If you look for maximum flexibility and fast innovation for your next software project, then Agile software development is all you need. In an Agile methodology, developers generally work in a sprint of two or three week that allows them to build software through series of short cycle iterations. In contrast, the waterfall development model helps in defining, documenting, building and testing the product before delivering it to the client. When you switch to Agile, you augment the opportunity for feedback and diminish the risk of project failure. Here’s a list of 8 benefits the Agile software development offers:
Transparency: The Agile approach provides a unique opportunity to clients to get involved all through the development of the project. Right from prioritizing features to iteration planning and reviewing sessions to frequent software builds, the client gets involved in distinct processes. Nevertheless, this also requires clients to comprehend that they are viewing a work in progress in return for the benefit of transparency.
Stakeholder engagement: Agile offers different opportunities for stakeholder engagement- after, before and during each sprint. By including the client in different steps of the project, there is a greater degree of collaboration between the project team and the client. This offers more opportunities for the team to thoroughly understand the vision of the client. Providing the working software frequently and early augments the trust of the stakeholder in the ability of the team to deliver high quality working software and motivates them to be deeply engaged in the project.
Predictable schedule and cost: The cost of each sprint is predictable and is also limited to the quantity of work that can be performed by the team in a fixed time schedule. When clubbed with the estimates provided to the client before each sprint, the client can swiftly understand the estimated cost of each feature. This improves the decision making process about the priority of features and the requirement for added iterations.
Predictable and early delivery: By utilizing fixed schedule sprints of 1-4 weeks, latest features are delivered frequently and quickly. This provides the opportunity of releasing or beta testing the software earlier than planned.
Makes way for change: Though the team is required to stay focused on providing an agreed to subset of the product’s features in different iterations, there is a chance to constantly refine the backlog of the product. Changed or new backlog items can be planned for the upcoming iteration, thereby providing an opportunity to bring in changes within a few weeks.
Concentrates on users: Agile utilizes user stories with the criteria of business focused acceptance to define the features of the product. Every feature incrementally delivers a value when it is concentrated on the needs of real users. This also equips with an opportunity to beta test software after every sprint thereby garnering important feedback early in the project and providing the facility to make changes when required.
Concentrates on business value: The team comprehends what is most important to the business of the client by allowing the client to analyze the priority of features. This way the client can deliver the features that provide the most business value.
Boosts quality: By integrating the project into manageable units, the project team can concentrate on high quality development, collaboration and testing. And, by producing regular builds and conducting testing reviews in different iterations, quality is improved by finding and fixing defects rapidly and recognizing the mismatches early.
Agile is a proven tool for the development of software that not only provides benefits to the development team, but also equips the client with a range of business benefits. Agile assists project teams in many of the common pitfalls like scope creep, cost and schedule predictability in a controlled manner. By reorganizing the activities involved in custom software development, Agile attains the objectives in a more professional manner.