Agile Software Development – Is It Even Good?

Before introduction of Agile methodology, Waterfall model or Linear-Sequential Life Cycle model was the popular methodology for software development. Though it was very simple to understand and use, it had its disadvantages like once the product had gone to testing stage, it was very difficult to go back and make changes to something which was not well thought out earlier. Not only that, it had high risk factor and there used to be no working software until the late development life cycle. These shortcomings along with many others, forced software development industry to rapidly move towards Agile methodology.

There is a broad range of software development life cycle supported by Agile methods. Extreme Programming (XP) , Pragmatic Programming, Agile Modeling are few that focus on practices, while some models like Scrum & Kanban focus on managing the flow of work. Similarly, Feature-Driven Development (FDD) support activities for requirements specification and development etc.

Agile methods grew from the real-life project experience of software development professionals who had faced limitations in waterfall development. Agile development offers a lightweight framework enabling rapid delivery while significantly reducing the overall risk associated with software development.

That all being said, one might still find himself/herself asking if agile is really going to benefit them. Following are few advantages of Agile method that would help to put things little bit more clear.

Flexibility – Unlike the waterfall process, changes are actually welcomed in Agile method. In traditional waterfall method, any changes would result in increased investment while pushing the delivery date further in the future. Whereas in Agile, a user story is simply added to the product backlog and prioritized how the product owner sees fit.

Incremental Development – Agile development is iterative in nature, which means features are delivered incrementally, making certain benefits to be realized early as the product development continues.

Customer Satisfaction – It provides greater visibility of the product and process, it also allows making required changes whenever the need arises. Therefore, making agile development ideal for better business engagement and higher customer satisfaction.

Visibility & Right Product – Agile method has a very cooperative & collaborative approach. Unlike the traditional method, where the key stakeholder are not aware of how the final product would look like till the last stage, many times it used to result in final product not being exactly what/how it was expected to be. In Agile method, the key stakeholders are encouraged to involve actively throughout the development life cycle. Hence, giving the key stakeholders opportunity to monitor the progress of development and the product itself, which helps in managing and setting the right product expectations. 

Risk Management – Due to small incremental releases, which are visible to the product owner and product team, Agile method helps to identify issues at early stage and make amendments easily making it possible to take necessary decisions at the earliest.

These aforementioned advantages along with other numerous, but equally significant benefits are the reasons why professional software development companies like Congruent have adopted and utilized Agile methodology from past many years.

Tags: .Net, .Net Development, HTML5, Java, Offshore Software Development, Offshoring, Outsourcing, Outsourcing Software Development, Software Development, Software Product Development
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