There’s a lot of buzz in IT circles today about agile development and how it has changed the landscape of the software development world. Since the publication of the “Agile Manifesto” in 2001, software companies have been striving to use agile principles improve their development methodologies, their business strategies, and their products.
What is agile development?
Simply put, agile development is a more flexible, iterative way of producing software. It emphasizes adapting to change and meeting customer needs. Some agile methodologies you may have heard of include extreme programming, the scrum method, the crystal method, and feature driven development.
Software developers using agile methodologies must order their priorities a little differently than those who use more traditional methodologies such as waterfall development. Where waterfall development puts an emphasis on processes and tools, comprehensive documentation, contract negotiation, and following a plan, agile development emphasizes individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Agile development allows software developers to rapidly deliver and customize quality products.
Why choose agile development?
There are many benefits to agile software development. Depending on what your software needs are, you may find some of these benefits to be more important than others. However, they can all help you obtain quality software that is delivered rapidly and tailored to your constantly changing needs.
One major benefit of agile development is the ease with which a small team of developers can use it to deliver a product. Methodologies like Extreme Programming (designed for teams of twelve or fewer programmers) can help you make the most of a small development staff. Whether you’re a small tech start-up or a large company with limited resources to invest in IT and development, the low staffing requirements of agile development can be a boon to your company.
Another benefit of agile development is its quick response time to customer feedback. New, innovative technology promises businesses the reward of being on the cutting edge of their field; however, it also comes with the risk that the new technology will not work, or will have unforeseen consequences. If your business is in this situation, choosing agile development methodologies is a way to not just mitigate your risks, but embrace them. Because an agile team can respond so quickly and effectively to changing customer demands, agile development can turn the risk of failure into the certainty of innovation.
Even businesses that are not investing in new technology may face risks that arise out of changing requirements. In industries ranging from defense to social media marketing, a shifting landscape of customer demands can make your existing software obsolete in the blink of an eye. Where this might mean a lengthy starting-over process for traditional development teams, agile development teams are capable of quickly and efficiently tailoring your existing software to your customers’ changing needs.
With its focus on rapid, iterative development and efficient use of time and resources, agile software development is changing the IT world at a rapid rate. Choosing agile development technology can make sure your software is delivered quickly, delivered efficiently, and delivered in a way that is tailored to your company’s specific needs.
WGS is happy to help you find an agile software development solution that fits your company’s needs; contact us to find out more about the products and services we offer.
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