Top 10 Reasons for Adopting Agile Software Delivery Approach

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‘Deliver Quality at Speed’ is the success mantra in the current highly-competitive digital business world. The traditional approaches for software development divide development and testing into two different steps – developers build a feature and then QA team tests it for defects. As the product grows, the testing time and efforts also grow exponentially.  This throws an unwelcoming choice at the project managers – either to delay the release or to withhold testing. ‘Agile’ was born out of the need for a better software development approach that enables developers and testers to reduce the number of bugs in the code and to detect bugs early in the code respectively.  The agile approach helps organizations manage unpredictability while driving collaboration and transparency across teams, and adoption of a different mindset to be successful.  In an agile environment, development cycles break tasks into small increments. It aligns teams to deliver working software more collaboratively and with better quality.

Agile software development approach offers significant benefits to the business – accelerated time to market, better competitive differentiation, high-quality software that enriches customer satisfaction. The 10th annual State of Agile™ survey makes it clear that agile software development has grown increasingly popular over the last decade. The number of organizations, including both startups and large enterprises, embracing agile continues to increase each year.

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This blog post gives a quick snapshot of the top 10 reasons stated in the 10th annual State of Agile™ survey for embracing agile software delivery:

  1. Accelerate product delivery – The agile development approach enables the enterprise to deliver high-quality software within faster release cycles that is more in line with the user needs. Agile development approach involving shorter sprints is gaining momentum to keep up the speed of development process in consistent with the business goals.
  1. Enhance ability to manage changing priorities – Agile approach for software development requires not only teams to develop and test faster, but also to deliver enhancements to the products and services faster to the customers. Ensuring that changes / enhancements required by customers in a reliable and usable manner requires taking an agile approach through every step of the project.
  1. Increase productivity – Organizations need to be on a constant lookout to achieve better business outcomes. They require a better way to improve the skills and methodologies that IT staff use to deliver software. The agile approach enables increased productivity through more effective communication while being highly responsive to ever-changing customer demands.
  1. Enhance software quality – In an agile environment, the development and QA teams cooperate with each other very well, also aim to develop software rapidly in close collaboration with the customer.  Agile techniques evaluate and enhance the software quality while offering increased customer value.
  1. Enhance delivery predictability – Clients usually care about predictability. They require teams to be good at making and keeping promises, reliably delivering working, tested, remediated code at the end of each sprint. Without reliable and predictable teams, stable predictable programs, particularly when there are multiple dependencies between the teams, are not possible. With an agile approach for software delivery which emphasizes on setting up metrics and measurement, teams can plan, coordinate, and deliver with enough predictability along with a release level commitment.

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  1. Improve business/IT alignment – Organizations need to improve the business and IT alignment to achieve high business value. An organization needs to be efficient and effective to be competitive. The fast changing business environment calls for innovation and agility. Organizations must focus on IT to implement the right systems in the right way to meet the business needs. An organization has to move towards business/IT alignment by focusing on a process to be improved while considering the infrastructure and technology. An agile approach enables all the IT operational processes – Change-Problem-Incidents-IT operations – to be well aligned. Also, it focuses on reduction in time & efforts, and costs & investments in designing, documenting, deployment and testing.
  1. Improve project visibility – Visibility is the key to adapt quickly to the needed change. In the absence of project visibility, it is difficult to track and measure productivity improvements. The teams involved in software development and delivery need to know where they are heading towards as much as the leaders of an organization need to know. Various development, testing, and operations teams must be aware of the current state, the performance, and the objective of the project and organization. Improving the team and leadership visibility through agile approach provides customer value early and often.
  2. Reduce project risk – Agile as an effective approach for software development inherently reduces risk in software development. Software development in sprints includes agile techniques such as sprint review, the sprint retrospective, etc. Such techniques provide constant feedback which helps prevent deviations between expectations and the completed software. With agile, scrum teams prioritize the highest-value and highest-risk requirements first. They use existing agile artifacts and meetings to manage risk.
  3. Improve team morale – Agile approach for software development emphasizes on better communication and collaboration among various teams. The very nature of agile approach is to keep the team excited about the challenges ahead. The scrum meetings, prioritization, retrospectives, feedback mechanisms keep the team environment active and happening. Self-organization, seamless communication, treating each member with respect, high collaboration, project visibility to all the stakeholders, etc. which are intrinsic characteristics of agile approach bring positive change and keep the teams motivated. Especially, communication through various forums and discussion boards is at the core of agile approach. Agile approach demands an organization to listen to its employees, communicate its plans to deal with various concerns with employees and recognize employees for their efforts and accomplishments.
  4. Improve engineering discipline – The agile principles and practices when adopted and implemented properly, empower the team members to manage and enhance the quality of software rather than just completing the work. The vital component of the high-quality product is always a good and scalable design and architecture. When an organization goes for adopting the agile principles with a goal of delivering a high-quality product, they also should embrace sound engineering discipline. A good design, perfect configuration management, and effective testing strategies are crucial to making the best use of agility.

We, at Cigniti, employ agile practices for software testing to empower our clients with better business outcomes. We are going to organize a joint webinar with Smartbear on July 20th, 2016 on “Developing a Robust Testing Approach for Agile Transformation.” As part of this webinar, we will primarily focus on the key drivers for moving to an agile process. Do join us for the webinar and learn how organizations can keep pace with emerging agile trends.

 

 

Author

  • Cigniti is a Global Leader in Independent Quality Engineering & Software Testing Services with offices in US, UK, India, Australia, and Canada.

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