Technology always moves fast. This is why companies need to keep up with the demands and changes that go along with it. Enter the Agile methodology.
What is Agile Methodology?
As the name suggests, Agile is one of the best methodologies that allow companies or development teams to quickly adapt to change. It has swiftly become one of the tech industry’s standards in software development.
The Agile methodology started with the four core principles that are placed in the Agile Manifesto for software development:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools – Agile values the collaboration between individuals more than what software or development kit to use for projects. It makes sense considering that the success of the project development lies in the cooperation among the software developers and managers in the team.
Working software over comprehensive documentation – The product is more important than the documentation. Agile aims to focus on software development instead of taking too much time to document everything. While documentation is part of every project, it is not given too much emphasis in the Agile methodology.
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation – Agile also puts more value on collaborating with the users and customers compared to negotiating terms with them. The manifesto pushes for a happier user base in terms of them enjoying the product instead of having to worry about the price and payment terms.
Responding to change over following a plan – The fourth and last core principle is what the Agile methodology is most famous for. According to the Agile Manifesto, software developers should always be quick to adapt to change hence the “agile” name. Sure, there is always an initial plan needed but things can quickly change depending on many uncontrolled factors such as customer feedback, turnover, resources, time constraints, and more.
What Changes Does Agile Refer To?
These are often changes in the original plan for the development of the product. For instance, the initial version of the app might have a lot of uncaught bugs during testing. Instead of having to proceed to the next sprint of the development, developers may need to quickly patch up the bugs before releasing a new update or version. These are often more critical issues since it will always come back to the customers being satisfied with the product. Users of the apps or software that provided feedback will also be happy to know that their concerns are being addressed. This can quickly lead to a domino effect in positive feedback which will contribute to the overall success of the product.
Other changes may come from the client themselves. For instance, a project manager might want another feature on the app which was not previously discussed during planning. If the team does think that the feature will bring a more positive experience for the users or if it is found to be actually critical to make the app work, then developers would most likely need to make room.
With the overview of Agile methodology explained and out of the way, what are then the benefits of using Agile?
Benefits of Agile Methodology
Visual management is something that most projects lack. Sure, there is solid documentation on paper but software developers tend to forget details. Agile teams make use of visual management by effectively showing the data and info that they need to complete tasks.
Even the tasks themselves are documented in such a way that will give them an overview of what needs to be done. These are often displayed physically through post-it notes or digitally through software that is specially used for Agile methodology. They are often free but some do have premium features that can make it easier to manage such projects.
Visual management can pave the way for better visibility of details needed by the team, which can lead to an increase in the efficiency since they would not be wasting time trying to comb to documentation for the answers. Changes can also quickly be cascaded to the tasks instead of having to resort the documentation all over again.
Scaling is also not a problem since tasks can just be transferred to new people or to existing ones. More tasks can be added at any time considering that each person’s load is still manageable.
As discussed earlier, one of the biggest factors why Agile is popular is adaptability to change. There are a lot of changes that can happen over the course of the project. Some tasks may not be completed during a sprint or a bug might unexpectedly pop up. The developers will need to quickly adapt to fix or to cover for any tasks that are uncompleted.
Customer feedback can also push some tasks behind especially if they reported a critical bug that needs fixing. Each developer will be quick on their feet since they would also know what the others are currently working on. Should one need help in executing the tasks, others can quickly step in. Features can quickly be discussed before implementing them on the tasks.
Scaling is also not a problem since most can just outsource mobile app development tasks or hire a few more people without disrupting the flow of development. Tasks can be easily re-assigned or created in order to still achieve the goals and key performance indicators of the project.
Flexisourcing is one good way of getting more work done without having to shell out more money than needed. Flexisource knows how Agile methodology works as it is also one of the implementations for the projects. With Flexisourcing, clients do not have to worry about costs and the actual integration of the outsourced employees since Agile is designed for scalability improvements.
Adding three or more Flexisourced team members will greatly increase team efficiency and productivity since more tasks will be executed. For instance, new features can be continued to be worked on by the core team members while Flexisourced team members can work on the backlogs or bugs that need fixing. This essentially keeps the project moving forward without taking any breaks or slowing down.
Predictability for Project Management
Project managers always check if the product is actually worth the cost. Some projects do take time before the return of investment is realized and that is taken into consideration during the costing and planning stage. Predictability is important in such cases as project managers or directors need to actually see whether the project is worth continuing or not. Other factors that can affect this are funding, feedback, and more. If the investors or clients see that the project is not doing well, they can pull the plug on the project and vice versa.
Agile allows project managers to see the actual costs of the development and whether they are breaking even or actually bleeding money. Some may scale down the development in order to keep the project floating and alive. Agile can quickly give project managers an overview of the project’s worth.
Some factors that may affect the predictability and cost of the project include:
Timeline – how long will the development of the product actually last? Some may take just a few months while others can easily stretch to a year or two depending on the scope of the project. Some may extend the timeline if the client or the bosses expect more features on the way or if user feedback is actually positive.
Cost – The cost is also tied with the timeline of the project. Some teams may charge on a per hour basis which means it can just be multiplied with the number of total hours that they are going to work on the project.
Return of Investment – What is the expected return of investment? Will the project make more money once it lifts off? Depending on the business model that the app or software is built on, the return of investment can become quite fast. Other factors include the rate of daily active users and the actual sales of the apps if they are premium apps. Pricing is also a part of this factor. It should be properly researched too since too expensive of a product can lead to fewer customers. The price should always also depend on the actual value of the product.
Additional Costs – Are there any additional costs involved? While sometimes these cannot be fully predicted, project managers should always have contingency plans involved. For instance, an additional developer might actually be needed to finish the project and that can entail a large additional cost. The time and effort needed to find a new person can also be costly in the long run.
Flexisource can be a partner for projects that run on Agile. The cost will be relatively less expensive compared to directly hiring new team members for a software development team. There is no need to train for Agile since all of Flexisource’s employees and team members are already knowledgeable with the methodology itself. No additional costs for training which means it will be cheaper overall. Contact us to get started on your Agile project with us.
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