The evolution of technology has not only enabled companies to produce better products but also helped them to improve their working methods. When multiple teams work concurrently, it is very important to maintain synchronization between them and to optimize the results.
The conventional ways to complete tasks, which was referred the “waterfall” method, was to do it linearly. This method had lots of delays and communication gaps due to which the project lifecycle was very lengthy. Lately people realized that they needed platform that can improve their efficiencies and help their teams work simultaneously. This is where a new term for a new concept was introduced.
What are Agile Methodologies?
The term “agile” in general means to move swiftly. It means exactly the same in terms of software development. The term Agile was first widely used in 2001. Agile development refers to dynamic, iterative and more efficient way for software development. This way of development reduces the DevOps life cycle by completing the tasks faster.
Task completion in agile method is defined by “sprints”. These sprints are short increments and are usually one to four weeks long. The formation of teams and assignment of tasks is very crucial. Practices like coding, testing and quality check is done at every sprint.
Values in Agile Development
The Agile Manifesto in 2001 laid out core principals to improve software development lifecycle. Here are some core values that the method incorporates.
- Individuals over processes: Interactions between individuals is regarded more over following processes. The effectiveness of communication works as a key factor in a project lifecycle.
- Execution over documentation: Any process works better with execution than excessive documentation. While documentation is necessary, it is the results driven by the executions that improve the quality of a project lifecycle.
- Customers over contracts: The emphasis is on satisfying the customers to create repeat value of your services rather than adhering strictly to the contracts. Keeping customer at the core of your project lifecycle always helps.
- Adapting to changes: A project lifecycle should embrace changes. These changes are sometimes for good and help you improve your timelines and overall results. Being open to the changes rather than being conservative about your predefined methods is the key to agile development.
Working with these agile methodologies and their core values helps you improve your timelines. The cross-functional teams also improve results. Let us now chalk out the key benefits of the agile development methodology.
Top 5 Benefits of Agile Development Methodology
Being agile is more of a mindset than just a method. Your organization must adapt to these methods to obtain long term benefits. Some benefits are tangible while some are intangible and can only be felt at the organizational level. Here we are going to discuss about some key tangible benefits that impact the results of a project.
The waterfall approach took a very long time for all steps to be executed. This was the roadblock in scalability. A faster and more agile methodology process eliminates the bottlenecks and improved the execution times. This was possible through the following ways.
- Faster feedback loop: Since the tasks are divided in sprints, you could breakdown each task and its main outputs to understand the problems and the way forward. The execution of these micro sprints gave apt feedback on time for the next sprint to be initiated. This made the feedback loop faster compared to the earlier method where you could only receive feedbacks at the end of the project lifecycle.
- Transparent communication: The communication became transparent between the teams and the team members. This was mainly due to a centralized system that worked as a common thread between all teams. This enabled teams to share relevant information and files that helped the other teams. The transparency in communication also meant that you could offer great details in real time to your customers.
- Coherent development: The linear approach, apart from time consuming, was also inefficient in the sense that you could only realize a problem after it occurs. With agile methods, multiple teams work simultaneously on their tasks. This helps them narrow down on the problems and avoid the reoccurrence of them.
Improved Product Quality
The aforementioned benefit results in better product deliveries. The key to any product improvement is feedback. Faster feedback system enables you to implement necessary changes quickly in agile methods compared to the waterfall method.
This incorporation of changes improves the timeline and prevents any major deadlock. This results in improvement of the product. Product development is also achieved by multiple teams from multiple departments working concurrently. This way you get inputs from team members of all departments. You also get the results of their sprint executions which further helps you to speed up the lifecycle and improve the product.
The scrum methodology helps you to prioritize the execution of customer centric features. Each sprint boundary has its own journey and micro challenges that help you understand the complexity of the project at hand. The analysis and reports of these micro challenges during the execution of these sprints help you incorporate changes and eliminate possible errors.
This, apart from fastening the process, also helps you execute the subsequent sprints better. The distributed yet coherent system works wonders for the efficiency of your teams. The workload is distributed and dedicated. This is of course further enabled through workflow management software. The cross-functioning nature of the agile methods helps teams work more efficiently. The emphasis is then on making overall progress toward delivering the grand final product.
Agile methods prioritize customers over contracts. This means that any change during the execution is welcomed warmly. Not all customers are well equipped with the industry trends and the technological backing it needs. Many of them may come up with changes during the project lifecycle.
Scrum allows teams to respond to these changes faster and in a more effective way. The transparent nature of the system also makes the customers aware of where the development stands. Here is how the customers are satisfied through the agile methods.
- Communication: Effective communication throughout the project helps you improve your brand value. You are able to offer great insights about your customer’s valued project along with periodic training sessions.
- Reports: Based on the concurrent execution of tasks and their data, you are able to form reports that avail great insights about the project and its progress. You are then able to offer the progress reports in real time to the customers.
- Tracking: Tracking the progress becomes even more transparent since the whole project is distributed in micro sprints. The results and progress of these sprints is available for the customers to track and to understand the overall position of the development.
The waterfall method works alright for small projects as they don’t have ambitious timelines and larger executions. But it fails when you work on a bigger project that is meant to evolve with time. You need an agile development method to make sure every aspect of that project is served its justice in terms of development.
With the sprint methodology, you can break down major tasks into small tasks. With coding, testing and quality verification evident in all small sprints, your customers can be rest assured about the functioning of all your pages and functionalities. When you handle large scale projects, you have to deploy the agile methodology to ensure smooth functioning and faster deliveries.
As iterated earlier, the agile methodology is not just a method or a task execution technique. It is a mindset and a habit that unlocks long term benefits like the ones mentioned above. When you work with diverse teams and individuals that are remotely working, it gets difficult to maintain that mindset without a project management app that signifies the agile development methods.
These apps imbibe all the crucial core values of agile development like individuals over process, execution over documentation, customers over contracts and adoption to changes. These tools enable these values by offering coherent task executions, transparent and centralized communication, data sharing and reports formulation and workflow management.
The days of conventional ways of development are behind us. For scalable projects and faster and customer centric product development, companies need to adapt to the agile ways. The coherent executions are easier said than done. But with top project management software, for instance, Tudu you can incorporate all the core values of agile development. The processes work over a cloud and avail data from anywhere to anywhere.
Other key benefits of working with a project management app is that you get to assign tasks remotely and all your team members work with the same values having the same resources. It is worth mentioning again that being agile in terms of development is not just a process or execution for a project. It is a mindset that your teams need to imbibe for a long period.