Thousands of companies and organizations are using Agile software development methodologies worldwide. These include Microsoft, Rockstar, Siemens, CNBC, and Google. Projects that successfully employ Agile methodologies build best quality software and deliver sooner. Increased flexibility, seamless collaborations, and improved communications lead to satisfaction among stakeholders and teams.
Agile software development methodologies can be beneficial for organizations for a number of reasons, such as faster product-to-market delivery, consumer satisfaction, building the right product, and transparency.
However, projects that adopt Agile methodologies are not without their own set of difficulties and challenges. Projects that adopt a conventional methodology, on the other hand, experience different kinds of problems.
Throughout the development life cycle, there should be regular and open communication between the development team and product owner. The problem arises when there is too much communication overhead. Spending most of your time communicating with the team members instead of getting quality work done is not a great idea. Communication is indispensable to development, but the communication overhead increases as the team size increases.
To make the communication more efficient and reduce communication overhead, we recommend to hire a person who represents the client internally, who can be an internal Product Owner, Project Manager or Coordinator. We use this method ourselves, and it works wonders with client satisfaction and resolving complaints. The project coordinator speaks both the client’s and the developers’ language, looks after the administration and communicates with both the development team and the product owner.
Close interaction between the development and QA teams should be encouraged as it helps to resolve misunderstandings and develop clarity. Both the teams are dependent on each other. There should be coordination, consultation, and cooperation between the developers and testers.
With all this in mind, we rather like to let the two teams interpret software requirements separately.
To make the development process more efficient and build error-free software, we intentionally keep QA testing separate from development during the initial development phase. This way our QA testers are given freedom to interpret software needs on their own. This will help the organization to discover errors and variations and to know whether the development team interpreted the needs accurately or not.
The development team usually interprets the software needs in a different way. Of course, the two teams work closely together later to resolve these errors and bugs.
The company culture finds it hard to adapt to a new methodology. Adding the daily standup meetings (the progress of the sprint is evaluated during these meetings) and dividing the work process into sprints alone will not boost the efficiency of the QA team and the development team. Deeper organizational changes are required.
The conventional hierarchical structure should be ditched and there should be a free flow of communication between team members. The organization should use sprints to provide working features regularly, not just to pump out half-done software elements as fast as possible.
The right software product can only be built when the developing team works closely with the early users and client.
It is worth noting that every company cannot benefit from Agile methodologies. Agile software development demands more energy and time from individuals because clients, end users and the development team must communicate with each other continuously.
A product needs a long-term vision and companies need to communicate it actively. It is absolutely vital that all parties share and understand the same product vision.
Businesses and organizations should optimize the work processes according to their employees and clients instead of forcing themselves into standard agile development methodologies.
Organizations dedicated to Agile software development should constantly work to improve efficiency and optimize their work processes. We ourselves are always looking for a better way of doing things. Aim to optimize your work processes for each individual client.
Instead of delivering requirements word for word, do your best to truly understand what they want to achieve with the final product, and actively contribute to reaching their initial vision.
More helpful resources about the Agile development process: