Software development has always been big business ever since its inception. Even as more ready to be software is on the rise, large enterprises and even some small and medium businesses still continue to hire software developers for custom made software. Because only custom made software gives you the proprietary free to make changes whenever required and is made to suit your requirements.
Traditionally, custom made software was developed using the Waterfall methodology. Waterfall, as the name suggests is a linear software development method where each step of development is completed sequentially. This gave rise to the demand for a method where changes could be made regularly during the development and also during maintenance.
The difficulties in Waterfall gave rise Agile methodology. Agile allows synchronized software development where different stages of the project are carried out simultaneously. This allows iterations to be made while using Agile technology. There are many advantages of Agile methodology compared to Waterfall. Here are some of the most important aspects.
Presented as an alternative to the waterfall approach, Agile manages to negate most of the drawbacks of its predecessor. Out of the 3 major sectors of software development, Scope, Schedule, and Cost, Agile allows the scope of the project to changed when the needs arises. Unlike a waterfall method where changes could not be done when a particular section of development, Agile allows continuous iterations. In a scenario where software needs to continuously change to accommodate the demands of the end user, Agile allows the flexibility make changes as and when required.
Better Transparency and Collaboration:
In the waterfall method, the scope of the project is set and very little input is required from the client during the course of project development. There is no way the client could understand if the requirements are being met, and the end product would be the one they have expected. With Agile methodology, the client is much more involved during the process. The client could communicate about new requirements or end-user feedback in real time basis to make necessary iterations. This enables the service provider and client to work closely and eliminate ambiguity.
More robust final product:
In waterfall methodology, even with manual and automated testing, there are more chances for bugs to go undetected till the software reaches in the end user. With Agile Scrum however, feedback and iterations are an on-going process which allows more bugs to be fixed before the final product reaches the market. Thus, using agile methodology developers are able to deliver a much more robust and error free final product.
Better relationship with the client:
Since Agile methodology demands the client to continuously collaborate with the software development service provider. It provides the opportunity gauge the abilities of both sides and also builds a closer professional working relationship. Once a good relationship is established, it leads to a long lasting business partnership with retainer contacts and continued association for more products and services.
Being developed as an alternative to waterfall, the Agile method also has its own drawbacks. This is why the previous methodology is still relevant and in use today. Here are some of the major drawbacks of Agile Methodology.
Unrealistic/Unviable iteration demands:
One of the major advantages of agile is also one of its major drawbacks. Agile, while allowing continuous iterations fails to put a lid on what could be achieved, and what changes would actually result in achieving the scope. But, some clients who have experienced that changes and iterations could be made in quick time without much of a hassle usually demand more once their requirements are met. This is could complicate the process and increase redundancy. It is important for the service provider to say no changes that are not beneficial for the completion of the project.
When clients require a set cost for the project, it is very difficult for the service provider to determine the exact cost. They generally provide a prediction of costs based on their experience of similar previous projects. Failing to establish a fixed cost for project completion could be ambiguous for many clients who are used to pay per product system with waterfall method. It becomes a deterrent for many small organizations as they don’t have a budget to support the agile development lifecycle and don’t have fixed pricing.
Demands Client Participation:
While many clients who choose agile method for their custom software, they don’t fully commit to the requirements it demands. When there is no working relationship and a feedback system between the client and service provider, the success and scope of the project gets highly limited. For agile methodology to work, the client should be able to support and supply the necessary resources, failing to do so could make the entire project to collapse.
Having established both the advantages and disadvantages of Agile Methodology in custom software development, you could the make choice based on this knowledge. For completing a project with agile successfully, client should be able to find the right service provider who has the ability and the expertise to deliver the custom product that you expect.
XCEL Corp is a Global Leader in IT with over 17 years of experience in custom software development. We have worked with several SMB’s and large enterprises around the world providing software development services of high quality at affordable rates. Our professionals could help you choose the right methodology to develop your custom software and also possess extensive knowledge about industry best practices and ethics to deliver what you expect.
Bhavani Suri ( Content Writer)
Our in-house content writer, who develops and creates content marketing strategies. She writes about the latest trends and advances related to IT in particular, and Technology in general.