Unproductive paths make it harder for companies to evolve with market needs and detect weaknesses in their product before it’s too late.
Businesses have been experimenting with their IT development processes for over two decades. Most managers either struggle to bring in projects on time or on budget. An unpredictable schedule or deliverable, with an added pressure from the bossed only find teams become self-pitying factories – and that can actually hurt product-development efforts.
What started for PMs as an attempt to weave together numerous fragmented tasks and data processes — has led to a widely adopted reality in software management – known as the ‘agile’ methodology.
As many tasks in product development are unique, project requirements constantly evolve. Agile development embraces this need and isn’t defined by specific development techniques. Instead, it emphasizes on close collaboration, faster delivery cycles, and improved customer experiences.
Compared to traditional engineering, agile developers work with non-linear and dynamic workflows that lead to outcomes such as, more control, tighter feedback and continuous improvement.
Let’s look at some of the core principles underlying this approach –
1. Active Customer and User Involvement
Active user involvement in the form of direct and indirect participation is a given imperative when working in an agile project.
To maximize a product’s value and team’s work, the involved representatives play a leading, supporting or participative role.
At every stage, users are actively involved leading to improved visibility and a positive impact on the overall output.
2. An Empowered Team to Manage Ownership
Agile development redefines the roles of managers, customers, and the product team.
While product ownership is established at a management level, the project team is empowered to make decisions that support the complete delivery of the product.
In an agile environment, the team establishes the project scope, prioritizes tasks involved, agrees to deliver them and estimates the time and cost resources involved together.
3. Keeps Requirement and Documentation Lightweight
Gathering and producing effective requirement is fundamental in any product lifecycle. An unstable foundation can create confusion and increase the lifespan of a project.
In agile, changes are usual part of the project. That means, product owners don’t get caught up in the rigmarole of spec’ing out every detail but depend on a shared understanding of the customer.
User stories a simple and a narrative document is used to represent customer requirements. There are no tedious procedures as documentation is kept lightweight and easy. All this drives conversation forward, and not backward.
4. Quick, Small Incremental Releases
Analyze, Develop, Test; Analyze, Develop, Test.
This iterative approach focuses on doing each step for each feature, one feature at a time instead of developing all known elements of the specs first, and then testing.
This approach drives visibility on what has been accomplished to date, rather than having to wait for features to be ready. There is more flexibility to adapt to next steps after gathering feedback, plus increased value an be realized.
5. Frequent Delivery of Products
In our digitized world if 100 days is a lifetime, what is termed ‘frequent’?
Scrum, which is a popular method that manages agile tasks, says to break the marathon of software development into 30-day sprints or less.
The project team utilizes brief iterations to deliver new product features that has immediate, short-term demand as soon as possible. This means customers can validate working features quicker, and adjustments can be made where necessary.
6. Early Testing
Testing is an integrated approach practiced throughout the lifecycle of the project.
Each block of output is continuously tested to fix defects and possible overheads without a separate test phase as such.
On a large-scale project, such as oil and gas, government projects etc. full regression and developer testing is achieved at each iteration stage.
7. Close Cooperation and Collaboration among All Stakeholders
Any changes that occur in the market inevitably leads to changes in customer needs.
At the outset, agile development principles embrace this reality and pivot the priority towards customer satisfaction through early and continuous delivery of software.
Close collaboration between all team members and stakeholders is particularly important to be ‘on the same page’ while detailing specifications and carrying out and while tackling all granular tasks.
With the ability to respond to a rapidly changing competitive landscape, we at Terra ATS are guided by these core agile principles to bring in clarity of purpose, an accountable project management team, and an ability to deliver measurable outcomes for our clients.
To speak more on how we can help contact us here.