High-quality software development calls for the use of best workflow organization practices. Among them, the Agile methodology takes a special place – not only in terms of efficiency but also in the aspect of demand among developers.
However, there is still a small percentage of developers and customers who are in no hurry to use an agile approach to work organization. Experts from IDAP suggest taking a closer look at the benefits that Agile brings to make the work process more efficient today.
What is Agile Approach in Terms of Project Management?
Agile software development is a collective collaboration model between cross-functional teams and customers/clients that results in a user-centric product.
At the core, Agile outlines two major workflow methods:
- iterations – a constantly repeating process of designing, directly developing and testing a product;
- incremental development – the project is divided into certain stages, each of which is an independent process with a separate product assembly.
Software development using an iterative-incremental approach is cyclical, in which the completion of one stage becomes the starting point for the start of the next. As a rule, an agile methodology involves dividing the workflow into the following main phases of work:
- initial – at this stage, the main technical requirements, complexity and scope of the project are determined;
- clarifying – development of the initial architecture of the project with the implementation of the main non-technical requirements;
- construction phase – code is introduced into the main non-functional elements with simultaneous testing of the entire product;
- deployment of the product in the operating environment and its final testing.
Agile software development makes it possible not only to quickly make changes to the project at any stage, but also to maintain active communication at the team-team and team-customer levels. At the same time, as stated in the Agile Manifesto, people and effective collaboration always come first, and the technical side of the issue fades into the background eventually.
Agile Development Principles
According to the latest analytics, the use of an agile approach in software development has become the most popular for many companies around the world.
The versatile main principles of agile development surely contribute to the ultimate popularity of Agile to a large extent, including:
- close cooperation with clients at all stages of development;
- continuous improvement of the product at all stages of work:
- division of a single workflow into several independent stages;
- reduction of development time to several weeks;
- emphasis on simple yet functional product design;
- the main indicator of the team’s work is the working software.
Agile development principles make it possible to use more flexible project management systems – in particular, Kanban and Scrum. Thanks to their use, it is possible to more reasonably use labor and time resources for product development, but without compromising its quality.
Why Go for Agile: Major Benefits Overview
Up to date, over 70% of development teams prefer to use the Agile approach in their work. The growth of such popularity is based on a number of advantages granted by an agile approach to software development.
Dividing a holistic workflow into small steps, or sprints, makes it possible to quickly respond to customer needs and make changes to the project. There is also no need to develop a whole range of additional documentation to approve innovations in the project, which simplifies the process of working and collaborating with clients.
Higher work productivity
Agile software development often uses a cross-platform approach to team building. This means that a separate group of specialists is simultaneously working on each part of the project, who maintain constant communication with each other. At the same time, the division of work into several small time periods makes it possible to more reasonably use the labor resources of team members.
Better workflow control
Thanks to a transparent approach to management and the absence of unnecessary bureaucracy in the approval of the work process, the direct management process is improved. All team members provide progress reports almost daily, and thanks to the openness in the use of reporting tools, the results of the work can be analyzed without any extra effort. On top of that, Agile software development involves mutual communication between management and the rest of the team without excessive formalism.
Better optimized planning
Dividing the workflow into separate sprints makes it possible to more accurately calculate the time and cost of product development. Even at the initial stage, the client receives a rough estimate of each sprint with predicted costs, which contributes to a better understanding of the complexity of development and the formation of trusting relationships.
Each stage of agile development involves constant communication between clients and developers. If necessary, you can easily make changes to the project both at the request of the client and on the recommendations of the developers. At the same time, it does not matter at what stage of development the project is, because the iterative approach involves constant testing of the product at all stages of work.
Higher software quality
The division of work into separate sprints helps improve the quality of not only the work of developers, but also the product itself. All changes that are made to the architecture are regularly tested, and any errors and shortcomings are promptly eliminated. Product testing is carried out holistically by assembly, and not only at certain stages of development of individual components. An important point is that product testing is carried out in the operating environment in which the software product will be used in the future.
Agile sprints don’t usually take too long – weeks at most if the project is complex. This makes it possible to work faster on the creation of a finished product and bring it to the market – at least in beta testing mode. Short deadlines also make it possible to accumulate efforts on the development of a software product and not be distracted by extraneous issues – for example, approving necessary changes. It doesn’t matter how complex the project is – a flexible approach can be used for different tasks.
Something more than a readymade product as a result
Agile software development is about constant communication with clients and within the company. At the same time, personal relationships are always put in the foreground, rather than a question of choosing working tools or technologies. Clients are always aware of the workflow, they can control it on par with project managers, and if something is not clear to them, they can always quickly get an explanation. This reduces the risk of misunderstandings between customers and developers, and the finished product always meets expectations and requirements.
IDAP specialists, like no one else, understand the value of agile software development and always try to offer their customers the best. We are open to communication at all stages of work on a project and offer clients not just a product, but a whole system of values. Contact us for exciting projects and mutually beneficial results.