Benefits of Agile Development: 5 Reasons Why Companies Choose Agile

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The benefits of Agile software development extend far beyond higher-quality products delivered on time and on budget. Team morale often improves noticeably. Business stakeholder confidence increases. User satisfaction improves. And successful implementations pave the way for future growth.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why the Agile methodology has become so popular amongst development teams and break down 5 key benefits of Agile software development:

1. Greater flexibility means better work gets done faster

2. Iterative development means higher-quality products

3. High team morale means greater innovation

4. Ongoing visibility means increased stakeholder confidence

5. Frequent feedback means improved end-user satisfaction

What is Agile?

Agile is an incremental approach to project management and software development that allows development teams the flexibility and transparency required to rapidly and consistently deliver business value.

Agile is the most widely used approach to project management today. According to digital.ai’s 15th State of Agile report, the adoption rate of Agile principles and practices within software development teams increased dramatically from 2020 to 2021, from 37% to 86%. But why is it so popular?

Why Agile development? Top 3 reasons for Agile adoption 

According to the 15th State of Agile report, the two main reasons for adopting Agile are speed and responsiveness to unpredictable and volatile environments. A continued need to align across teams and streamline the software delivery process follows close behind. 

For companies that embrace Agile, the business impact can be significant:

Benefits of Agile

Source: McKinsey & Company, March 20, 2020, “Enterprise agility: Buzz or business impact?”

5 key benefits of Agile software development

1. Greater flexibility means better work gets done faster

The central theme of Agile development is flexibility. By design, Agile teams are smaller in size and cross-functional, meaning they have all of the necessary skill sets required to develop increments of value quickly. Agile teams often operate in shorter, time-boxed periods called sprints to complete a set amount of work. 

Smaller teams and shorter sprints enable Agile teams to quickly respond to change as needed and without notable disruption. Because sprint deliverables are not set in stone, Agile development teams have the capacity to make adjustments on the fly in order to keep up with fast-moving timelines and changing project requirements. 

2. Iterative development means higher-quality products

Another key benefit of Agile development is its iterative nature. By following an iterative approach to project management, Agile teams are able to continuously improve processes based on learnings from previous sprints. 

Beyond that, quality assurance testing happens at every stage of the Agile software development lifecycle (SDLC), enabling teams to detect bugs quicker and address critical issues in real time. 

Frequent client feedback and ongoing developer collaboration also help Agile teams make continuous improvements to the product, ensuring value is delivered on time and on budget. 

3. High team morale means greater innovation

The self-managing and self-organizing nature of Agile teams means individual team members have more ownership of their tasks. This increased individual autonomy often leads to greater levels of creativity and innovation across Agile development teams, since team members feel more responsible for the work they are doing and the outcomes it produces for the business. 

Self-management often inspires growth at both the individual and team level, as it encourages more extensive collaboration and exchanging of ideas and information. 

4. Ongoing visibility means increased stakeholder confidence

Compared to traditional software development where stakeholders are consulted only at the beginning of the project, Agile development ensures that a project’s progress is visible to stakeholders at every stage of the SDLC. Frequent meetings between stakeholders and Project Managers ensure features are properly prioritized based on changing requirements and that project goals can consistently be met on time. 

5. Frequent feedback means improved end-user satisfaction

Another key benefit of Agile development is its incessant focus on delivering continuous value to the end-user. Similar to the Waterfall methodology, Agile software development translates features into user stories (system requirements written in layman’s terms) that are based on certain acceptance criteria (conditions a product must meet in order to ultimately be accepted by the end-user). However, unlike in Waterfall development, Agile development teams collect user feedback after each iteration, allowing them to make modifications in real-time and, ultimately, deliver more value to the end-user quicker. 

Successful Agile implementation paves the way for future growth

Implementing Agile development methodologies is a journey of continuous learning and improvement, and one that offers significant benefits for businesses. As Agile processes start running more smoothly, teams are able to forecast work, costs, and releases with greater precision. The added transparency and focus on outcomes in Agile development translates to more engaged developers, more confident stakeholders, and more satisfied users. 

Looking for more Agile resources? Check out our Agile development resource hub.

 

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