It is undeniable that Agile has grown to become the most preferred methodologies when it comes to IT product development. The benefits that this method renders make it the most efficient and sought-after among the gamut of frameworks used in the IT industry. Going by statistics and working processes in companies of all sizes and configurations, one or the other Agile Methodologies like Scrum or Kanban stands behind the successful development of outstanding products. Talk to any project planner/manager of a mid-sized IT company and they are sure to vouch for the efficacy of Agile methodology.
Accepting the fact that Agile has attained incredible popularity, here are some of the top benefits of using it.
Any product’s output comes out after a thorough testing process. Following the Agile framework of product lifecycle means frequent reviews and testing during all iterations, ensuring consistent check on its performance thus, quality. Sprints enable the Scrum team to improve work efficacy as the product is developed in gradual cycles and tested. Breaking down of the work into manageable units further enhances development, testing and integration processes. Following the methodology enables early detection of issues and resolving them to eliminate any future mismatch. To top it all, all through the development process, the client remains actively engaged and fully updated on product progress and its quality.
Better team management & transparency
Agile teams have been found to be 25% more productive and 50% faster to market compared to non-agile ones. Sprints in the project break down the entire product development into smaller units that are specifically assigned to specialized team members. Agile members maintain constant line of communication among themselves to pin task progress, review issues, resolve them and complete the unit. Product stakeholders and developers participate in regular review meetings to monitor progress in real-time and tailor needed changes with complete transparency. Overall result is a finely managed project that emerges without issues at delivery.
Reduced project risks
Using Agile methodology is similar to installing a safety valve in your compartment to avoid total crash or failure of product. The Scrum or Kanban board of the methodology comprise of sprints that encase different parts of the product development. Any issue will be contained to its corresponding sprint, making it easy to identify and rectify. The team members meet and collaborate regularly to discuss probable hurdles and share ideas to resolve them. This eliminates the possibility of total product failure due to a single or multiple glitches that are difficult to pin down later. With iterations in the loop, the next sprint is sure to turn out better from the previous with the team having learnt from experience. The open culture of collaboration and exchange of ideas make the Agile methodology a safe platform to work on and improve products removing chances of failure.
Flexibility is an integral feature of the Agile framework. Agile teams work in small bursts and are continually supported by the involvement and feedback of the product owner. Having the product owner and client on board all through the product lifecycle also helps adapt to any changes that may come up during the process. Working with short sprints makes integrating changes easier and at short notice without having to change other tasks on board. The development process is always focused on user needs to deliver maximum business value through the finished product.
Increased flexibility is surely among the top reasons for dynamic IT organizations to prefer Agile over and above other methodologies!
Better cost control
Using Agile methodology helps predict product development costs better and faster. This is vital for small companies especially startups that have to rely on limited budgets. Daily scrum meetings and performance evaluation keep product development on track sprints and final product output. The number of sprints and its lengths make it easier to predict costs as the development team allocation remains constant through the entire lifecycle. As integrating unpredicted changes are easier and faster due to sprints, incurring costs are not likely to go beyond initial approximations.
More productive teams
Agile teams have more autonomy and authority over their decisions and are thus more self-organized and self-managing. The project manager coordinates all workflow and issue handling to keep the flow smooth and even. Such teams are also cross-functional in nature helping them learn and improve faster with the progress of each sprint. There is better collaboration among team members as they discuss challenges and draw strategies to overcome them. Small and close-knit Agile teams harbor a spirit of better team work and higher output in terms of product development.
Compared to other or traditional models, Agile does not lay out specific ‘scope of work,’ when projects begin. After the initial brainstorming sessions, breaking down of project into sprints on the Scrum/Kanban board helps initiate logical workflow while keeping the customer in the loop. There is complete transparency all through the development cycle where the customer is fully aware of product status, changes incorporated and tested results. Costs are calculated, there is scope of scalability and flexibility making product development process as much a customer affair as that of developers. Product owners are better informed all through the process with expected results in hand for better ROI.
Agile methodology comprises of several characteristics that make it work well when it comes to project management. It employs a holistic approach to product development lifecycle that makes it so successful. Teams that use the Agile method are continually learning and improving to make the product more user and market oriented. Better product development, faster sprint movement, flexible options and predicted costs all make Agile the preferred choice of development companies and startups looking for best ROI.