Adopting Agile

Agile methodology is a blessing for software industry as it boosts productivity and helps companies to develop effective strategies for seamless project management (if implemented the right way). Generally, a software development process progresses through small steps and involves a number of phases such as requirement, study, designing, testing, execution and reporting. The step-by-step Waterfall methodology served well in the 90s, but as the complexity of software projects increased, the need for more flexible and dynamic approach was required.

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Previously, clients used to brief their requirements prior to the project and received the completed product (more or less). With Agile, it is possible to start working with loosely framed requirements. Agile makes it possible to cater to changing requirements, offering numerous benefits to developers, clients as well as end users.

Agile software development has become highly popular due to the following reasons:

# Saves time and money

Following this methodology, the chances of miscommunication and mistakes are few – mainly because there is near-constant communication between all the people involved in the project. Stakeholders remain involved in the entire process and work with programmers. They get to know what is happening and make the required decisions immediately. Also, testing accompanies development – it doesn’t happen at the end of the development cycle. This helps reduce errors by identifying defects at an early stage.

# Reduces risk and dissatisfaction

As the developers inform the client about all the things are happening, he sees and understands the method much better. Earlier, clients used to see the product only after its completion and complain about the issues. However, as they get an in-depth view of the process, they understand the problems developers face and treat them more respectfully. They can even suggest “you can skip this feature if it’s too problematic and work on something else.” The client starts considering themselves members of the programming team.

# Allows for the modification

As a software development project often takes a long time to complete, the client may think of something else and ask the developer to make the necessary modifications. For example, when the client asks programmers to develop a new shopping cart for his eCommerce website, he may have only four divisions (books, electronics, clothing and games), but what if he adds a new division “sports equipment?”

The benefit of the Agile development process is that he can talk with the software development team and request them to add the capability to handle this new shopping facility. As the process is dynamic, taking care of a new requirement is relatively less painful. This aspect of Agile development is a big blessing for clients who are create products or services for markets that see a lot of changes within months.

# Work can start with a basic idea

The client does not need to have a complete list of his requirements. He can ask developers to start the project and as things start shaping up, he can add new things to the basic plan.

For instance, let’s say that you are creating a mobile app that makes it easier for the end users to make payments through their phones. Now, if during the development process a new operating system is launched and the NFC feature is rolled out, you need to integrate it with your app to offer better services to the users.

If you know or suspect that such a feature will be added to mobiles, you cannot wait for it to happen. With Agile, you can start the development with a basic idea and add more features and functionalities over time.

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