Custom-built applications have become a necessity for firms with unique processes and specific objectives. In fact, from 2011 to 2015 the custom app market exploded into a $100 billion industry. A huge portion of this growth is due to the shift in software development methodologies from traditional processes to agile.
Traditional software development is linear and rigid. Once a business thoroughly specifies its requirements, software engineers handle the rest; proceeding through every phase of the development process with little revisions or feedback.
By contrast, agile frameworks are flexible and embrace change. If you’re starting a custom software project; here’s why you want an agile developer taking the reins.
Studies show that software applications developed through an agile approach are three times more likely to succeed than traditional methods. A huge part of this is because of two key factors: (1) development is broken down into manageable chunks; and (2) testing occurs throughout every stage of the project.
Frequent testing ensures bugs and user experience issues are discovered and addressed quickly. Professional testers are also involved in clarifying customer requirements, as a result they have a much better understanding of how the finished product should work or how it can be improved.
Meanwhile, by simplifying big projects into smaller units; programmers can focus on developing each feature and ensuring they work and are meeting the client’s requirements before going any further. After combining both elements, your company gets a complete, fully-functional application; that blows software built through traditional methods out of the water.
Agile software development typically follows a ‘scrum’ approach where; teams with individual roles tackle challenges simultaneously. In the software development field, a scrum can have programmers, testers, project managers, and other specialists working to design and develop custom apps and programs.
Using the expertise of different departments allows developers to create a more well-rounded solution. For example, bringing in specialists to provide design recommendations for custom marketing software helps programmers; understand more about optimising existing features and adding new ones. And as a bonus, you can rest easy knowing that your software is built by a well-coordinated and diverse group of professionals.
Agile developers are much faster than traditional developers when it comes to rolling out polished software. This is because agile projects are managed in “sprints” or short, 30-day periods; during which a new feature, a critical segment of software, or a working product is accomplished. When developers work on a fixed schedule; you can expect finished applications within a couple of months — unlike traditional software developments which could take up to a year to complete — and see a quicker return on your investment.
Traditional software developments are often flawed because they give customers only two chances to provide input; during the planning stage and after the software is complete. Minimal involvement may sound like a good idea for non-technical business owners; but what usually happens is the finished product doesn’t fit your company’s brand, objectives, and employees.
Due to their need for constant feedback; agile developers encourage active involvement throughout the product’s development. This allows you to check on the project’s progress and make sure that your provider understands your software specifications and new requirements throughout the entire process. All in all, you get a highly flexible, highly adaptable service.
In traditional software development, you set software requirements and hope your provider can deliver. But in today’s fast-paced market, business needs can change as the project unfolds. Although you get the software you originally requested; it may not be one you currently need.
Agile developers, on the other hand, insist that product planning continues throughout the project with daily meetings amongst team members and constant communication with you, the client. And don’t forget, agile teams work in ‘sprints,’ focusing on individual aspects of your software and adding more features incrementally until you’re happy with the final product.
In other words; agile projects are flexible, capable of making enhancements and corrections on the fly, and therefore are more likely to provide the feature-set you will actually use.
Apart from making things easy for developers, agile also simplifies the onboarding process. Since agile developers don’t build an entire system all at once; you and your employees can set aside some time to get used to the core features of your software. By the time more features are released; your employees have already mastered the basics.
Is agile right for you?
With an agile software development method; you can definitely get a product that meets your complex requirements, performs better than off-the-shelf software, and gives you a competitive edge. Given its flexibility, visibility, and simplicity, there’s very little reason why you shouldn’t consider partnering with a provider that has adopted this methodology.
Here at Empower IT, we have fully adopted the agile mindset. So when you sign up for our software development services, expect adaptive, high-quality products engineered by certified specialists. Contact us today to get a project feasibility analysis and to start implementing your very own cutting-edge software.