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AGILE - WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

Thursday 2nd July 2015
Recently I have been keeping up to date on the current debates regarding Agile as a software development methodology. I have been speaking with a number of you directly and have also been reading other blogs, posts and updates around this topic. From what I have heard and read I get the impression that there a mixture of opinions out there on this topic, so in this blog I am going to sum up some of the thoughts and opinions I have come across.

ADVANTAGES OF AN AGILE METHODOLOGY 

CONTINUOUS INTEGRATION

On the other hand, some of the advantages of following an Agile development methodology which has been discussed by members of the Agile community are that there is quick and effective delivery alongside continuous integration. This may be time consuming but research has suggested that around 80% of market leaders within the software development community were first to the market because they had utilised an Agile development approach.

RISK MANAGEMENT

Another advantage which I have come across relates to continuous integration. With small regular releases, the level of risk is limited and managed as it is possible to take action where required earlier rather than later on in the project.

ENJOYMENT

Finally, the most common advantage that has been expressed to me is that you really enjoy using Agile as an approach to software development! I have heard many reasons why and these include that it is fun to work collectively and collaboratively as a team with the daily stand ups and scrum meetings, and this approach makes you feel like you are part of something bigger than working individually.  

It is commonly agreed that when people enjoy their work, they are more effective in producing great results, so it makes sense to embrace an approach that you enjoy.

DISADVANTAGES OF AN AGILE METHODOLOGY

START AS YOU MEAN TO GO ON

To begin with some of the disadvantages of adopting an Agile software development methodology from what I hear and have read, is that right from the start of a project the whole project team has to adopt and be fully on board with the Agile principles. 

Something that is really important when following the Agile development methodology is that the whole project team needs to be fully prepared before the project begins and also correctly managed throughout the implementation process. Some of you will have had this and some unfortunately will not have done, but without effective support and implementation processes in place, Agile can quickly revert back to a more traditional waterfall approach.

DOES THIS PROCESS HAPPEN TO QUICKLY?

One pitfall I came across speaking with those of you who using Agile, is that when following this development methodology the requirements are gathered relatively quickly and in some case,  key information is missed, meaning that solutions aren’t fit for purpose. Another commonly thought disadvantage is that Agile development has been viewed by some as a highly intense approach, which isn’t perhaps suitable for every development scenario. The constant iterations and having to be 100% committed to working collaboratively in a team environment has been thought by some to be mentally draining. Again it is crucial that the team is managed effectively, following a pace that suits all members of the project team.

WHAT DO YOU THINK

From what I understand there are two sides to every story. As a collective it seems like you are divided, which I find very interesting so please let me know what your thoughts are. Should an agile development methodology be used on all projects or should people stick to traditional methods such as waterfall development?

I look forward to hearing what you think. 

Why not tweet us your views @amsourcetech
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