Agile development was developed by software professionals who wanted a better alternative to traditional waterfall development. Agile development can benefit an organization in many ways with the major benefit being the fact that it can give a product team more control over most of the project pitfalls like scope creep, schedule predictability, and cost. So without further ado, here are the major benefits of agile development:
Improves Product Quality
This is one of the major reasons to consider agile development. Since it breaks down a project into manageable units, agile development can allow a project team to focus on quality development, testing, and collaboration. Agile development also improves product quality due to the frequent builds and the tests and reviews conducted during every iteration (which can help identify and fix any issues as soon as possible).
Increased Focus on Business Value
Due to the fact that business stakeholders are involved in its development, agile development can lead to an increased focus on business value. This helps the team understand the most important things that can be valuable to their organization.
Encourages Stakeholder Participation in the Process
Agile development offers several opportunities for team and stakeholder management and encourages a high degree of collaboration between stakeholders and the team. When stakeholders are involved in the project, things will be done in line with the business’ vision and make it highly likely for a team to come up with a high quality working software.
Predictable Schedule and Cost
The fact that each and every Sprint is a fixed duration makes agile development predictable. The team has to do their work within a certain amount of time making it easy to know how long the duration of the project. Estimates are often provided before every sprint making it easy for an organization to estimate the cost of the project. This enables you to make wise decisions regarding the features that need to be given priority as you will know how much the features cost.
Allows For Change
One of the things that makes agile development better than Waterfall is the fact that it allows for change. With agile development, the overall product backlog can be refined and reprioritized. Changed or new backlog items can be planned for the next iteration meaning that changes can be made within a few weeks.
Focuses on Users
When it comes to agile development, user stories with business-focused acceptance criteria are used to define the features of products. Therefore, the product features usually focus on the needs of users enabling every feature to meet the needs of real users. This also makes it possible to beta test software after every Sprint. An organization can get feedback early in the project enabling changes to be made if necessary.
Agile development can be a transparent project as customers are involved throughout the project. However, for the project to be transparent, customers have to know all about the project especially the work in progress.
Despite the benefits mentioned in this article, some organizations are still reluctant to adopt agile development. If you are among those people who are still reluctant or in a dilemma, I hope that the benefits above will make you understand the importance of agile development and make you consider a move to agile.