Do you want to increase your productivity and reduce redundancy in your development process? Well, one of the quickest and easiest ways to accomplish this is to move to an agile software development life cycle. Agile software development aims to quickly produce better and more functional products by creating a usable coding cycle to improve your coding methods and standards.
What Is Agile Development?
Agile development allows you to create a MVP (minimum viable product) in phases…thus allowing you to develop your product one feature at a time so you can go to market more quickly and adapt to consumer needs. Simply stated, the life cycle is build iterations, release iterations, implementation of a feedback loop and release updated iterations Agile development produces better results quicker since you and your team meet almost daily or weekly while producing iterations that work now, not after a certain feature is released. This gives you the ability to receive and implement feedback on a smaller scale, allowing you to produce your product on a larger scale.
Interested? If you are thinking of implementing an agile philosophy to your software development plans, here are just some of the possible benefits to consider.
Quick and Variable Internal Feedback
By working in smaller, more focused teams that run on collaboration and feedback from other teams and stakeholders, agile development prevents miscommunication, backlogs of feature requests, and allows for a simpler delivery flow. Quick feedback from other teams and stakeholders improve the quality of the end product and also ensures relevant people stay in the loop and are updated with the current status of the product containing their feedback.
Open communication between teams gives you more flexibility all while ensuring front end, back end, stakeholders, and managers are all on the same page throughout the entire development of the project.
Flexibility and Your End Users
Agile development is, well, agile. This type of development environment gives flexibility not only to the developers and designers, but to the end users. You can create a streamlined process of updating and implementation that does not bother the end user as it would have just a few years ago. Pushing regular updates before was bothersome and time consuming, but now with centralized stores and packaging, this process is usually automated.
This type of flexibility allows you to continuously work and improve your product while having it in the hands of your best A/B split testers…your end users. You can safely and securely push updates quickly based on real time feedback received from your users. Not only does this increase the worth of your development team and product, but gives your end users an open line of communication to express their needs and desires when they feel the need to.
Lower Costs and Risks to Achieve an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
No more having to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars working on a complete product. By releasing your software in phases, not only do you reduce overall costs but you produce a potential income stream during development of future phases by releasing a product that is usable to your end users. Creating an MVP and slowly pushing updates that improves the user experience increases your exposure and keeps your end user vested and interested. You give more value to them by making it easier for you to produce this value.
Producing in phases minimizes risk involved because you can quickly see if a product will meet or fail the end user’s needs. If it fails, you can go back to the drawing board and revitalize your approach. If it meets the end user’s needs, you can continue on the path you are on since you know that what you have works.
Agile development gives you the ability to push out bug fixes and updates quicker than ever. By producing in phases according to internal feedback and end user’s needs, you can prioritize your time better than ever. Edit code blocks and design that effects only this phase. Test these changes on a small scale within it’s phase and push the updates. Break testing becomes a breeze when you can localize the new additions and updates to certain phases.
Create a rapid development method using all aspects of your teams by using development environments, testing environments, and finally, live environments. This can give you the ability to create a smooth workflow with different teams working on different priorities in different phases simultaneously.
Better Product Quality
Agile development allows developers and teams to quickly adapt to a development process and the changes required to create a complete product. The constant stream of feedback from end users and team members paired with a simple iterative structure means that your product more closely resembles what your team envisioned and what your consumer actually wants and needs.
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About the Author
Director of Website Development
With over a decade of experience designing and developing websites, Eric has worked in every position of the agency ladder. He is fluent in multiple backend and front end programming languages and has written multiple international best selling plugins for WordPress. He has been part of or is still part of many startups. He is the Director of Website Development for Future Design Group and one of it's founding partners.