While there are many project management methods among technology companies, such as Waterfall or Kanban, you might be wondering what makes the Agile software development process stand out. Many well-known, fortune 500 companies worldwide use Agile to improve their processes, among those being IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and AT&T. At fivestar* we have also adopted the Agile approach because of the benefits it has brought to our company, and more importantly our clients.
What is agile?
Agile development defines your company’s development goals in small increments, or “sprints,” taking your project through several sequences of development and testing while maintaining a focus on value and rapid delivery. Since the Agile software development process tackles your project in small increments, you are delivered high-quality, low-risk software upon completion. According to a 2011 CHAOS report, Agile projects only have a 9 percent failure rate in contrast to other methodologies, such as Waterfall which see a 29 percent failure rate.
"With the current pace of technology innovation, companies must adapt and respond quickly to changes in the marketplace."
Traditional methodologies, such as Waterfall, are based on pre-organized stages of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). Each stage of development has specific deliverables that have undergone an in-depth review process. The Agile approach on the other hand is precise and consumer friendly, allowing internal teams and customers the opportunity to make changes throughout project development stages.
The 5 Benefits to Agile Software Development
1. Faster Feedback Cycle
Sometimes business stakeholders may change their expectations or teams may build a product which does not fit a customer’s requirements. By using Scrum as a framework for Agile, internal teams can avoid negative feedback by producing tangible results to clients by the end of the first sprint. Project teams continue to iterate until software is built that everyone is happy with.
2. Improved Productivity
Using the iterative and incremental practices of the Agile software development process means that projects are completed in shorter sprints, making them more manageable for project teams. Through effective communication and close communication, the Agile software development process allows products to be developed quickly and changes to be easily made at any point.
3. Better Quality
Through face-to-face interaction, internal teams can detect issues and work together to create solutions quickly. By keeping meetings short, project teams and developers spend more time responding to customer needs and developing a high-quality product.
4. High Return on Investment
Using Scrum as a framework for Agile requires development teams to prioritize features asked for by the customer. To get a timely ROI, the work of engineers must be delivered quickly, and clients need to see value from those features as early as possible. Quick product delivery means internal teams can gauge customer satisfaction allowing them to make any necessary changes, keeping them competitive in the marketplace.
5. High Customer Satisfaction
Collaboration between the project team and the customer provides immediate feedback which allows the customer to make changes and give input during the agile software development process. The result as such is a more satisfied customer. Scrum allows teams work effectively with changing needs and anticipate future workload by measuring efficiency through daily standup meetings.
The Bottom Line
The well-rounded, ever evolving practice of Agile is what makes development teams successful. When you choose to work with a development company that practices Agile, you know they are practicing a concept that is ever evolving and willing to take every step possible toward continuous improvement of your project.
Interested in working with fivestar*?
If you decide that it is valuable and profitable for your business to have custom software, fivestar* can develop solutions that centralize workflows, optimize processes, and enable decision-making through real-time data and business intelligence.