With support from Alex Karasyov.
Although Agile development is common practice within many of the world’s leading tech companies, many aspects of the process are still misunderstood, misused, or all alone ignored. Agile software development refers to a set of best practices, methodologies and team values that allow organizations to quickly adapt to changing customer needs and respond to competitors, all while solidifying team morale.
Below we will explore some of the key ways in which Agile software development can benefit both your team and your clients, making for better and more efficient products.
1) Improved Product Quality
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” – William Arthur Ward
Agile methodologies focus on driving real business value, not just building features. With the implementation of continuous delivery, teams can increase feedback, remove waste and roadblocks, making sure every small batch of code is fully testable. This constant testing maintains and improves quality without sacrificing velocity.
Testing and tweaking (or “adjusting the sails”) is an integral part of each cycle in Agile product development; at every stage of the process, and with every release, your team is able to test the product and make any changes that may arise internally (bugs and performance issues) or externally (the client needs change, for example).
This results in an always-evolving product that, when finished, will have grown and learned from its environment, reducing the chance of not addressing market needs or disappointing your clients. Agile methodologies also place more value on outcomes than outputs, meaning that your team’s goal will always be to find the most efficient and simplest way to achieve the client’s business goals. An excellent product doesn’t mean the most robust or the one that has all the bells and whistles; a good product is the one that addresses the need of your customers more accurately.
2) Happy Teams, High Performing Teams
Agile is all about team collaboration and communications. Communication among team members increases transparency while empowering them to do a better job by constantly reminding them of the common goal, the mission statement. The increased transparency and clear goals also mean that your team doesn’t require micromanagement. In Agile, your different teams are able to work together effectively and every single member of your team has a voice. This increased transparency allows them to contribute their best work, giving your customers exactly what they need, exactly when they need it.
Here that starts with the structure of an Agile Rangle team: Product Owner, Developer and/or Product Designer, Business Quality Analyst, Scrum Master. On the delivery side we may also include people with special skills (vertical expertise, accessibility, analytics, for example) to make sure we have a very well-rounded team.
While working closely with client stakeholders, teams are able to anticipate product changes and make quick course realignment all while working creatively to prioritize features and efforts.
3) Reduce Risks
Unlike other methodologies, Agile development encourages shorter release cycles and more frequent deliveries, resulting in a constant audit of the quality of the product. Since checked at every stage, the changes of a project to reach complete failure are almost zero.
Always providing a working version of the product, even from initial stages, Agile also allows organizations to hit the market early and generate revenue while continuously improving the product. As a result, resources are rarely wasted. According to a study by CA Technologies that surveyed around 50,000 agile teams, Agile can help high-performing teams double their productivity and cut time to market by 50%.
Besides constant testing, Agile teams also excel at always keeping the client involved in the development process from the beginning, ensuring goal alignment and clear expectations. Here at Rangle we begin every new project with a Clarity Canvas, one of our main kickoff sessions in which we explore and define stakeholders’ key goals and project outcomes, giving the team a shared understanding of the problem they’re trying to solve.
By involving all stakeholders and team members whose approval you may need at an early stage, you eliminate the risk of your team spending valuable time on the wrong priorities.
Rangle has relied on Agile development practices since its foundation in 2013. Our work with over 100 client organizations has led us to identify the most prominent focus areas to accelerate delivery of business value, make applications easier to adapt to changing circumstances, and reduce wasted time and effort.