It’s no secret that agile is the methodology that software development has already moved into in a big way. The idea of agile has become so popular that it is creeping into every industry and has become a popular term to use in conference rooms and virtual meetings around the world.
Agile Software Development is Everywhere
What is it about agile development that has everyone so keyed up? How do people fit into the equation? How do you help your team adjust to the new way of doing things? We’re ready to dive into all of this and help make the transition to agile a little less scary.
Agile Development Allows for More Flexibility
The most obvious implication of agile development integration is flexibility. This is represented by more flexibility in how you work on projects, as well as how you communicate those changes and how your design functions.
Flexibility in How You Work
No longer do you have to walk through each and every development piece, taking months to complete a project while clients are on the other end frustrated and ready to use the amazing thing you have built. The most urgent or important elements or the least cumbersome elements can begin rolling out earlier. Bugs can be addressed earlier rather than later, making the process smoother for all. When issues are caught earlier on in the process, there is no going back and rebuilding everything after X-Y-Z portion of the project. Maybe it’s only X that needs to be rebuilt, or maybe nothing because the issue was caught before the next phase was even in development.
Flexibility in Communicating Changes
Updates can be done as necessary, as can fixes. When a piece of the project needs to scale, this can be communicated by the client in real time and the expectation is not that everything else has to stop to get this one thing done, but that it can seamlessly fit into your new schedule or next sprint. More constant and consistent communication creates a more collaborative atmosphere for you and your client, leading to better outcomes and a stronger client relationship.
Flexibility in How Design Functions
The final piece in the puzzle of your new flexible position in agile development is in how the design functions. This piece is built from elements of the first two flexibility changes that have been discussed here previously, communication and how you work. When more communication is fostered by ongoing development there is more opportunity to identify ways to improve the design in real time both on the client side and developer side of the table. Your focus in development can focus on smaller pieces at one time rather than only the whole, allowing for better functionality build-out and improved integration capability through more detailed and problem-solving opportunities.
Agile Development Provides Greater Ability to Expand Your Knowledge Base
When agile development becomes part of your practice, you will find more time to spend on each portion of each project. This means not working against a timeline to complete the entire project, meaning you spend just the amount of time to get the item completed that is necessary to move on to the next component, but taking time to develop each stage of the program. With this comes the ability to learn more about the steps you are following in the development process and how they work separately, as well as together. It allows time for in-depth knowledge of systems and integration that may not have been part of your process prior to agile.
Agile Development Allows for the Ability to Shift with Updates in Requirements
Things change quickly in business and technology. As regulations are updated at an industry, legal, or integration level agile makes it easier to shift with these changes. In the past, any change might facilitate a major overhaul of systems which would leave clients sitting on their hands or you and your team tackling a project on nights and weekends with all the pitfalls that come along with such frustrating situations. With an agile development strategy, you can see the changes coming from a mile away and plan their integration without major disruption to anyone’s schedules or timelines.
Ultimately, agile development keeps everyone in a more creative, adaptable state of mind. Not just you, but your clients as well. When changes can be made in a fluid way, functionality will benefit as will your ongoing relationship with your clients who will rely on your more and more throughout the process.
Published on Java Code Geeks with permission by Simon Martinelli, partner at our JCG program. See the original article here: Most Important Benefits of Agile Software Development
Opinions expressed by Java Code Geeks contributors are their own.