Unlike other forms of app development, agile is a method and not a tool. It’s a way to build software over time instead of simply creating a single product over the course of a traditional timeline. Because software is developed incrementally, there is a lot of flexibility when it comes to making changes and creating a stronger product.
Over the past few years, agile has become the most popular framework for building app startups and development agencies. It helps companies focus on the quality of the app, while not compromising on efficiency. There’s always a risk when building a new app, but with agile that risk is minimized since there is more room for testing and review prior to launch. This guide will discuss not only how the agile methodology works, but also why it’s the best way to speed up development.
According to the Agile Manifesto, agile is a set of methods and practices based on the values like collaboration, self-organization, and cross-functional teams. Agile usually uses a framework known as Scrum to utilize this type of development. Agile is not a new idea. It’s born from techniques first used in Japan in the 70s and 80s with car manufacturers like Honda and Toyota.
Since then, it’s evolved into the world of app development. The basics of the Scrum framework all start with the Product Owner, who is essentially the person in charge of the final decisions and the Backlog, which is a list of needed tasks. This Backlog is prioritized based on what’s needed most.
Think of the Product Owner as the top of the food chain. After the Product Owner comes up with a prioritized list, it’s time for the part of the framework known as the Sprint. This is a preset timeframe in which the entire team will compete sets of these tasks decided on before in the Backlog. The time spent in the Sprint can change depending on what’s needed, but it’s usually around 2 weeks.
During the Sprint, teams will meet every day to give a status update. These are known as Daily Scrum or Daily Stand-Ups. At the end of the Sprint, there’s a Retrospective where everyone in the team reviews their work and talks about ways to improve for next time.
This is the entire framework in a nutshell. The Sprints are then repeated for the next set of tasks on the list until a project is complete. You can see how this is more efficient and accurate than the traditional method of doing the entire project at once. Teams have a chance to work together and review before moving forward, all of which will help prevent problems and create a stronger product.
Now that you understand the framework, it’s time to discuss why you should actually use agile for faster app development. Aside from it being organized and easy to follow, agile doesn’t require any formal tools or training. The basics are easy to understand, and it can adapt to just about any team. Still not convinced? Let’s break down the benefits as they apply to app development.
In the world of startups and apps, a strong product is crucial. While software is usually always tested prior to launch, errors still happen. In this competitive market, errors can scare away consumers and damage a company’s reputation for good. It’s more vital than ever to test continuously and catch bugs before they grow. With agile, testing and review are built into the framework.
Faster Market Launch
With so much competition comes growing demands for products. If a company isn’t able to release new software quickly, it will never keep up with new wants and needs of consumers. The Sprints built into agile help teams learn to rapidly create new products without compromising on quality. A faster time to market leads to more customer satisfaction and more revenue.
Startups run on lean budgets. Because agile is proven to save both time and money, it’s a smarter way to create more products quickly. Scrum is based on smart actions, so knowing where to spend the most time also shows where to spend the most money and where to hold back.
When developers work on an entire software at once, there’s a lot of room for error. Working on small tasks at a time is shown to lead to lessened risks over time. It’s much easier to respond to changes when they’re minor than when they affect the entire project. When used in conjunction with tools like application performance monitoring by AppOptics, it becomes a stable, risk-free endeavor.
Traditional methods don’t promote teamwork throughout the entire process. With agile, it’s all about collaboration between different teams. Team members will no longer work in isolation, and everyone will work together to achieve the same goals. This means more brainstorming sessions, more conversations, and more reviews that will strengthen everyone’s skills and feelings of togetherness as an organization.
If you’re tired of focusing on the process, it’s time to choose agile. With this method, it’s all about achieving results. You’ll reach milestones faster, work as a team, and grow your arsenal of products at a higher rate than before. There are a lot of reasons to choose agile, as you see above, but it’s also the only way to compete today.
By 2020, the App Store is expected to reach over 5 million apps. How will you keep up? Consumer and client expectations are higher than ever. That means learning new ways to adapt. With agile, you’re always growing. Not only do your team members have room to express feedback, but you’re able to revise things as a community. This means more than just faster app development. You’ll also notice happier teams, higher customer satisfaction, and more goals reached.