Software development is a complex task, but you already knew that, right? Unless you spend your days as a developer, you probably have little to no experience with different development processes. When choosing a new FM or operations software system, development processes may not be at the forefront of your consideration list. Believe it or not, software development varies greatly and continuously advances as new technology skyrockets. So, what makes the Agile Development Methodology, or Agile, stand above the rest? Today, our enterprise and higher education logistics software experts break down Agile in layman’s terms, the benefits of incorporating software based on the Agile model, and how our platform, Intra, utilizes the Agile model to solve our customers’ unique pain points.
What is Agile Software Development?
Before we dive into the specifics of Agile, it’s essential to get an overview of how this development process works. According to TechTarget, Agile is “a type of development methodology that anticipates the need for flexibility and applies a level of pragmatism to the delivery of the finished product.” Simplified, Agile differs from other methodologies due to its adaptability, making it “agile” enough to adapt to new technology. It focuses on developing individual pieces of the software to create an entire, cohesive platform, rather than just focusing on the platform itself. Agile is an umbrella term referring to frameworks and practices outlined in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, focusing on four central values and twelve main principles. Lastly, Agile is usually created through cross-functional processes, promoting collaboration between teams with individualized skillsets to make the most optimal platform.
What Are the 4 Values of Agile?
The Agile Manifesto consists of four fundamental values, as follows:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
- Responding to change over following a plan.
When we hear these values, it is music to our ears. In software development, precedents have been set that, with technology adoption, have ultimately harmed some developers. As the name states, Agile gives developers the flexibility to create customer-focused, communication-oriented, and highly adaptable software. Agile shows that having the fanciest tools and resources is not what matters most, but the people behind the software. The passion and knowledge behind a great team can impact software significantly, helping teams break barriers and create platforms that will genuinely alter work for their customers. Agile doesn’t end in the development stage but works through a continuous feedback loop with customers to ensure that improvements are continuously made as needs and workplace norms shift.
What Are the 12 Principles of Agile?
There are twelve principles created outside of the four key values of Agile. While these are not set standards for practicing Agile development, they are excellent guidelines to use:
- The highest priority is satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
- Businesspeople and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Please give them the environment and support they need and trust them to do the job.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
- Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done – is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
To streamline these principles, Agile is focused on creating customer-first software through self-organizing, collaborative teams. Although created in 2001, the manifesto has given rise to other modern Agile development processes, such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Large-Scale Scrum Framework (LeSS), moving enterprises forward in development.
What are the Benefits of Agile?
Now we’re getting to the good stuff. With an overview of the Agile Manifesto under your belt, it’s time to break down the many benefits of Agile. Software development is complex and ever-changing, so working with an adaptable development model helps to prevent potential mishaps or coding issues. The first benefit of Agile is the quality of the finished product since testing is integrated into the project execution phase. This means continuous improvements are made with client and creator input, promoting a collaborative environment that yields the best results. Below are some additional benefits of Agile:
Improved Predictability & Reduced Risk
One of the most common frustrations for customers is the lack of predictability within their software. Software malfunctions result in excessive downtime, maintenance costs, and lost revenue for enterprise and EDU clients working day in and day out to manage assets, mail, and more. With software created through the Agile model, excessive testing and progress assessments are completed in shorter development periods, called sprints, meaning there is better visibility into potential obstacles, and risk mitigation is at the forefront.
Customer Satisfaction & Continued Improvements
Customer satisfaction sets Agile development apart from others outside of objective benefits such as predictability and risk assessments. Due to the transparency and feedback common with Agile, the desire for unparalleled quality and continuous improvements fuels passionate developers to create the best product possible for the client. By fostering a customer feedback loop during and after the development process, continued modifications and flexible additions are made, fostering innovation.
Why SCLogic’s Agile Works for You
When creating our FM software, Intra, we realized that Agile development stood above the rest. As a small business with big goals, we knew that the best way to create software our clients will truly love is through communication and collaboration. With a team of passionate developers, tech analysts, and integration specialists, we have built Intra as a comprehensive software platform that seeks to solve each client’s unique pain points with ease. To learn more about our software and workgroups, email [email protected] or schedule a demo with one of our team members today.