Today, software is universally more important to a business’s goals than ever before. Mobile devices are now in the hands of the majority of Americans, and it’s changing the way we do business. According to the Pew Research Center, as of summer 2013, 56% of American adults have a smartphone, and 34% own a tablet. These devices are pervading the public, presenting an optimal opportunity for businesses to promote their brand through the innovative features mobile devices offer. Until now though, software was simply a supplement to your brand. Your business built a website ─ because everyone else was doing it. You built a mobile app ─ because it was a cool thing to do. But now that a mobile app is an expectation for these users, who interact with software around the clock, it’s necessary to take your software to the next level to differentiate your business. Software is now your brand. Mobile devices are in your customers’ hands all day, and they’re now demanding the same quality experience from you that they receive from brands like Apple.
Keeping your software up-to-date, compelling, and innovative for the modern consumer, however, is not easy. It requires rapid releases to resolve issues quickly and to stay relevant to the needs of your user. Social media, blogs, and open forums have facilitated and increased customer communication in recent years, providing businesses with almost immediate feedback from their user base. Listening and responding to it results in more satisfied customers, better product ideas, and increased revenue in most instances. Neglecting it will often leave your brand to be lambasted unapologetically all over social media. The rapid releases needed to avoid this public flogging are something that traditional IT shops don’t have experience with because software wasn’t central to driving revenue before. In today’s modern, tech-savvy world though, a rapid velocity of releases is necessary, and an agile methodology is the only way to get you there.
Advantages of Agile Software Development:
Release Your Software Quicker –
- You can begin work immediately without having to take time to flesh out the project requirements initially. That’s because agile focuses first on quickly creating a bare-bones product with only critical functionality, so the most important features are completed first. The details take shape as the project progresses so time can be used efficiently.
- Operating in short sprints keeps the work focused and prioritized.
- Software testing is conducted throughout the project rather than simply at the end. This is done to avoid any hold-up in testing that would delay the release date.
Add Features Late in the Game –
- Agile development velocity allows for rapid response to change in a project, as agile is an adaptive method that encourages continual planning.
- Given that today’s world is so fast-paced, your project’s targeted consumer and the needed capabilities may change over the course of development. With agile, you can modify and add to the application requirements throughout the project so that the final product is one that is still of value to your users when it is released.
Minimize Overall Risk –
- The tight feedback loops characteristic of agile velocity produce regular and measurable results, creating a transparent view of the project’s status. It’s easy to see where the project is and where it’s going.
- The daily stand-up meetings required to keep up with the velocity of agile development allow for easy collaboration and continual process evaluation. Any miscommunications can be caught early and any necessary improvements to the development process can be made easily.
Meet Your Deadlines –
- Software development is more predictable with agile. Agile velocity is easy to calculate and track, making it a useful and efficient planning tool.
- With this, the business can then have confidence knowing that the delivery dates they set will hold up for customers.
With software now critical to the survival and success of your brand, it is necessary to update your strategy for developing it. Adopting an agile methodology will accelerate the velocity of your software releases and allow you to stay current in this ever-changing, modern tech world.