While it is true that many of the practices associated with Agile development exist for a fair amount of time, the average of mobile app development teams still has to embrace much of these principles and practices. Even today, the average app development team does not operate iteratively, does not release applications incrementally, and does not practice either continuous planning or automatic testing. In 2018, that these practices in Agile methodologies have been combined so as to be better understood and adopted, the trend appears to change rapidly in a positive way, especially over the last few years.
Obviously, like any new process that radically changes the business, agile methods have generated a series of controversies in the mobile development community. However, since their inception and propagation, app after app, they have continued to produce high quality mobile apps faster than other traditional processes.
I would like to conclude this article trying to answer this crucial question in the subsequent paragraphs:
- For what reasons should I choose Agile Software Development as a project methodology?
We see a series of considerations that should provide motivated answers.
Reasons for Choosing Agile Methodologies
In my opinion, compared to traditional methodologies, the adoption of agile methodologies offers a series of advantages, which can be divided into three types:
- Advantages for the client
- Benefits for the project team
- Advantages for the organization
Some of the advantages provided to the client by the agile methodologies can be summarized as follows:
- The customer is more actively involved, gets more control over the priorities.
- It learns the status of the application regularly and frequently.
- Requirements are accepted after each iteration.
- As the methodology emphasizes rapid deliveries, there is less time-to-market. In this way the key functionalities of the system can be available for use before.
- Delivery is defined by a fixed calendar. So the customer is sure to receive some features at a fixed and regular period of time.
- Thanks to the emphasis on tests (both automatic and manual), the quality of the software provided is much better.
Benefits for Project Groups
- Project teams are more actively involved in all phases, and must ask the right questions. Teams make decisions collaboratively and are more empowered.
- Since development is incremental, teams can focus on specific needs at any time.
- More emphasis is placed on the development of the application, not on the documentation.
- Simple and minimal documents are used for the purpose of exchanging opinions. Particular importance is given to direct communication.
- As teams receive frequent feedback through integrated and automated tests, rework is reduced to a minimum.
- Much less time is spent on gathering requirements, as all requirements are no longer collected in advance, but are analyzed and implemented as they arise.
- This also implies less time for planning activities. Which also becomes much less uncertain as it uses the concept of just in time (JIT)
- Lower development costs as the costs of reprocessing, management, documentation and any other non-development-related activities are drastically reduced.
- Teams develop applications collaboratively, in a highly cooperative environment.
Agile methodologies are rapidly becoming the de facto standard of the ios and android app development process for high-performance teams; so the real question that managers and IT executives need to ask themselves is no longer whether to adopt Agile, but when and how to do it. Once the steps are performed, it will soon become clear how agile processes enable better quality applications to be delivered, which is delivered in shorter times than in the past. Furthermore, the teams will be more satisfied thanks to a sustainable work pace guaranteed by the agile process; stakeholders and shareholders of the company, finally, will be convinced of the significant impact that the agile has had on the bottom line.
I would like to conclude with the following observation: although agile software development is perfect for small mobile apps, many large organizations adopt these methods. For example, British Telecom has successfully implemented huge projects, involving hundreds of developers located in Great Britain, Ireland and India, and using agile methodologies. This shows the power and scalability of these methodologies that, I hope, have helped to make known in this series.