The 5 steps Agile methodology in App development and its benefits

The-5-step-Agile-Methodology-in-App-development

Mobile app development is a complex process that has many steps or stages. If one thing goes wrong in the app development process, then it can have a cascading effect on the entire app development process. Top mobile app development companies know this and hence adopt the Agile project management methodology to avoid pitfalls in the app development process. Due to its flexible and evolutionary nature, Agile is one of the most popular project management approaches out there. Agile helps development teams keep up with the demands of the modern workplace, and it consists of different methodologies like Scrum and Kanban, which are based on concepts of continuous improvement in quality, transparency and flexibility. Data indicated that 7 out of 10 organizations use Agile in some form or other, and projects that use Agile have a better success rate as compared to non-Agile projects.

In this blog we will discuss the benefits of agile and the reasons why Agile should be an integral part of your mobile app development strategy. Along with its benefits, we will also have a brief look at the steps of Agile methodology for mobile app development.

5 steps in Agile methodology

The goal of Agile is to produce shorter development cycles and deliver more frequent product releases as compared to the traditional project management methods. Scrum and Kanban are the two most common Agile methodologies, and both of them follow the same basic process that includes the following steps.

Vision

In the vision phase of the Agile process, the product owners conceive an idea for the product by searching for a gap in the market. Once the gap is identified, then one needs to identify the stakeholders in the project. At a startup, the stakeholders are the startup founders and core team members. At a bigger company, the stakeholders will be the managers, clients and the big shareholders. This is the stage where you will also require a project charter. The project charter is a single document that describes everything about the project.

Speculate

In this stage, you will need to list out the features of your product. While building the feature list, it would be a good idea to put yourself in the shoes of the customers. Find out the smaller components that would be required to make the feature work seamlessly. For instance, a search bar would require drop-down menus, filters and auto-completion features. Identify the time that it will take to implement these features. Include the time taken to finish the smaller components while you plan the total time taken to build a feature. Determine the key milestones of the project and identify at the point your project will be different from the previous stage.

Explore

The explore phase is also known as the execution phase. This is the phase where you actually start the development work. The Agile project management method puts emphasis on adaptability. Agile lets you explore all the different ways that can aid you to accomplish the project. During the
software development process, if another approach is working better, Agile lets you change your plans accordingly. This is because, in Agile development, the teams work in short sprints of one to four weeks. If the development work of a short sprint is not satisfactory, then it is easy to discard this short sprint and do the work again.

Adapt

Adapt phase is the strength of the Agile project methodology. A major drawback of the traditional project management methods like the waterfall methodology was that a product was built over a period of several months, assuming what the customers wanted. If the product performed well in the market, then well and good, but if it didn’t, then there was no way to go back.

Such an issue does not happen with Agile. This is because, in Agile project management, we focus on building a tight feedback loop with the customers. Agile allows the development team to inculcate the suggestions and opinions of the customers into the mobile app. Instead of guessing what the customers want, Agile focuses on asking the customers directly. The development team chooses alpha testers and works with them closely to find out the requirements of their users. If user research gives new ideas, then the development team makes sure to include them in the project, even if the idea was not a part of the original plan. The key here is to iterate repeatedly and not be afraid to listen to the process. Go back and change if something is not working. The idea behind this repeated iteration is that through incremental changes, the end product will be much closer to where it needs to be.

Close

If possible, then include the conditions early in the project under which you will be ready to release the product to a wider audience. Understand that closing is not an irreversible process. Closing does not mean that you lose the liberty to change the product if required. Under Agile, we consistently change the product and make it better until we retire the project for good.

Closing conditions ensure that you are confident about what you are going to build. While you close the project, test it rigorously to ensure that the project is free from bugs. This is because the bugs in a mobile app can harm your reputation irreversibly. Once you release the app, many customers will provide their opinions through various channels like social media and app reviews on the app’s page on the app store. Listen to these opinions, however harsh they may sound and try to include them in future iterations of the project.

Benefits of Agile methodology

The Agile methodology owes its popularity to the fact that it provides a lot of benefits to the development team. We have mentioned below the most prominent benefits that Agile methodology provides.

Superior quality product and better customer satisfaction

Agile project management ensures that you get a superior quality end product. This is due to the fact that in Agile project management, testing is an integral part of the project execution phase. In the Agile process, the client remains involved in the entire process and can recommend changes depending on the changing market dynamics. The flexibility of the Agile process improves the quality of the product. As Agile is an iterative process, the teams keep on learning and growing with time and continue to improve the product.

In traditional project management methods, the customer is only involved in the planning phase and not in other phases. Due to the non-involvement of customers in other phases, many times, it happens that the customers do not get satisfactory results. In Agile, the customers are always involved in the decision-making process, leading to better customer satisfaction.

When you keep the customer in the loop, you can make changes according to the customer feedback. This way, you can ensure that the final product is always according to the customer’s requirements. Agile allows the development team to significantly reduce the time-to-market of the project. This feature of Agile allows the developers to capitalize on the opportunity and, in some cases, enjoy the first-mover advantage.

Better control

Better transparency, quality control and fast feedback integration are the benefits that Agile provides to its customers. In Agile, quality is ensured throughout the implementation phase of the project, and all the stakeholders involved in the process are regularly updated through daily progress reports and advanced reporting tools and techniques.

The Agile methodology for mobile application development provides the project managers and all the other stakeholders in the project with better visibility of the project. Agile allows managers to predict performances and plan accordingly. Everyone in the loop knows where the project is headed. With increased visibility, it becomes easy to predict the risks involved and come up with effective mitigation plans.

Reduced risks and Increased flexibility

Agile works in small sprints and focuses on continuous delivery. This is a major benefit as with Agile, even if something goes wrong, it goes wrong in only one small part. When we implement Agile in a team, it empowers the team with a lot of flexibility. Instead of tiring the teams with a lot of work simultaneously, Agile enhances their productivity by allowing the teams to work in small bursts. The work of the team is supplemented through constant user feedback. This minimizes the risks associated with the product as the product owners are kept in the loop.

As compared to Agile, in other project management methodologies, the changes usually prove to be time-consuming and costly. Agile, on the other hand, allows the team to implement changes on short notice. The unparalleled flexibility of Agile is one of the top reasons why Agile is the preferred project management methodology of a majority of organizations.

Improved team morale

Agile promoted self-organized and self-managed teams. The Agile teams have a much larger autonomy and authority over the decision-making process. Due to the nature of the Agile process, the Agile teams are shielded from unnecessary external interference. The increased autonomy boosts team morale. Continuous improvement is one of the core principles of Agile, and the cross-functional nature of the Agile teams helps the members acquire new project management skills easily.

Agile helps team members grow in their current roles. As the Agile methodology works in sprints, it ensures that every sprint is better than the last one and the previous mistakes are not repeated. The Agile methodology promotes an open culture of idea exchange and collaboration that allows the team members to learn quickly through their shared experiences. As the team size is limited, Agile provides an environment where teams are close-knit and can have flexible team structures.

More relevant metrics

As compared to the traditional project management methodologies, the metrics used by Agile to measure the project performance are more accurate and relevant. Agile puts emphasis on producing results and on optimizing performances. Through Agile, the team can track important metrics like cycle time, lead time and throughput. These metrics help the team measure the performance, identify the bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions.

The Agile project development methodology is a powerful tool that helps team members, customers and project managers improve the quality of the product. Agile also aids the stakeholders in achieving a high level of professional development. Agile helps teams overcome pitfalls like scope creep and high costs.

The final step

Agile is a powerful mobile app development methodology that can help development teams simplify the app development process. To implement Agile satisfactorily in your project, you need to ensure that everyone involved in the projects is on the same page and there is no taboo on making mistakes. The whole essence of Agile is that it allows you a high level of flexibility and lets you rectify your mistakes quickly and easily. When you choose Agile, you are choosing a concept that is still evolving. This makes Agile one of the best ways to work in a continuous improvement culture.

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