In the world of software development, efficiency is king. Developers are constantly looking for new ways to increase both their productivity and the speed in which they can get things done. With the ever-shifting and rapidly changing technology market, these aspects of development help us to stay ahead of the curve and more importantly, the competition.

One of the ways in which we do this is with different frameworks and methodologies, most popular of course being the Agile methodology. In this article, we are going to provide a quick overview of the Agile development process and how it can improve software development across the board. In the interest of efficiency, let’s get started.

agile methodology

What is the Agile Methodology?

The Agile Methodology is a series of practices and values that are geared around self-organized teams and efficiency. Originally published in the 1970s, the Agile manifesto laid the groundwork of what would evolve into the Agile methodology that we know now. Along the way, several different offshoots or frameworks were created to help teams achieve Agile goals.

A few of the different Agile software development frameworks include:

  • Lean
  • Scrum
  • DSDM
  • Kanban
  • XP
  • Crystal
  • FDD

Each of these different frameworks or development processes has pros and cons of using them. Two of the most popular are Scrum and Kanban. Both are built upon breaking projects into smaller parts (called Sprints), but where Scrum involves planning meetings, Kanban relies on visualization of daily tasks. So, where does software development come in?

Agile and software development

As we mentioned earlier, the business of software development has always tried to maximize efficiency throughout the process. Obviously, the Agile methodology fit perfectly into this idea and has been widely accepted by many throughout the industry. However, it’s not just efficiency that has led to the success of the Agile methodology, but the interaction between customers and the company providing them with software.

For instance, in the Scrum methodology, there is what is called a product owner that provides use cases and customer stories to help aid the development. They are with the development team through each part of the process and help guide the team in the right direction. In our industry, where UX design thrives and customers want their needs met, Agile provides a way to do this with ease.

agile development methodology

Benefits of Agile

So far, we have mainly talked about how the Agile methodology works with software development. Now, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of working with the Agile methodology and how to implement these ideas at your own company.

Better product for end-users

As we mentioned earlier, Agile development can take many forms, but each of the different forms is centered around creating a better product for end-users. When you are able to create a product based on exactly what users want, not only do you have a better overall product, but one that is marketable as well.

Unfortunately, a lot of the resistance to the Agile methodology comes from this idea. What we see as a benefit, some see as a detriment to the product. If you are hoping to get involved with Agile development, you will need to get used to not knowing what your end-product will look like when you get started. That’s just the way Agile works.

Faster development

We have already mentioned the efficiency of the Agile methodology, but we think that the speed of development is worth highlighting again. Before Agile, companies would have to rely on what is known as Waterfall development, meaning that each part of the project would build upon the last. Not only is this less efficient, but it opens itself up to delays and bureaucratic inefficiencies.

On the other hand, with the Agile methodology, each member of the team works independently or with smaller groups to complete different parts of the project and then, as a team, comes together to discuss next steps. When developers are free to focus on just the development, they are able to produce software at a much faster rate.

Allows for creativity and flexibility

In the same way that the Agile methodology allows for a better product overall and faster development, it also allows for creativity and flexibility that simply can’t thrive in normal development processes. Some of the best mobile app design tricks and tools came from allowing developers this kind of creativity.

This, we believe, is the hallmark of the Agile methodology. Not only that you can be creative with your work as a developer, but that you are able to take risks you may not have been. Most software development companies work with entrepreneurs to help them meet their goals. One of the aspects of being an entrepreneur is taking risks, so again, this makes sense that they go so well together.

software development team

How to implement Agile across your organization

Now that you have seen some of the benefits of the Agile methodology, you may be wondering how to implement Agile across your organization. As we stated earlier, some companies have experienced resistance to the Agile methodology due to either not believing in the process or not taking risks, such as not knowing what the end-product will look like.

In order for the implementation of Agile to go well, there needs to be both top-down and bottom-up support of the methodology. When developers believe in Agile, but not those on top, things can get confusing. Whereas when it comes from the top that they will be implementing Agile, developers can become defensive of the way they are already working.

Here, communication will be the top priority. It is already a huge part of the success of an Agile project, but in order for this to be successful, everyone needs to be on the same page and understand their duties in the development.

Final thoughts

As you begin to contemplate whether the Agile methodology will be a good fit for your own software project, whether it be for app development or some other custom software solution, we hope that this overview serves you well. At this point, we believe that Agile is not only necessary for keeping up with the Joneses, but for being successful in software development.

Now get out there and start your Agile project today!