Just like a good story, software development has a beginning, a middle, and an end. But what happens between the beginning and the end has seen some interesting changes in recent years. Word has got around that the waterfall method is a thing of the past. But how does a successful web development succeed?
What does agile software development bring?
Agile software development is all about working with constant feedback and adapting the software accordingly. The software, therefore, undergoes constant feedback loops and does not arise – as in the waterfall method – linearly.
When it comes to agile web development what we mean is that it is based on lean structures with short communication channels. Changes, challenges, and emerging questions can be discussed directly and are not postponed. Agile development makes it possible to deliver a product with which the customer or user is really satisfied. But how do you succeed in working agile?
1. Daily updates
In agile web development, all team members must be up-to-date. There are many ways to guarantee this. You are probably using a combination of all of these. On the one hand, messenger tools such as Slack or Hipchat, project management tools such as Trello or Asana, can help not to miss any updates.
But a short stand-up meeting in the morning can also be helpful, in which everyone explains what they have just been working on and what they will be working on today. This enables direct feedback and help from coworkers. It can also become clear that certain tasks have to be postponed or that others have to be done first. This “daily standup” or “daily scrum” also prevents you from investing too long in the wrong things. So there is a new review of the team every day.
2. User feedback
In addition to internal feedback from colleagues, agile web development is about incorporating external feedback. Either you work for a web agency and work together with a customer, or you develop a product and are dependent on the acceptance of your users.
The difficulty with agile web development and user feedback is that developers have to ask for feedback on a non-finished product. Especially for the first steps, it is therefore helpful to only present your product to a small, selected group, whose feedback you trust. The point is to determine if you are on the right track and the best way to do this is to have a group you can trust.
3. Flexibility as a competitive advantage
As the name “agile” suggests, flexibility is certainly the most important quality when it comes to agile web development. The short communication channels with developers and the flexibility that goes with it mean that the applications are completed earlier, which means a real competitive advantage.
Also, those functionalities of the application that are most important to the customer are always completed first – that is, which achieve the highest business value. A great example of agility and customer feedback and reviews is coming from slots applications. Their popularity has increased incredibly in the past years mostly because of their catchy and friendly user interface but also because they can be easily used anywhere and at any time. More so, you can find a lot of free versions.
4. Shorter development cycles
One goal of agile web development is short development and test cycles. This avoids investing too many resources in the development of features that are subsequently rejected by users. In agile development, it is important to have short development cycles and, in the case of more complex developments, rather develop prototypes that are then tested by users.
5. Who is responsible?
Even with shorter development cycles, it is important to determine who is responsible for certain areas of responsibility. Who is responsible for a sub-area? Who does what? This not only helps to ensure that tasks are completed, but also that everyone knows whom to turn to if they have questions about a particular topic.
Agile web development has many advantages and can help save precious time and resources. It affects less a process itself than the corporate culture, which has to react flexibly to changes and feedback.