How does agile development help achieve project goals in a leaner and business oriented way?

Agile is a powerful tool for software development that provides benefits for not only the development team, but also provides a number of business benefits to the client. The development teams can better deal with some of the most common pitfalls pertaining to costs, schedules and scope of the project. Agile helps achieve the project goals in a leaner and more business - focused way.

Here are the benefits of the agile approach:

Stakeholder engagement

The agile method provides opportunities to stakeholders to engage in the development process before, after or during each sprint. The client is involved at every step of development and hence there is a high degree of collaboration between the client and the developers. This helps developers understand the client’s requirements thoroughly. Delivering working software frequently increases the sense of trust that the client has in the developer’s ability to deliver high quality software.

Transparency

Since the client is involved throughout the process – from prioritizing the features to iteration planning, review sessions to frequent software builds containing new features, there is a high level of transparency that is maintained.

Early and predictable delivery

Agile methods use time boxed, fixed schedule sprints. New features are delivered quickly and frequently. The level of predictability is high too. The beta test version of the software can hence be released earlier than planned by gauging the business value it adds.

Predictable costs and schedule

Each sprint in an agile approach has a fixed duration. The cost is hence predictable and is limited to the amount of work that can be done by the team in that time box. The client can more readily understand the approximate cost of each feature which in turn allows the client to prioritize the features and take a decision about additional features too.

Allows for change

While the agile approach needs developers to stay focused on delivering the ‘agreed’ upon features, there is room for changing the features during each of the iterations and refining and reprioritizing the overall product backlog.

Focus on business value

The client determines the priority for each feature and hence developers understand what is most important to the client’s business and deliver those features that have the highest business value first.

Focuses on users

This method also places great focus on the needs of real users and each feature incrementally delivers value. Gaining feedback early in the project enables developers to make changes and deliver the highest quality products.

Improves quality

The project is broken down into manageable units and the team focuses on high quality development, testing and collaboration. Producing frequent builds and conducting testing during each of the iterations ensures that the defects are fixed quickly. With agile software development, solutions are delivered on time and with a higher degree of customer satisfaction.

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