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5 Ways To Use Agile Software Development To Your Advantage

March 12, 2019

5 Ways To Use Agile Software Development To Your Advantage

No matter the size of the project, agile software development can be used in these 5 ways for an advantage in the marketplace. A team needs to engage stakeholders, get faster feedback, allow for changes, be flexible with prioritization, and keep the customer’s satisfaction as a top goal.

agile software development
Photo by Giu Vicente on Unsplash

Stakeholder Engagement

It is paramount to keep the customer up to date with everything going on with a development project. It shouldn’t be a surprise that most companies spending thousands, if not millions on a project, want to stay updated. However, communication can sometimes be lacking with some development agencies. If the company is “in the loop,” they are more likely to get the product they want. Consistent open discussions on progress, requirements, and expectations ensures a quality product. This communication also leads to plenty of opportunity for changes.

Change During Agile Software Development

Change is the only constant thing in the universe. It is no different in agile software development. Keeping constant contact with stakeholders may drive this change. Employing agile methodologies allows for both parties to discuss change. Each side may either suggest something be altered or find things that absolutely need to be changed. In many scenarios, the customer isn’t going to know exactly what they want. There is no strict project plan that says task “C” has to follow task “B.” If a customer decides a function will take too long to make a deadline, they can make the decision to switch what is being worked on next. This makes agile software development really powerful. Developers can work on what is most important now, leaving the non-essential tasks to a later time. These changes lead to more iterations of the product which can in turn lead to faster feedback.

Change is inevitable. Deadlines, requirements, and expectations will come and go throughout the life of a project. Agile software development embraces these unknowns with its ability to quickly shift priorities. Projects must allow for change in agile. The world is a fast-paced, information-filled place today. Some alterations to a project can often be key to its success. The developers, project managers and stakeholders have to be ready for things to change. Flexibility is required for all involved.

Quick Feedback

The ability to get quick feedback on what’s working and what’s not is valuable. When developing an MVP, this feedback can help keep costs down. Agile software development allows the most important things to be worked on and the application can be quickly deployed back to the customer. This ensures priorities are aligned for all players involved and helps avoid too many changes down the road.

When a stakeholder feels that they are given a voice, it increases overall team morale. Quick feedback can also be a double-edged sword and some feedback is destined to be negative. It’s important to keep the developers engaged in a positive manner. It’s also important to ensure the customer that everything is being done to remedy the issues that they find.

flexible
Photo by Brannon Naito on Unsplash

Flexibility

Being flexible is one the best features to agile software development. As implied earlier, the ability to change is necessary in most projects. Agile has the luxury to not be glued to a rigid project plan. It can shift, morph and grow to what is necessary. Be sure that development resources are flexible as well. Trying to run an agile project with developers that hate change will doom a project.

Customer Satisfaction

This last one is really a culmination of the other four. All of the above come into play when making sure the customer is satisfied. If the customer isn’t pleased with the product, future relationships are unlikely. Ultimately, it is the customers that keep development firms open.

Keep the communication between parties alive and rich. Do not drag out meetings. Keep things succinct and clear. To be unclear is to be unkind. Engagement is key to keeping a project on track and on budget. Customers will be highly satisfied when the project is completed on time or early. Even more so if it’s under budget, but the final product doesn’t reflect cheapness.

Conclusion

As a wrap up to this article, remember a team needs to engage the stakeholder, get faster feedback, allow for changes, be flexible with prioritization, and keep the customer’s satisfaction as a top goal. All of these will work to help keep the project on time, on budget and satisfactory to the customer. See how FHG can help with agile software development for your next project.

Matt McCandless
Consulting Software Engineer

Matt McCandless is a consulting software engineer and writer in Wichita. He is skilled in Java, Integration, Javascript, SQL and Requirements Analysis.

Matt McCandless
Consulting Software Engineer

Matt McCandless is a consulting software engineer and writer in Wichita. He is skilled in Java, Integration, Javascript, SQL and Requirements Analysis.

2019-03-12T15:28:25+00:00