Your Most Frequent Agile Software Development Questions Answered
As you may know, for most companies today, agile software development is essential, given the environment of ever-changing expectations. More and more companies realize the value of Agile methodologies. In contrast to traditional methods, agile frameworks allow for fast adaptation to customers’ expectations; provides a framework for products of the highest quality and helps to develop a viable version of a product relatively fast. Sounds good right?
Should you be intending to give it a try, or just get to know a little more about it, we got you covered. Here are some of the top Agile software development questions that help you get a better picture about the agile process.
Is Agile only used in IT?
It originates from IT; however, several diverse industries have adopted the methodology in some way and shape, including but not limited to the finance, automotive, healthcare & pharma, and engineering industries.
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What is Agile?
Simply put, Agile software development is a collection of best practices; namely, that the development process is broken down to pieces in a way that each development cycle adds an additional functional feature to the software. The methodology has 12 basic principles, laid out in the Agile Manifesto.
Are there multiple Agile methods?
There are indeed. Agile has various flavors; some of the more popular ones include Scrum, Lean, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) and Feature-Driven Development.
Which one suits my project best?
This always depends on your specific goals, the product and the company itself. There’s no one-size-fits-all here; you should take the time to examine which methodology is the most appropriate for your project.
What makes this approach better than traditional methods?
Agile software development allows for a user-centered development process therefore lending itself to increased customer satisfaction. The software is quickly released, and customer feedback can be built into subsequent versions. Due to this continuous improvement there is also a higher chance of having a product of greater quality.
When using an agile approach, you’re working in smaller sprints making it easier for teams to recover parts of the development project if things are not working as planned. In this way the risks are reduced too.
Is it the customers who tell what the product should look like?
Yes and no. They’re not telling what and how you should develop, instead what they need and consider important in a given software. That feedback should define the product itself. Agile helps by shifting the development process from feature-centered to user-centered.
7.Is this method faster than other ones?
Chances are it is, especially in contrast to more traditional systems. Agile software development allows you to build a functional raw version, that could be used to gather feedback from users that will later be built into the software until it meets their maximum satisfaction. In essence, Agile software development allows for value to be delivered sooner. The methodology enables teams to focus on the right things, so reaching the outcome is more efficient and faster.
Do customers get a half-baked product?
They don’t. What they get is a minimum viable product (MVP) with usually one initial feature. MVP is a concept taken from agile scrum to describe a product with minimal features that are just enough to meet the needs of early stage customers. Customers are then able to validate and provide feedback for further development of the product.
Think of sharing photos as a feature on Instagram. One basic, yet fully viable feature is not much, but can be used as a starting point for further development.
How long does the Agile software development process take?
It always depends on the very complexity of the thing that’s being built. Custom development can be anything between 4 to 12 months, with iterations of 2 to 4 weeks in length. The advantage here is that an early version can quickly be released to the public.
Can you save money with this project management methodology?
Most certainly you can, though in an indirect way. Since Agile software development allows for releasing a very basic version of a product, no time and money is spent on developing features that eventually will turn out to be useless. Continuous feedback helps you better understand your target audience, thus making marketing more effective and simultaneously cutting its costs.
Agile is indeed an effective method of running projects, and not just in software development. However, there are some prerequisites for it to work. One is a company structure that allows for cross-functional development teams. Another is choosing the right framework for a particular project. In order to make things nice and smooth, try implementing the approach in smaller tasks to see what issues arise that need to be changed or improved upon.