Agile is more than just a fancy buzz word thrown around to make software development sound cool. As a startup founder, it’s important to understand the intention of the Agile Methodology to fully realize the value. The good news is, this may be easier to understand and apply than you think! In fact, you are probably already applying agile concepts without even knowing.
Do you create cross-functional teams to develop your products? Agile!
Do you meet regularly as a group to discuss progress? Agile!
Do you gather feedback from end-users early and adjust design? Agile!
The Origin of Agile
Almost two decades ago, a group of software developers frustrated with the ineffectiveness and inefficiencies of traditional development methods got together for a weekend to define a new framework. Their intent was to establish a framework that satisfies customer needs while:
- Reducing the burden of documentation
- Increasing collaboration and the value placed on people
- Establishing a continuous feedback loop that allows for iterative development of applications
These thinkers understood that if you build a team of highly motivated individuals, deliver quality software frequently, gather user feedback sooner, and eliminate waste from re-designs or downtime, your chances of success will increase. As a result of the meeting, these concepts were documented through twelve principles published in under 200 words and titled “The Agile Manifesto.”
Realizing Success with the Agile Methodology
“Ultimately, the goal of modern software development is to reduce the size and increase the frequency of installs or releases while improving the overall quality of the product delivered to the customer.”
The authors of the Agile Manifesto provided experience-based recommendations on how a company can be more successful with their software development. Since being published, agile concepts are taught in schools and implemented by companies large and small around the globe.
Many companies apply a blended approach of traditional and agile methodologies for software development. On the flip side, some new methods based on agile concepts have branched out. There have also been attempts to further simplify the concepts of agile, efforts to expand the scope beyond software development, and in some instances, attempts to create more prescribed approaches based on the original principles.
Ultimately, the goal of modern software developments to reduce the size and increase the frequency of installs or releases while improving the overall quality of the product delivered to the customer. While agile isn’t one-size-fits-all, startup founders who understand the principles are able to scale agile development principles to fit their business needs and collaborate more effectively with developers.
Putting Agile into Action
Developing software using agile methods involves teams of designers, developers, product owners, and other specialists. Requirements for a new or modified product feature are defined and developers work with their product owners to determine the criteria for acceptable completion of each. Once a feature is developed, testing against the acceptance criteria is performed, changes are made as needed, and finally, the feature is launched into production based on scheduled release dates.
At Code Hangar, agile methods are applied from ideation to implementation leveraging agile-based 2-week sprints. These sprints effectively allow for quick changes to design based on customer feedback. At the beginning of a project, we work with our clients to set expectations and develop a roadmap that is broken down into two-week sprints.
During each sprint, we meet with our clients to review what was completed in the previous sprint and discuss intentions for the upcoming release. Over the course of a sprint, our clients can expect to review progress, verify intentions, and discuss opportunities to adjust strategy based on customer feedback, identified risks, or potential delays. To learn more about sprints read our blog post titled “Why Sprints are Key to Successful App Development.”
Startup founders are using agile methods every day to create successful products. Knowledge of the Agile Methodology makes it easier for developers to turn ideas into reality. As companies have become more comfortable with the concepts and expectations of agile methods, the focus has shifted on reducing the size of a product feature being developed while eliminating release schedules and allowing for real-time delivery.
Whether you are just getting started or you’ve worked through several releases, now is as good a time as ever to review your processes and find new ways to apply the agile principles. We’d love to talk to you about how we can partner with your startup. Feel free to contact us if you want to learn more about our approach to application development or the benefits of our services.
About Author: Code Hangar
Code Hangar is a software development company that builds amazing web, iOS, and Android apps for startups that are ready to launch ASAP. Are you ready?