Software that works is much more important than comprehensive documentation in software development. As such, organizations are adopting the agile methodology, which emphasizes software quality and not the paperwork.
Agile methodology or the agile approach is a simple yet effective software development technique that premises on iterations and testing to develop software. The technique’s bottom line is continuous improvement through learning, collaboration, and constant feedback. It’s also the most flexible form of software development since it’s adaptable to change.
The onset of cloud computing has allowed even faster software development through the agile approach. However, the agile approach is much more than just joining a cloud platform. The agile technique is a holistic process involving the whole company to ensure successful software execution.
In today’s post, we’ll be looking at what agile methodology is and why you need to embrace it for your software development. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is the Agile Methodology?
As mentioned above, agile methodology is a software development technique that focuses on iterations and continuous testing. These time-lapsed iterations are known as sprints. The end product of a sprint is a working piece of software, but not a perfect one.
After the first sprint, the software enters its second sprint and so on until you get a fully working software. The agile technique is etched in four core values, and they are:
- Collaboration and teamwork in place of processes and tools
- Working software instead of piles of documentation
- Consistent customer feedback over contract negotiation
- Quick response to change
The agile approach culminates in functional software that considers users’ needs and future circumstances. It has proved very effective for organizations across the country.
Benefits of Agile Methodology
Agile software development has proved immensely beneficial for organizations countrywide. That said, here are a few benefits of the agile approach.
1. Smaller Mistakes That Are Easy to Rectify
Everyone wants a seamless software development process, but that’s rarely the case. As you develop software, you’re bound to encounter a few hiccups along the way. The earlier you encounter these hiccups, the easier it is for you to address them.
The agile approach is the embodiment of the mantra, “fail forward fast.” This means that it’s better to fail earlier before the failure grows into unmanageable proportions. Agile development allows you to encounter defects earlier so you can solve them before it’s too late.
Addressing issues when your software is far advanced is expensive and time-consuming. Use the agile approach to shrink your mistakes into smaller and manageable errors.
2. Decreases Technical Debt
Maintenance is an integral part of any software development process. However, it shouldn’t take up the bulk of your software development budget. Technical debt is the amount of money you channel into maintenance tasks, which include refactoring and defect resolution.
Technical debt can skyrocket when the team rushes to complete the project to meet the deadline. That’s because defects and issues accumulate on the product backlog. As the product backlog grows, so does your technology budget.
With agile software development, you address every defect before the next sprint. This helps reduce your product backlog and your technical debt.
3. Easily Adaptable to Changes
Customer needs are likely to change during the software development process. Implementing changes to software when it’s complete is expensive to both you and the consumer. However, agile development allows you to make changes to the software on demand.
Not only is the agile method adaptable to change, but it also encourages the development team to embrace change. In case of any changes, the team works on it before the next sprint. This ensures the development team is always on track with the changes and ready for more upcoming changes.
4. Better Product Quality
Unlike the waterfall method, the agile methodology adopts a gradual approach to feature addition. The waterfall method tries to pack too many features at every development phase to meet stipulated deadlines. This means there’s not much time left to test if the features actually work.
With agile software development, you systematically break down the software into sprints and develop features for each sprint. That way, developers can focus on the quality of the features in question before the next sprint. The result is superior software with features that work as they should.
5. Easy to Predict Product Delivery Dates
As mentioned earlier, agile development involves time-boxed intervals of development known as sprints. The result of each sprint is a working product but not the final software. Developers thus know what new feature they get at the end of each sprint and what they’ll add on the next one.
This is unlike the waterfall method characterized by long project cycles. Long project cycles make it hard to determine accurately when you’ll have the final product. What’s more, defect resolution or the addition of extra features may further stall the delivery date.
6. Testing Is User-Oriented
At the core of agile software development is delivering what’s important to the user. As such, the agile approach adopts a testing technique that centers on the users’ needs. Teams collaborate with consumers to ensure the final product is up to standard.
In agile development, there’s a concept known as “users’ stories.” This is a nifty term for users’ requirements. Developers conduct all testing keeping the users’ stories in mind. The result is a feature or action that meets the user story’s need.
Importance of Agile Methodology
Organizations need to be scalable and adaptable to change to keep ahead. The agile approach enables businesses and organizations to create software that caters to their specific needs. Agile software development also allows for change, including growth or diversification of your organization.
What’s more, adopting the agile approach is simple even for startups. Read more now about the agile methodology and get your business on board.
Embrace the Agile Approach Today
It’s clear to see how beneficial the agile methodology can be for your software development. Maybe it’s time to make the switch to agile software development for better quality software. It might take a while before you have the agile approach on lock, but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
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