Agile methodology has changed the game when it comes to custom software development, and it's hard not to see why. Agile projects have a 64% success rate, whereas projects under the competing methodology (the waterfall approach) typically only succeed 49% of the time, according to a statistic from Zippia. With the agile model in software engineering, developers and clients can make changes at any point in the process, making the approach not only dynamic and flexible but exciting too.
The agile model prioritizes the rapid delivery of functioning software products and process flexibility, which gets software into customers’ hands faster. It's an iterative and incremental approach that ensures the end product is always up-to-date and in line with the client's needs. And for this reason, the agile methodology is used by at least 71% of companies in the U.S. alone.
8 Benefits of Agile in Software Development
According to the Association for Project Management, agile project management is an iterative approach to delivering a project throughout its life cycle. Agile life cycles, also called iterative life cycles, break projects down into several incremental steps, or iterations, that help them progress toward completion. Software developers use this approach because it helps enhance speed and adaptability, unlike linear (one in which something changes or progresses directly from one stage to the next with a defined start and end point) processes that make it more challenging to make adjustments along the way.
The main reason for adopting an agile approach in software development is to deliver throughout the process, not just at the end. To better understand, think about this from the end customer’s point of view. If you have an application or software that can solve a problem, make their life better, bring joy, whatever, they want to get their hands on it as soon as possible. And this is one of the key benefits of agile methodology. It allows everyone to prioritize values and behaviors such as trust, flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration, all with the end goal of creating customer satisfaction.
But we’d be remiss if we didn’t provide some guidance on a couple of definitions. Though the terms agile and scrum are often used interchangeably in the software development and engineering fields, they’re not the same. The fundamental difference between agile and scrum lies in their application. Agile is a project management philosophy that provides a structured approach to getting the job done. Conversely, scrum is a specific type of agile methodology that streamlines project development.
This all said, there are many benefits of using agile in custom software development.
- It’s faster
- It’s nimble, allowing for frequent changes
- It identifies problems early on in the process
- Flexible prioritization
- It lets you see the benefits of your resources and labor sooner
- You can better measure your teams’ accountability and progress on the project
- No need to create and adjust detailed project plans
- Customers are happier because they get to see and experience the results faster, even if future iterations and releases are ahead
More Advantages of Agile Development
As you can see, the agile model in software engineering provides a great mechanism to get products in customer’s hands faster. And while we already shared eight benefits of using agile in software development, we want to share a few more. After all, the agile project management methodology has so many useful things to offer it would be challenging to cover them all only in one list.
There are numerous advantages of agile development, including:
Focus on the Customer
First and foremost, agile development lets developers focus on the customer, the end user. So, think of it as a way to make software better. The approach takes stories (a story is an informal explanation of a feature written from the perspective of the end customer) from customers to decide what features to add. The developers then test the application every few weeks (called best testing) to ensure it is working well. The entire approach focuses on the customer, making sure they are happy and will continue using the software.
Stay in Tune with What’s Important for the Client
Here, we differentiate between the customer (the consumer or end user who will use the software) and the client (the company or organization that the software will be sold by). So, an advantage of agile development is that the engineering team can focus on the features that the client needs to please the customer and drive revenue for the business.
An Eye on Quality
The agile methodology emphasizes constant improvement throughout the software development process. While this is achieved through effective collaboration, careful planning, and attention to detail, it’s also about ensuring that the team can make quick changes to meet the demands of the customer or client. To do this, regular testing and reviews take place every few weeks (or more often if needed) to identify bugs and other issues. This helps ensure that a higher-quality version of the product is put in front of the customer upfront but also means that more quality improvements can be made as needed.
Transparency and Visibility
Consider that there are over 5.7 million apps on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store combined. And while it is unknown how many software programs are out there, it’s clear that there is a lot of competition facing customers when choosing the right apps or software to meet their needs. So yet another advantage of agile development is that customers and the client can both be involved throughout the process. This transparency helps to win trust and loyalty because customers know what to expect and can offer feedback along the way.
Deliver Early and Deliver Often
Customers (and the client) will likely be frustrated if they have to download or install and update every other day, so a good rule of thumb is to make one to two small but beneficial improvements per month. So when using the agile model in software engineering, development teams can deliver software that meets end users' needs in a timely and predictable manner without rocking the boat.
This predicable approach ensures that the customer’s feedback from the most recent change can be incorporated into the development process, resulting in software that is more refined and better suited to their needs. And customers like to see that their voices are being heard. Frequent updates show them just that.
Know What to Expect for Costs and a Project Schedule
Clients deserve to know what to expect when it comes to understanding the costs and timeline associated with their software development project. With agile methodology's fixed-schedule time and duration, the project's cost is better controlled, as it is limited to the amount of work the team can perform during each sprint. This makes the client’s budgeting process easier, and they can then make better-informed decisions about the priority of features and the need for additional iterations.
When it comes to software development, you need the ability to make changes. So yet another advantage to the use of the agile approach is that teams can continuously improve and reprioritize the overall product backlog, making changes to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of work. New or changed items of the backlog can be planned for the next iteration, and no one is overwhelmed.
Your stakeholders are your clients, and they need the ability to work closely with the developers creating the software. With strong collaboration between the client and the whole project team, there are more opportunities for the team to fully understand the project vision and ensure that all stakeholders and team members remain motivated to achieve optimal project results.
Why Choose Intellectsoft for Custom Software Development Services
Intellectsoft offers a range of custom software development services to clients. We specialize in developing mobile applications, enterprise software solutions, blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality (AR) applications. Additionally, we offer consulting, design, and testing services to help our clients build high-quality software solutions.
Our client list ranges from small startups to large enterprises in various industries, including healthcare, finance, and retail. Most importantly, our expertise lies in providing end-to-end software development solutions tailored to our client's needs that meet the needs and desires of their customer. And this is because we know how important things like a faster feedback cycle, flexible prioritization, accurate measurement, and speed to market are when it comes to software development.
Last But Not Least
If you're looking to hire a reliable software development team as a trusted partner to help bring your custom software development project to life, you’ve come to the right place. Intellectsoft’s team of experts has the experience and knowledge necessary to help you create high-quality, customized software solutions that meet your unique business needs. With our comprehensive range of services, we can assist you with every aspect of your project, from design and development to testing and deployment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your software development goals.