5 Benefits of Agile Software Development

Agile software development describes a unique approach to computer programming. The popularity of the concept really took off more than a decade ago in 2001 when a group of experienced software developers got together to document the best way to develop software. This effort culminated in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, a publication detailing the 12 core principles of this unique approach to creating software.

Over the years, the popularity of the agile approach is increasing as individuals, project teams, and entire companies recognize a variety of benefits.

A primary feature of agile software programming involves breaking projects into a series of regular, predictable iterations, or development time periods (also referred to as “sprints”). While the length of these iterations may vary project to project and team to team, they typically last between 7 days and one month.

Agile software development is often contrasted with the waterfall approach to programming. One of the major differences between the two approaches involves the issue of software testing. In the waterfall approach, software is created and then tested just before implementation. With agile, software testing is done on an ongoing basis, repeatedly throughout the coding process.

The scrum framework is another popular methodology used by many teams engaged in the agile approach towards custom software development. This is an organized, collaborative approach that encourages cross-functional teamwork, regular communication, and a clear focus towards well-specified common goals.

5 Benefits of Agile Software Development and Scrum

The popularity of agile software programming has grown exponentially over the past decade for a number of different reasons, and there are now many champions of this approach. Follow along to learn five benefits of the agile approach to software development:

  1. More Productivity – During agile software development, the workload is broken up into smaller chunks and the deliverables are completed in shorter iterations. This decreases the chance that programmers get too far off track on a project, and when problems do happen, they are more easily identified and corrected more quickly.
  2. Increased Morale of Programmers – Many computer programmers prefer to do their work in smaller achievable pieces, rather than big overwhelming tasks that may lack clarification. This helps people recognize accomplishments and better measure progress which tends to increase overall morale both individually and on a team.
  3. Clearer Communication – Both agile and scrum encourage clearer and more frequent communication between all of the business partners involved in a software project. The scrum framework establishes an organized process for daily communication and responsibility, creating tighter team bonds and greater project clarity.
  4. Higher Quality – Agile and scrum often lead to a better end product because the project work is divided into smaller units which are easier to test and validate along the way. In the end, this typically leads to fewer errors and higher overall quality.
  5. Predictable Costs – Because cost estimates are typically required at the beginning of each iteration in the agile software development work cycle, estimating costs tends to be easier and more transparent. Predictable costs also improve decision making about priority features and project changes.

While agile programming is dynamic and includes a range of approaches and preferences, the fundamental structure to agile software development yields some clear benefits for business leaders, software developers, project managers and others.

An increasing number of companies are seeking talented people trained in the agile and scrum approach and more software consulting and IT staffing firms are featuring career opportunities for individuals with these skillsets. Given the many benefits of this unique approach to programming and project management, it is likely that the popularity of agile for developing software will only continue to increase.

Ways To Effectively Convey The Business’ Needs To The Software Developer

The Need For Effective Communication

Many experts believe that the first step in the software development process is properly conveying the needs and requirements of the business to the software developer. This belief cannot be any truer as the need to effective communication between the business and the software developer is extremely integral to the overall success of the development project. There are countless stories where clients and software application users grumble about novice and unskilled developers who delivered a product completely at odds with what they were paid to develop.

Ways To Ensure Proper Communication

Looking at all these trends, it barely needs to be emphasized how crucial it is for businesses to communicate what they want. Effective communication can help businesses to develop and deliver the software within the prescribed deadline and budget. The following steps can help businesses to ensure the best possible outcome:

Define the business need -It is obvious how integral it is for a business to properly define its needs and requirements before the project is initiated. However, businesses need to keep in mind that It is equally important that the software developers are conveyed what the requirements of the business are. If the business does not make an effort in conveying details on requirements in an articulate and eloquent manner, the final product of the project is bound to come out different and the software developers cannot be blamed for it.

Describe the problem rather than the solution -Once the goals and objectives of the project have been successfully established by the software development company, it needs to devise a strategy that defines how these goals should be approached by its team of developers. It is best to help software developers identify what problems need to be fixed. It is also important for the betterment of the project to value the input of the developers and to trust them on their recommendations as this helps to boost their confidence.

Define the users -Businesses should also define the audience to whom they plan to make the software available. This is essential when the software has to meet certain personalization criteria which require it to be tailored according to the specific tastes of the client. Defining what market niche the software is targeted to will help the software developer to better understand its requirements and dynamics.

Distinguish between user interface, platform, and content -Businesses are naturally possessive and personal about their software projects.However, developers may not necessarily employ the same perspective when they look at things. There is a high chance that developers will see some important differences that differentiate their roles. These differences are the user interface, platform, data managed and the actual data. The business should make sure that the software developer is able to distinguish between these three aspects during the development phase.

This discussion simply explains tips that are essential in order to convey to the developers what the requirements of the business are. It does not detail how a right developer is to be chosen or how to ensure successful completion of the software development project. However, it is enough to help businesses clearly define software requirements, which is the first step towards successful completion of the project.