Agile for Web Development: Is It Really What Your Team Needs?
The goal of Agile is to increase productivity in software development. Read here how you can use Agile for web development.
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Have you been considering using another approach to your web development process? If you have been an avid user of the waterfall method, you must be aware of agile procedures. Changing from waterfall to agile can sound a little scary because no one can predict if it will work for you. However, see it as something that must be implemented and tested a few times until your team finds how to make it work perfectly.
But how to know if a change to agile is genuinely what your company needs? Sadly, there is no short guide that you can answer to discover if you’re ready to follow the three laws of agile. Nevertheless, we want to explain the difference between agile and waterfall methods, the benefits of using agile, and how to succeed if you use this methodology in your business.
Waterfall vs. Agile
One of the main issues of traditional web development processes is that they do not allow flexibility. The waterfall methodology (which is a traditional one) follows a linear process. In summary, you must finish with the current stage to move on to another, so they are completed in sequential order. Commonly, the stages cover project planning, requirements gathering and documentation, analysis, system design, coding, testing, and deployment. Each stage is documented thoroughly and reviewed. If you haven’t thought about this yet, more time is spent implementing each stage, so the project takes more time with this approach.
On the other hand, we have the agile methodology, in which you can work in every step (or stage) simultaneously. Therefore, all team members have been unto since the beginning of the project. This type of web development approach must make everyone aware of the requirements at all stages. Instead of going from one stage to another, the agile methodology is divided into sprints; every sprint consists of discovery, design, development, and testing. Thanks to this continuous testing and rethinking, the project can be accomplished much faster, and it has higher customer satisfaction rates.
Main Benefits of the Agile Method
If you’re trying to improve your business on one of the following benefits that we will enlist, then changing a traditional approach to an agile one can be the solution.
- Constant Check-ups
Instead of waiting until the latest stages of the project to start testing, in the agile methodology, testing is integrated during the entire cycle. This will ensure that regular check-ups will be performed to ensure the quality of the product your team is developing.
- Higher Customer Satisfaction
This is a type of approach that won’t only benefit your team but also the customer. The client is involved through the entire process, which makes them aware of the results of every sprint. That way, the customer can ask for relevant changes or improvements if necessary.
- Reduce Costs
If your team can develop a product faster and more efficiently, that will translate into lower costs. Overtime work won’t be required (or rarely required), and it will benefit the financial state of your business.
Remember that we said earlier that those traditional processes don’t allow flexibility? Well, agile does allow it. Hence, you can change or adjust the project requirements in any sprint to guarantee the quality of the product.
How to Apply This Method With Success?
First, let’s be clear about this, it would be a path of transition whenever you decide to implement agile processes, and you must be patient. One of the main reasons implementing agile in your team can fail is because it is not clear why you’re doing the switch. Therefore, you must clarify why this would be the best idea for your business and lead by example. Make sure to know blindly the 12 principles of agile and adopt the ideas and practices that you want to follow. Also, keep this in mind:
- Choose a Pilot Team Carefully
You’ll need someone that backs up the idea of doing the transformation from traditional methods to agile. A simple way to accomplish it would be by choosing a pilot team that will show the results to other co-workers. However, you must pick the pilot team wisely; the best advice we can give you is to choose your strongest team for this change. Choosing a struggling team for this task would only be a failure; it's common that struggling teams already have problems that will grow bigger with a new challenge.
- Use Professional Guidance
We can assure you are not the first one trying to change from a waterfall method to an agile one. Try to find a professional that has experience guiding companies to do this transition. However, beware of scams because there are people out there trying to take advantage of this type of situation. Don’t hesitate on talking with previous clients to ensure that you’re working with a professional.
To know if you’re doing the right call with thinking about changing to agile, you need to take a moment and look honestly at your organization. For this method to work, it will have to go along with the work habits, beliefs, company’s goals, dreams, and desires. This can be a tough decision, but we can bet that you can find someone with experience in this that can give you advice on the matter and use the benefits of safe, agile training in your employees. If you decide to do the change, then remember on sticking to the agile principles to succeed.
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