As a general rule, and as proven in virtually every survey over the past five years — including the 7th Annual State of Agile Development Survey by VersionOne in late 2012 — the Agile Methodology for software development is scoring higher than all other methodologies.
Why is that? What can it mean for you?
Let’s consider why Agile, as a general rule, is proving itself a better approach for software development projects. I believe there are two major factors involved:
- Agile Methodology embraces change.
- Agile Methodology advocates continuous delivery throughout the software development lifecycle.
Both of these reasons directly impact what Agile can mean for you. For instance, take the embracing of change in an Agile project. What this means for you, the customer, is that you don’t have to know everything up-front in order to start and finish a successful project. All you need to know are the high-level priorities of the project. If you know them and are able to participate in breaking them down into a prioritized requirements list, you’re well on your way to success within an Agile framework (assuming you’re working with an experienced Agile partner).
There’s more, though, to take into account. Once you have such a high-level list of prioritized requirements, they have to be broken down further in order for a system based on working software to emerge.
That’s where the second factor of continuous delivery comes into play. Before Agile, the high-level list of prioritized requirements would be broken down on paper, all the way down until every task of every requirement was fully defined. This had the effect of locking down the project and turning all project participants against the very thought of change.
Not so with Agile.
Why? Because in Agile Methodology, the notion of continuous delivery comes into play (the second factor we mentioned above). This means that rather than breaking down every requirement on paper until fully defined, we’d rather start to do some prototyping, allowing the high-level requirements to be further broken down against real deliverables that actualize the words of the written requirements into something you can see and even touch.
This is a very liberating experience, for by its very nature such a path inures one to change. Embracing change in this way leads to software that not only works, but actually does what the business really needs it to do. In software lingo, this means that Agile Methodology produces software that is not only fit for use, but also fit for purpose. So that’s what Agile can mean for you: successful projects that not only work for your users, but actually do what your business really needs.
At a high level, that’s why Agile has been scoring so much better than other software development methodologies.
To understand more about this successful methodology, click here to read about the birth of Agile.