In Rubyroid Labs we tend to use Agile methodologies. Many of our clients ask us about that, so we decided to write an article, in which we explain why we love Agile so much. So if you are still not in love with Agile, hurry up to read our new post!
What is Agile?
Agile is a development approach based on a set of short iterations called “sprints” (usually each sprint is 2 weeks, but changes might apply). Agile has a number of types, which means that there is a number of ways you develop a product using this methodology, but all them have 1 thing in common – the product is planned only for the next short period. During which the iteration for the next sprint is decided and so on and so forth. But why Agile is so popular now? What does it have that Waterfall can’t offer?
1. Immediate Reaction
The main and most serious advantage of Agile methodology is in fact its ability to be “agile”. Having 2-3 weeks iteration lets the product owner react to the changing market almost immediately. Unlike waterfall when the iteration is planned for half a year or even more than a year, you can change the requirements with no extra pain. Basically if you though your software needs Feature A, but in 2 months situation has changed and now you need Feature B, changing this for your product doing Agile methodology would be quick and easy (and possibly even cheaper).
2. Constant Quality Improvement
When developing a complex system, it is extremely hard to foresee all the minor details and imagine in 100% how all components of the system would affect each other. With Waterfall methodology you will have to finish the whole big phase first before you can come back to the feature already developed. At the same time Agile lets one make changes right in the next sprint, which is extremely handy. If suddenly you realized how to add e.g. gamification to your project, you can have as soon as you want.
Besides after some changes you might even want to refuse from a couple features that were planned to be developed. And with Agile this is just fine.
3. High Motivation
Agile approach is very much Team focused. Every member of the Team feels that he and his ideas can influence the final result. This keeps the Team motivated and highly interested in the project. Agile opens best qualities both in managers and developers, which itself is a great thing to do.
4. Quick Start
Another important advantage of the Agile methodology is that with it you can get down to the development almost immediately. Since now you don’t have to spec the whole product to start, Phase 0 takes significantly less time. And if later you will decide to change something, this wouldn’t be a big pain.
5. Less Pressure and More Result
And finally, many of those who work with Agile agree that Agile is the methodology of happy people. It allows rooms for a mistake and improvement, which significantly reduce pressure and let managers and developers concentrate on creating the best product possible instead of multiple reports headache.
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