Agile Software Development: Key Benefits and Advantages

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Agile Software Development

Did you know that projects using Agile techniques succeed 28% more than their traditional counterparts? Agile projects encourage customer inputs in the development process and help create a product that aligns with the client’s expectations. It also allows early and frequent testing that helps coders fix issues faster and reduce overall development time. No wonder it’s a highly popular code development technique.

Related Reading: Best Practices for Successful Software Development Projects

Through this post, we offer you a one-stop destination for all things ‘Agile’. So, keep reading to understand how to leverage the Agile software development life cycle to your advantage.

What is Agile Software Development?

The Agile method uses an iterative and incremental model to manage your code development. It helps teams adapt to an evolving landscape and offer valuable deliveries timely. It uses robust Agile software development principles that focus on continuous improvement, higher flexibility, and greater team involvement to provide high-quality software.

Let’s understand why this method is better than traditional software development.

Difference Between Traditional Model and Agile Software Development Model

  Traditional Approach (like Waterfall) Agile Development Approach
Type of Approach
Linear and Sequential Execution, Rigid
Iterative and Spontaneous Execution,
Flexible
Degree of Client Engagement
Limited Extensive
Chances of Software Failure
High Low
Stages
  1. Conception
  2. Initiation
  3. Analysis
  4. Design
  5. Construction
  6. Testing
  7. Production/Implementation
  8. Maintenance
  1. Concept
  2. Inception
  3. Iteration/Construction
  4. Release
  5. Production
  6. Retirement
Costs High and Unpredictable Relatively Lower and Predictable
Documentation Formal and Extensive Informal and Need-based 
Benefits
  1. Specific and Clear Objectives
  2. Controllable Processes
  3. Clear Documentation
  4. More Accountability
  1. Faster Development
  2. More Stakeholder Involvement
  3. Greater Chances of Success
  4. Open to Changes

Agile software development is an obvious winner in the marketplace. Let’s examine why you should opt for the Agile software development approach.

Benefits of Using Agile Software Development Model

Faster Feedback Cycle

Even the most efficient requirement gathering rounds can fail the user experience tests. Often, stakeholders aren’t able to pinpoint what they need from the software. Without regular customer feedbacks, software firms waste time and effort developing an unsuitable product.

Using an Agile management technique called Scrum, you can avoid these issues by providing a tangible intermediate product to your clients after each sprint. You’re likely to receive feedback from your clients on how the interface can perform better for them. After incorporating these needs, you can proceed to iterate multiple times to build software everyone loves.

Related Reading: Ways to Shorten the Software Development Life Cycle

Improved Quality

46% of firms opt for Agile methodology because it enhances the quality of software deliverables. The Agile software development approach integrates testing in its cycle. So, the end-users have ample time to suggest changes and test the overall product.

Here’s how you can use Agile to develop the best software in time and within budget: –

  • Define and clarify requirements in time to determine what product features are relevant and important.
  • Test regularly and integrate user feedback while the issues are still fresh.
  • Use automated testing tools to your advantage.
  • Conduct sprint demonstrations to help coders achieve their best work.
  • Rapidly develop software in small increments.
  • Build on previous functionality and maintain code quality standards.

Related Reading: Importance of Code Quality and Coding Standard in Software Development

Reduced Risks

A PMI study states that the average failure rate of software projects stands at 14%. However, Agile methodologies reduce this failure rate by virtually removing project failure. Agile projects hardly fail because coders make a working product from the beginning itself.

By developing in sprints and failing fast, programmers can adapt and improvise to set the project on a path to success. This methodology also gives software firms the freedom to incorporate new changes within the cycle and minimize risks. Quicker and frequent integration of changes reduces the cost significantly. Through user stories and business-oriented acceptance criteria, Agile creates attractive software deliverable that the end-user loves to use.

Greater Stakeholder Engagement

While traditional code development tactics restrict critical stakeholder inputs, the Agile methodology is more flexible. One of the important Agile software development principles is stakeholder involvement. It provides many chances for stakeholders and teams to engage and contribute to the product development process. They can add value before, during, and after every Scrum meeting or sprint.

By facilitating multiple meetings with the clients, coders get a unique opportunity to understand the user’s vision and mission. This developmental model promotes faster deliverables, engages stakeholders regularly, and build trust among all of them.

Enhanced Team Efficiency

With an emphasis on customer engagement, it’s no wonder that Agile projects facilitate efficient processes. Through consistent communication, there’s greater clarity on what needs to be done and what every person’s responsibility is.

The entire team focuses on the one-true objective and delivers quality intermediate products to clients for frequent evaluation. This focused vision makes Agile projects more predictable. By relating efficiency, collaboration, and predictability, Agile emerges as the most preferred software development technique.

Related Reading: Effective Ways to Manage Team During Crisis

Predictable Costs and Schedule

Since every sprint has a fixed time limit, software firms can easily estimate costs and team efforts in that particular time frame. Multiplying the single sprint’s cost gives the rough cost of the entire project. This quick and accurate estimation helps software firms pitch to their clients better.

It’s great for the clients as well because they get a feature-wise estimate that helps them decide well. On receiving these estimates, clients can prioritize necessary features and use the extra budget to choose other good-to-have features.

Related Reading: Effective Ways to Reduce Software Development Cost

Final Thought

Agility is principally about mindset, not practices.” – Jim Highsmith

Nearly 71% of firms admit that they usually or always use the Agile approach. The Agile methodology has revolutionized the software development industry. It takes care of each development hurdle well and improves the chances of software success.

Most firms will adopt Agile techniques to facilitate user engagement and reduce risks in the future. To stay competitive, you’ll also have to consider using this approach to grow your software company. So, invest in developing capabilities to support Agile methodologies to realize its long-term benefits.

 

Last Updated on August 26, 2020

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