The Agile Approach: Pros and Cons

Undoubtedly, the approach to the development of any software product determines the success of the project. By selecting the correct methodology, it is possible to achieve sustainability in the operation of the product, as well as the safety and stability of functional features. There are many methodologies out there, and it is the Project Manager’s role to try and find the best option out of many, one of which is the Agile approach.

The development of any software product usually consists of the following stages:

  1. Determining the strategy: it is necessary to clarify the requirements, evaluate their implementation and calculate the budget.
  2. Analysis and design: it is necessary to create a data model.
  3. Implementation: it is necessary to develop a software product in accordance with the stated requirements, with the interaction of all team members.
  4. Testing and implementation: the customer will need to test this product, and the client will need to solicit feedback.
  5. Use and technical support: it is necessary to maintain the operation of the software product and interact with the customer throughout the entire period of use of this product by its users.
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Using the Agile approach, you can maximize efficiency in software product development. The Agile Model includes two separate agile approaches: Scrum and Kanban. In the Agile model, all stages of the project are divided into small periods of time, called sprints, that generally last 1-4 weeks. Each such sprint has its own list of tasks that must be completed by the end of a given period of time. The team members hold frequent meetings, evaluating these tasks, discussing who did what, who is going to do what next, and what problems are appearing, if any. Such meetings keep everyone on the same page and help motivate the team. These meetings are usually led by a Business Analyst or Project Manager who is the liaison between the team and the customer. They can take updates back to the stakeholders, so the team can focus on completing the assigned tasks, which are handled individually by each developer.

So what are the pros and cons of using the Agile approach?

Benefits of Agile:

  1. Customers’ involvement gives team members the possibility to better understand the clients’ wishes and desires, while the clients themselves begin to trust the team more, being deeply involved in the project.
  2. The model of software product development over short periods of time (from 1 to 6 weeks) allows for more flexibility and accelerates the release of the product.
  3. Direct communication and interaction with the client allows the team to better understand how it is possible to create a product with the maximum value and quality for the user or consumer.
  4. Frequent product testing allows for faster bug fixes and quality adjustments before its final release.
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Cons of using Agile:

  1. A large number of tools and methods in the Agile approach require a professional and experienced team, which can sometimes be hard to find due to demand. Consistent communication and frequent interaction between teams is imperative creating and releasing a successful and high-quality software product. This may require teams be in the same location, or have a strict communication schedule in place before beginning work.

  2. Due to repeated cycles of iterative development and constant improvement of a software product, the team is always at risk of not releasing a finished product on time.

  3. Focusing on the customer’s wishes and preferences, the development team may not fully understand and foresee the business goals of the project, and as a result the development of a software product may be of poor quality or completely impossible.

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Ultimately, the client has the decision of choosing which methodology they prefer, but a good development team will work with you to find the best solution for your project. Many projects require a hybrid model, that combines aspects of different methodologies. You may want to consider this approach in order to find the method that will lead your project to success.