developers love agile is becoming it helps them push a product on the market much quicker while also enabling a smoother interaction with the clients and between team members.
Here you can learn more about the custom software development process.
How does agile development work?
Every agile process can be split into three parts: preparation, sprint planning, and sprint implementation:
During the first preparation phase, a proprietor lists the features (referred to as product backlog) they want to be present in the final version of the software. Then, a software development company takes a look at these requirements and provides an assessment as to how much time they’ll need for each feature.
Sprint planning is an outline of two-week tasks that a development team wants to accomplish and a precursor to sprint implementation. To have a successful sprint phase, the management needs to understand team capacity and limitations. Among others, during the planning, the development team also has to figure out how many tasks of a certain type they can execute.
For example, one team might only execute a coding task, while the other team can take care of a coding task and a feature design task. After delegating duties, all the information is introduced into the sprint backlog.
After deciding on tasks, the team checks the backlog and starts executing tasks. The main goal is to finish everything within the backlog, and if they don’t manage to do so, feature development is transferred to the next week.
At the end of the two-week period, developers hold a meeting with the owner and other interested stakeholders, showing them new features in practice. This meeting provides a good opportunity to reflect on the challenges and risks and decide what can be done better.
Benefits of agile methodology
Agile methodology provides numerous benefits that simply can’t be overlooked:
- High adaptability
The biggest reason to implement agile is so you can quickly adapt to any changes that you might encounter during a project. Given that client’s needs and wants can change anytime, you need to stay on your toes throughout the process.
Unlike waterfall development, you don’t have to go through a slow process of reviews and approvals. Instead, you can simply add all the new tasks to the backlog and resolve them based on priority.
- Better collaboration
Another major benefit of agile methodologies is that they allow for a much smoother collaboration between team members. The transition between team members is fast, allowing companies to redirect tasks from one to another person maximizing each one’s strengths. The same can be said for team meetings, during which teams don’t waste time on unnecessary chatter.
- Time efficiency
One of the bigger issues with software development is that you often get feedback too late. Worse yet, developers might introduce several stages of testing only to realize that a product doesn’t meet the client’s requirements. This doesn’t happen with the agile approach, as developer teams receive feedback all the time.
- Fast delivery
Unlike waterfall, where developer teams find it hard to predict delivery times, agile is much more punctual. When using the waterfall methodology, you can easily predict how much time each task takes by breaking them down into smaller bits. That way, clients gain access to new features according to a previously agreed timetable.
- Quality product
Splitting the project into smaller parts also leads to better product quality. Software developers have more than enough time to test each feature before presenting it to the client. Compared to the waterfall, agile methodologies don’t force employees to meet unreasonable deadlines.
Drawbacks of agile methodology
Unfortunately, there are also a few issues you have to consider before implementing the agile approach:
- Bad resource planning
Due to the fact that agile splits the development process into smaller bits, it’s hard to predict the final outcome. Most companies have no clue how much the project will cost by the end or how much time will take. The issue is especially common when tackling larger, complex projects.
- Less documentation
Documentation is often seen as a nuisance when doing agile development, and it created mid-project. On the other hand, waterfall methodology presumes that you’ll have full documentation at the start of the project.
- Lack of vision
As the team is creating features one by one, it’s really easy to get sidetracked from the ultimate goal. This is especially true if the owner is constantly looking to add new features.