, by  Andrew Carson

The Benefits of using Agile software development

What is Agile Software Development

Agile software development (such as Scrum) is about collaboration with a focus on a disciplined approach to project management. Frequent inspection and adaptation is implemented to ensure that each stage of the project is effectively accepted, developed and completed within a strict timeframe.

With transparency between the client and development team on the various stages (known as Sprints), Scrum encourages involvement and effectively manages expectations whilst virtually eliminating the chances of absolute project failure.

By implementing iterative and incremental practices, Scrum is used to manage complex software and product development. With a focus on significantly increased productivity and reduced time, Scrum processes enable organisations to adjust smoothly and present a product that meets growing business goals.

Quality

Regular check ups are a part of the cycle through integrated testing, which not only showcases the product working through the development but also allows the product owner to make changes whilst also informing the team of any key issues.

This also factors the ability to hold team retrospectives regularly to continuously improve work and processes involved.

By working in sprints, small incremental releases are often released earlier in development instead of waiting for the whole product, allowing businesses to generate results.

Risk Reduction

No company likes the thought of risk involved, and indeed many shy away when faced with the prospect of it.

Scrum and Agile ensure having a working product, starting with the very first sprint, so that no project fails completely. Risks are identified early and are easy to respond to in quick succession.

As change is inevitable in any project, so too is it expected and accepted through the methodology. Risks are regularly reviewed and reduced by the Scrum team and decisions made at a suitable time, ensuring a flexible work pattern to ensure the project can overcome any unexpected changes that come along.

ROI

For companies in fast-moving markets, long delivery cycles are often a problem.

With Agile/Scrum, the team understands what’s most important to the client’s business, and can deliver features in the most valuable order. By allowing the client to determine the priority of features, a functional market ready product can be realised early while the product is in development process.

This process allows for a business to begin to generate results and a quicker return on investment by being able to make alterations accordingly and ensure the vital parts of the project are running to their satisfaction.

Effect on team

By using a team based methodology, there is a shared sense of ownership and responsibility to reach the goals set. When teams feel a sense of purpose they tend to set a faster pace of working.

This grows a greater sense of teamwork and learning, leading to a collective understanding of problem solving and planning through daily roundtable meetings to address the project going forward.

In the fast moving and rapidly evolving world, Agile software development is a key component in the accelerated growth of forward thinking businesses looking to stay ahead of their competition.

Company directors want fast solutions and faster results with little room for human error which can set them back months.

Agile and Scrum give company directors transparency, cost control and business value whilst greatly reducing the risk of writing off expensive and time consuming projects.