Agile is a software development methodology where requirements and solutions evolve through collaborative team effort, continual planning, and constant learning. The application development technique allows teams to deliver applications faster and be flexible enough to respond to changes.
Teams can quickly adapt to changing requirements without negatively impacting app release dates. Also, Agile helps reduce technical debt, deliver higher-quality apps, and improve customer satisfaction.
Agile application development focuses on a lean process and creating a minimum viable product (MVP). Apps go through several iterations to enhance their functionality. Agile teams gather feedback and implement it continually. Everyone works together towards a single defined goal.
Table of Contents
- What is Agile application development?
- The difference between Agile and Traditional App Development
- Advantages of building applications the Agile way
- Agile Application Development: Best Practices
- The Agile App Development Process
- How to adapt agility to build apps
- How Kissflow can help
What is agile application development?
Agile is an iterative software application development that ensures developers deliver value to users faster. Work is delivered in small but consumable increments and not put together for a "big bang" launch. The app development methodology anticipates the need for flexibility and applies rationality to the delivery of the finished product. It focuses on the clean delivery of individual pieces of the application and not on the entire application.
Agile helps teams in an evolving business landscape to maintain focus on the efficient delivery of business value. It facilitates a collaborative culture and improves efficiency throughout an organization because teams understand their specific roles and work together.
Additionally, companies using the Agile methodology feel confident about their applications since testing is performed throughout development. Changes are made as needed and teams quickly tackle issues as they arise. In many companies, Agile has replaced Waterfall as the development methodology of choice.
The difference between agile and traditional app development
Traditional application development methodologies like Waterfall use a predictive approach. They are fully predictable and applications are built through meticulous planning. Changes are not allowed as the project timeline and cost are fixed. The Agile app development methodology uses an adaptive approach. It’s based on the principle of continuous design improvement. At least 71% of U.S. companies are now using Agile.
Traditional app development methodologies are more suitable for less complex projects. Since they have a linear approach, sudden changes can interrupt the whole development process. On the contrary, Agile application development is ideal for complex projects. Continuous changes do not affect app development since frequent testing is done through iteration. This frequent testing enables the team to improve the application without restarting the development process all over again.
Advantages of building applications the agile way
Agile uses an iterative approach to app management, so processes are improved upon with each iteration. Continuous improvement and quality control are two core principles of Agile that help create superior products.
The Agile application development methodology is also based on feedback and collaboration. Developers can find and fix bugs quickly and optimize the code to improve an app’s quality in real-time.
Agile app development is all about flexibility. Changes are expected and aren’t as costly and time-consuming as they are for traditional app development. As requirements and priorities change, the application is changed and adapted to the current market situation.
Agile is also a risk-reducing methodology. Continuous collaboration ensures everyone understands the project goals and works towards them. The approach is focused on the value delivered after each sprint, so teams respond to new demands quickly and more effectively. In traditional app development, requirements are only collected at the beginning and regular feedback isn’t needed.
Visibility and transparency
Agile makes the project visible to all stakeholders at all times. Everyone can observe the progress and give feedback. And because the approach relies on the end users’ involvement throughout the project, it provides more transparency for all parties involved.
End user experience
Agile puts a big emphasis on delivering value to the application’s end-users. Features are based on acceptance criteria—conditions they have to satisfy to be accepted by the end users. Agile delivers value after each sprint. New features are available for feedback in real time and are changed and polished to meet users’ expectations faster.
Agile teams hold regular meetings to discuss what they’re doing well, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be eliminated. They identify mistakes through continuous collaboration and don’t repeat them in the future. Agile promotes a spirit of continuous improvement, which is one of its core principles.
Agile application development best practices
End users are happy when their requirements are fulfilled, expectations are met and wants and needs are gratified. Agile teams must know what end users want and deliver exactly that. They must be in constant communication with the end users to clarify expectations, collaborate on fixes, and explore options not previously considered. Frequent interaction promotes creativity and boosts app quality.
Agile teams understand that individuals accomplish more when they rely on each other, not processes and tools. Collaboration empowers teams to be more creative and produces truly innovative applications. Every member of the team can contribute their knowledge and skills to deliver successful project outcomes.
Prioritizing tasks is an essential aspect of Agile app development. There are different methods for achieving this (like first-in/first-out), and agile teams must do some trial and error to choose the right task prioritization model. As the nature of work changes and the team evolves, it may be necessary to switch approaches altogether.
Proper sprint setup
Sprints are limited periods when agile teams collaborate to complete a set amount of work. Tasks are arranged in order of importance and each team member has responsibilities aligned with each task. Setting up sprints properly is essential. There must be enough tasks to fill up the sprint, but not too many that the team risks losing focus and edging into scope creep.
The agile app development process
Agile application development consists of short development cycles (2–3 weeks each) that minimize risk. The end-user can see the result after each sprint and request changes. In this way, they control app development. Each Agile app development process comprises the following stages:
- Requirements analysis
How to adapt agility to build apps
Agile teams are empowered and work autonomously through self-organization and cross-functionality. But for projects to be well coordinated, there must be high levels of collaboration. Maintaining collaboration throughout a development project takes a lot of effort and commitment. Different Agile systems have tools designed to help teams maintain a high level of collaboration, like Kanban and Scrum boards.
Avoid scope creep
Many benefits of Agile are a direct result of the flexibility it offers. But since the next iteration is always informed by previous releases and feedback loops, there is never a clear vision of the final product. Frequent changes can lead to loss of focus and scope creep. Teams may miss deadlines and have difficulty knowing what to track progress against. To avoid scope creep, there must be:
- A clear outline of priorities for an iteration
- Sufficient information support for high-priority tasks
- Goals that define the scope of an iteration
- A system that keeps new requests in view
How Kissflow can help
Agile is one of the most popular and in-demand software development methodologies and many organizations have adopted it. Kissflow, an agile app development platform, can help your teams collaborate, iterate, test, and build high-quality applications. You can now build better, more functional enterprise applications from scratch without burdening your IT teams. See Kissflow in action.