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The internet has been one of the most influential inventions that mankind has ever introduced into the world. It was once just a pet project of the US Army to send messages back and forth to each other. However, when it was introduced to the public, it was the start of a revolution. Slowly, it took over the lives of many people. Countless disciplines have been formed and merged into the technology that the internet has made possible. Businesses were also formed online, and there seems to be no end for them. Even until now, people find new ways to be lucrative online and one of which is software development.
When people think about software, they always think about all the applications on their phones and computers. That is correct, as it is one of the main products a team of software developers can make. It can be a game, social media sites, email or some other application. As long as you can find it on your screen, then that is software. The operating systems like Windows and iOS is also a type of software. Read more about this here.
You might think that it is easy to do all of these, but that is far from the truth. It takes a lot of time to even conceptualize something to put in one of your smart phones. As the planning part eats too much of the time, many developers wanted to do it faster. As the new century loomed, people have realized that trends tend to come out of nowhere and then they would die as well. Customers are now losing interest faster than ever before. Companies need to roll-out their products quickly or else it might be considered as outdated by the time it comes out.
This has led to the creation of philosophies known as Agile. Contrary to popular opinion, this is not like a recipe for success. Instead, it is a set of beliefs and values that could potentially lead to success if used correctly. This is also usually compared to the SCRUM method, as this one stemmed from the Agile philosophy as well. However, there are some differences, namely the specificity of the procedure. This is just a part of the entire Agile philosophy, as this is a collection of many iterations.
Why Prefer Agile?
One of the main advantages of this method is the focus on customer interaction and satisfaction. The most common practice before was called the “waterfall method”. It includes a series of tasks from planning to production and it should be done in order. You cannot skip a step with this method as it will result in the collapse of the entire project. For example, you would not want to develop a software right away and then push it to the market. There is a big chance that it would fail.
However, the main disadvantage of this method is the time needed to complete it. For one, it takes a lot of time to plan out one project. You need to analyze the market, the feasibility of the product as well as its possible impact on the market. For software, there are a lot of risks involved since you need to have the funding before you can start the project. You must be able to convince your investors that your product is worth it. Unfortunately, this process can take months or even years. This is sometimes known as “production hell”. With that being said, you will need the help of companies like Agile Coach to help you hasten this process.
There is nothing wrong with thinking the plan through before taking the plunge to production. However, customers are fickle lot. Their interests can change and the trends may follow along with them. This product that you are currently planning might be useful now. If you are going to think about it for too long, it might be too late once it is already out in the market. This has happened a lot of times in many industries. Since you cannot accurately predict the trends that would emerge, you need to have the adaptability to follow through them.
Working with Agile
This is where Agile comes in. Following the general gist of the concept, there should be a set amount of time to finish a certain project. It is usually set in 8 weeks, but it would also depend on the project. Then, this set time would be divided into 2 weeks each labelled as “sprints” in each sprint, there should be an output. If sudden changes do happen, then you can always start again because you have already made some progress. It is not that difficult to reset because you have done smaller increments.
Another great thing about this process is its clarity with the members. It might involve a lot of work since the process would be shorter, but the communication is clearer within the team. The Agile method promotes the idea that the team should be able to talk to each other face to face. With clearer communication, you can now relay the information that you need without the possible issues regarding emails and other devices. This is done through weekly scrum meetings where everyone involved can meet each other for any updates and decision making.
The Agile methodology may not be that perfect, but it is effective in teams working with detail-oriented projects such as software development. It only works with smaller teams though, but the output can also be rolled out faster. The process also ensures quality since each sprint needs to have a usable product and the team members can talk about the goal as a team.