Why Agile is So Beneficial for Tech Development Companies
Many companies today are implementing Agile methods into how they do things, and it’s particularly popular in the tech industry, although it can be put to use in pretty much any business. Agile is quickly gaining a strong reputation for helping organizations, teams, and products when it comes to important aspects such as productivity, efficiency, and quality. So, what exactly is Agile methodology, and what are its top benefits for your business?
What is Agile?
In general, the Agile method implies an incremental, iterative method of management. Its main focus lies in helping teams be productive in an evolving landscape, particularly when it comes to the rapid delivery of business value. There are several methodologies used in Agile project management with the main ones being Kanban, Scrum, and XP. All of these follow the Agile Manifesto, which is based on flexibility, continuous improvement, team input, and high-quality results delivery.
The Difference between Agile and Traditional Development:
Comparing the differences between traditional and agile tasks can help with understanding the benefits. If you’re interested in learning more, visit Kanbanize, which offers further information on Agile tasks, methods, and themes, as well as some market-leading productivity tools.
In software development particularly, you may have heard a lot of talk about the ‘traditional model, which refers to the Waterfall model. This is very different from the Agile method in several ways – particularly because this method is not iterative. The Waterfall method focuses more on a process where it’s possible to see progress ‘flowing’ through the various phases. It is a sequential model, which usually starts with requirement analysis and moves through design, implementation, testing, and maintenance.
Agile methodologies are designed to perfectly address customer needs. User involvement is encouraged throughout the entire cycle in order to provide an excellent level of visibility and transparency when it comes to project progress. Agile is all about iterative planning, which makes it a very easy methodology to adapt when requirements suddenly change, as is all too common in tech – particularly the software development industry. Continuous planning and feedback throughout the process allow companies to start delivering high business value from the get-go. As a result, there is often a much lower risk associated with development.
#1. High Product Quality:
Since testing is integrated during the cycle when using Agile development, there are regular quality checks to ensure the product is up to scratch and everything is working as it should be at each stage. This gives teams a better chance of quickly making changes where needed and keep everyone aware of any issues that might arise. Key benefits include:
- Knowledge of products and product features that is as relevant as possible
- Continuous integration and daily testing that allows the development team to address new issues quickly
- Automated testing tools to save time and find issues quickly
- Work is completed using the definitions of done, developed, tested, integrated, and documented
- Incremental releases allowing for building on previous functionality
#2. Improved Customer Satisfaction:
With Agile methodologies, the product owner is always involved in the process, and the progress of development has high levels of both visibility and flexibility to change, which is extremely important. As a result, customers are more engaged with the brand and its products, leading to higher levels of satisfaction. Working functionalities are demonstrated to customers with each review, and products can be delivered to the market much faster. Thanks to the inclusion of user testing, customers get earlier access to the product during the life cycle.
#3. Reduced Risk:
The incremental nature of using Agile methodologies means that the chances of absolute project failure are virtually eliminated. Using Agile, teams will always have a working project, ensuring that no projects completely fail. Sprints between the initial investment in a project and testing to determine whether the product or approach is going to work or fail quickly reduce time and money spent. And, many Agile projects can be self-funding, allowing for the early generation of revenue plus the ability to pay for a project with a much smaller up-front expense.
Throughout the entire development process, Agile allows for easy adaptation to the needs and preferences of the customer, reducing the risk of dissatisfaction. To define product features, Agile generally uses user stories paired with business acceptance criteria. Focusing every feature on the needs of real customers allows a company to provide real value. Finally, Agile methodologies allow for more freedom and flexibility when new changes are necessary; they can be implemented at very little cost and often with little effort thanks to the frequency of increments.
#4. Faster Return On Investment:
The iterative nature of Agile development means that the features are delivered incrementally, allowing both project team members and customers to realize the benefits of the product while it is still in the development process. Typically, the development will begin as early as possible and after just a few iterations, the team will be ready to deliver a functional product, leading to first-mover advantages in the market.
This eliminates any issues with long delivery cycles, which can often be an issue for manufacturing businesses – particularly those in fast-moving markets and industries. Agile allows for fast product releases paired with an ability to clearly gauge customer reactions and opinions to make any necessary alterations efficiently, which helps to keep a business ahead of the competition. Finally, Agile methodologies have a heavy focus on business value. Allowing customers to determine the priority of features provides the team with a much clearer understanding of what is important to their target market, therefore, they are able to deliver product features in the order that provides the most value.
These are just some of the most useful benefits of Agile management – and coupled with the many others, it’s easy to see why these methodologies are becoming so popular across a wide range of industries, but particularly in tech.