Software development projects are growing significantly by leaps and bounds and like it or not, it’s not going to decrease anytime soon! Fortunately, at present numerous software development service providers are popping up who have the potential to deliver unmatched solutions from their doorsteps. Now, do you think these projects are conducted just like that? Of course not, it works on different methodologies such as waterfall, agile, scrum and many more! Among all, agile is pretty known and pretty much being used these days. You must be wondering why? Well, that’s exactly what we are going to explore in the following post, i.e. what is the significance of agile project management in the software development space.
An Introduction to Agile Project management
If you ask me to describe the agile methodology in a couple of words then I would simply say it’s a technical name given to the development process of continuous delivery. When done right, it can deliver wonders like never before. Though being a buzzword and hot concept today, the Agile project management technique began much earlier than you could have thought. Earlier there was a time when software development faced lots and lots of crises, businesses expectations and development processes couldn’t match and ended up parting ways. With time passing by, developing software applications became a priority and that’s when Agile came into existence.
Of course, before Agile several industries such as aerospace, manufacturing have tried the waterfall approach. Right from setting the requirements to designing the project, building the product, testing it, identifying potential errors, fixing these errors, and launching the product, all these stages were covered in the Waterfall development methodology. So what was the issue, you may ask? Well, The only concern is that this approach took lots and lots of time to identify the problem and come up with a solution. And as soon as it’s time for the product to get launched, it becomes outdated! A new ideology came into existence! “Manifesto of Agile Software Development,” was created!
Now, what was the difference here?
- Individuals were given more importance than tools
- Instead of documentation, the software was important
- High customer collaboration
- Changes are always welcomed
And this is how Agile began its journey! So what exactly is agile methodology? Well, it is one of the finest ways to manage projects, especially development projects after breaking them into small ones. Apart from breaking things down, here collaboration is given pretty much importance whether it’s planning or execution. At present agile can be used about these concepts Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Adaptive Project Framework (APF).
Before knowing why you must consider Agile for your upcoming software development project, it is very important to know the 12 core principles in the Agile methodology.
- Promotes customer satisfaction
- Changes are inevitable, get used to it!
- Short-time deliveries
- Collaboration is the key to succeed
- Communication must be effective and face-to-face
- Motivate people whether they are developers, testers or stakeholders
- Working software is all you need
- Sustainability in the development process is a must in the Agile Approach
- Agile teams must focus on achieving excellence
- Simplicity was missing in traditional project management
- A self-organized project team is required for continuous improvement
- Agile teams shouldn’t be afraid of adaptability and changes
Are you on the journey of conducting a successful project management venture that’s extremely competitive and lasts for the long run? Well, if so it’s high time you must consider Agile project management methodology. Below I would like to mention certain benefits of agile methodology.
Reasons for using Agile by Software Development Companies in their projects
Stakeholder Engagement and Satisfaction
Did you know what is the most important aspect that leads to the success of the Agile approach? It’s engaging stakeholders right from the beginning and this is what was lacking in the traditional project management methodologies. For example in the waterfall method, stakeholders aren’t included in any of the phases. Yes, not even when the requirement is being gathered. In Agile methodology, everyone is asked to participate actively. Also not to mention that this engagement or participation gives a sense of ownership and motivation within the agile teams and beyond.
Of course, adaptability matters, no matter how big or small your organization is. But here’s the big question, how? Every business is commenced to expand. I mean nobody wants to stay the same or remain un-updated for the long run. However, the only problem is as soon as they began to expand, they become more complex. As a result, it becomes slower! And to remain competitive, one cannot afford to lag but speed can only help if you plan properly and this is when agile methods can assist.
Breaking down things enables agile teams to accomplish work within a pre-determined time. Not only this, changes can be made without much hassle as the project team keeps on receiving feedback for continuous improvement. So adaptability is one of the finest benefits of agile.
Clarity and transparency are two important factors when conducting any project management venture. So businesses are expected to be open and transparent with their respective agile teams right from the beginning. And transparency is not in the sense of just emphasizing the needs and requirements but also ensuring that they are going on the right track by giving them regular feedback after each sprint.
Emphasizing transparency in the workflow enables all project managers, developers, stakeholders to have full control over the development process. One can have a pre-conceived notion of certain bottlenecks and things can be taken care of well in advance! Also, continuous improvement can be expected.
Price has always been one of the major considerations in any project management venture. Now you must be wondering how agile development can lead to controlling your finances? Well, imagine you are preparing a meal for your loved ones now somehow you forget to taste it before serving and they end up not liking it! What if you had tasted it earlier, at least you could have saved yourself from such embarrassment and the cost of doing everything again. Similarly, when you are working on a development project, mistakes are bound to happen! However, regular feedback can not just lead to improved decisions but save an ample amount of time, cost and energy. I mean you don’t have to redo it again and again.
Higher Quality Product
Complex projects can be well-taken care of using Agile methodologies. With the waterfall approach happens is developers are forced to complete it in a short time. Whereas with the Agile process, all features aren’t developed at once so there is no such hurry! With continuous integration, each sprint is developed very carefully. Here tests issues can be identified and addressed immediately. So yes agile methodologies can lead to the creation of high-quality products.
Better Project Control
Another interesting benefit offered by agile methodologies is that it enables the project teams to have better controls than ever. Here what goes in each sprint is pre-determined and as a result, you exactly know what will be the outcome. Agile projects do focus on individuals than other documentation, so you can expect daily meetings addressing the status of the project. Also, retrospection can be done, I mean analyzing the previous sprints and reworking on the future ones. You can have a look at common project pitfalls and come up with different ways to ignore them. This will enhance your business value at any cost.
Last but certainly not the least is the faster time to market. With the help of agile development, you can expect your development project to be delivered at a fanatic pace. Have you wondered why? Simple because the Agile method emphasizes task prioritization. The ability to divide the project into small chunks has always resulted in the development of a better-working product.
That’s a Wrap!
So that’s all for now! This is what Agile Methodology is all about and I hope now you are convinced with the fact that why you must opt for Agile development teams for your upcoming project. In case you still have any doubts or queries, feel free to mention that in the comment section below.
See also: What is Kanban