Have you tried agile software development? It is quick and flexible
Traditional waterfall projects follow rigid structures and require a long planning time before the actual software development starts. If the final product then does not meet the customer’s expectations, changes are expensive. This often leads to dissatisfaction.
Wouldn’t it be great to start an exciting project without having to plan every detail ahead of the development? A project where you may influence the development at any time and even add new ideas? A project where the common goal of you and the development team is to make your vision come true?
Then perhaps agile software development is something for you. Agile software development allows software projects to adapt to current needs and changes. Let’s take a closer look at what makes a project agile with the help of the 4 basic values.
01. individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools
Unfortunately, even in an agile environment we cannot completely do without processes and tools. However, the focus is a different one. It is on people and their direct interaction with each other. Removing barriers to direct communication between different disciplines and the customer makes agile teams so efficient. Regular short meetings are therefore an important component of agile collaboration. For various reasons it is not always possible to meet on site for these meetings. For these cases tools allow us to remain virtually agile. We use for example Slack, Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Probably you also have these or similar tools in your company.
02. Working software is more important than comprehensive documentation
The agile approach focuses on working software. However, this does not mean that no documentation is required. It rather means that documentation needs to be reduced as the flexibility of the project requires a documentation that keeps up with the rapid changes. Therefore, it is crucial to document as detailed as necessary and as concisely as possible. Short structured texts in wikis with links are easy to maintain and faclitate to keep the content current. This is how we ensure that our documentation keeps pace with the development speed of your agile project.
03. Collaboration with the customer is more important than contract negotiations
In agile software projects the customer is an essential part of the team. Your requirements and problems are what the team discusses and solves together in direct exchange of ideas and information. Short communication channels, continuous testing and the direct influence of your ideas on the development progress make the project both efficient and transparent. A common and understandable language and tools to coordinate the work, to define requirements and to document help to ensure that everyone involved keeps an overview of the project. With Confluence we focus on a simple and flexible solution that integrates seamlessly into the further course of the project.
04. Reacting to change is more important than following a plan
Nowadays, nothing is as constant as change itself. It is therefore advantageous to be able to react to these changes and shifts in priorities during the development process. This is where the high flexibility of agile projects comes into play. It is impotant to understand that flexibility can by no means be translated as haphazard or chaotic.
In the agile process, work packages are planned in short development stages, the so-called sprints. Each sprint has a duration of two to four weeks. At the end of each sprint stands a finished part of your project. Each sprint is planned in detail, so that changes can be incorporated into the planning of these stages. All in all, the project remains plannable and on course towards its goal. Ticket systems and kanban boards provide the necessary overview within a sprint. They help the team to keep track and distribute tasks and review their progress. For this, we rely on Jira, which fits in well with our preliminary work in Confluence and supports our processes throughout the project.
What are the prerequisites to use an agile software development process?
Probably the most important prerequisite is that you as a customer see yourself as an active part of the team getting involved in the development of your project. As the successful course of the project also depends on you.
On the one hand, this means active participation in meetings and testings, on the other hand, the team and the decision makers in the background must understand and live the agile values. In many cases this requires some rethinking and the willingness to change.
Once this is achieved though, you do not want to miss the flexibility you gained in contrast to previous waterfall projects. If you do not want to go all the way agile, you may try a mixed form combining classical and agile methods.
Which way is right for you? Let us find out together.
Become (more) agile, talk to us. It is worth it.