In today’s world, markets and competitors change at a blinding rate. If you want your app to succeed, your development process and customers need to be able to respond and react at the same pace.
The speed of responsiveness is largely affected by the development approach used. Traditional waterfall methods might deliver you an app with all your requirements covered; but only the requirements you outlined at the onset of development, not what you’ll need in 3, 6 or 12 months. The more reactive Agile method is the way of the future – delivering you a program of development that allows you to be responsive and reactive.
What is the waterfall method?
The traditional waterfall methodology is a linear, step-by-step method of software development.
The process goes through the stages of requirements – analysis, design and development – in only one direction… cascading through the steps like a waterfall.
Developers only move on to the next phase when the previous stage is completed. Any delay in one phase can blow out the whole project timeline.
Why you shouldn’t go chasing waterfalls
An app created using the waterfall method has one long development round before it’s sent live, which requires a larger up-front investment. Then traditionally, it’s left untouched for 6-12 months because the budget for upgrades and updates just isn’t there. If the customer finds bugs or wants new features – bad luck! They need to wait until the next long round of development.
There’s no opportunity for quick upgrades.
Not only does that mean a big budget and time commitment for the company, it’s a riskier approach.
All of the requirements need to be defined at the start of the project. The bigger and more complex the project, the harder it is to capture everything that’s required.
And sometimes things that are thought to be necessary at the start really aren’t, leading to coding of features that will never be used.
During the long, initial phase of development there’s a danger the market may change or a competitor will swoop in with their product first. A feature or product that could be the death knell for your app.
In a nutshell, the traditional waterfall method is risky, costly and inefficient.
What is the Agile method?
Rather than using long, linear development cycles, agile development is incremental and iterative.
It focuses on continual development and rapid delivery – shrinking the time to market compared to the traditional approach.
Development is done by small teams working on a piece of the puzzle for a set period, called a sprint. Each sprint sees a combination of new features, change requests and defect resolution prioritised for development. This ensures delivery of the highest value items is achieved with every sprint.
Why you should be asking for Agile
With Agile development, you will:
- get your app to market quicker
- be responsive and reactive to changes in the market
- increase upgrading efficiency
- reduce development costs
- decrease development overheads
The rapid release schedule means the Return-on-Investment (ROI) is seen early and throughout the project life, rather than at the end of a long development cycle.
The use of constant iterative planning and feedback allows the process to be more responsive to changes in scope. This means your app is continuously aligned to your needs, and as competitive as possible in your rapidly changing market. There can be a bigger focus on collaborating with your customers too, to deliver an app that responds to their increased innovation demands.
In a technology market that changes by the day, you need your development process to keep up.
You need to get your app live quickly and then keep making changes to it to respond to the market.
Agile development gives you exactly that.
Talk to us about Agile
We’re not just saying all this because we do Agile development here at Built to Roam. In 2018, the Standish Group Chaos Study showed that Agile projects are twice as likely to succeed as waterfall projects and one-third less likely to fail.
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