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How Agile Application Development Results in Business Agility

How Agile Application Development Results in Business Agility
Why are companies using more and more the agile application development methodology compared to the waterfall model? One of the main reasons is that agile application development results in business agility. This model helps build the right applications, make swift changes, provide nimble deliverables, and allow a faster product to market.



Build the Right Applications

Agile development characterizes for getting business people involved in the process throughout the whole application development life cycle. As a result, the company can prioritize the projects that provide the most business value. Business people enjoy transparency, visibility, and predictability of the process and can provide feedback to IT as quickly as possible. The business plans and selects which components wants to develop on each sprint—development iteration. As the business needs and priorities change, the company is empowered to make adjustments to the list of components to be developed in the next sprint. Depending on the type of business and the culture of the company, the sprints could be monthly, bi-weekly, weekly or even daily.


Make Swift Changes

For a cruise ship, making a change in direction takes a lot of energy and a considerable amount of time. However, for a kayak, making a turn requires relatively little effort and can happen almost in the blink of an eye. Similarly, agile development delivers small chunks of the product on each sprint. The model allows the business to make quick changes in direction, just like the kayak. Also, this model identifies problems early, and if some of the features do not work or are not received as well as expected, IT can quickly remove them. These features remarkably improve product speed and quality.


Provide Nimble Deliverables

Waterfall methodology sometimes tries to create the perfect product within an extensive period; for instance, one year. Often, by the end of that year, the business needs have changed considerably. The agile model, on the other hand, aims for a product that may not be perfect or ideal but provides substantial benefits in a shorter amount of time. The business gets tangible deliverables on every sprint, and each deliverable is based on business requirements that are only a week or a month old.


Allow Faster Product to Market

The agile model allows the company to produce what we call the minimum viable product. This way the firm can put the product on the market rapidly. After that, the company can continue to make iterative refinements and enhancements to keep ahead of the competition.


Employee Productivity

Younger generations of employees, such as the millennial generation, have a shorter attention span and expect faster responses. To attract and retain this talent and to make sure they are productive, both IT and the business need to move at a faster pace. Agile development provides just this type of environment.



As you can see, agile application development results in business agility. This model helps build the right applications, make swift changes, provide nimble deliverables, and allow a faster product to market. Are you already using the agile model? Do you have any other ideas on how agile development contributes to business agility?



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Brian Wood

Nice high-level article on the potential (and achievable) benefits. However, with Agile there is significant room for bad planning, mistakes, delays, and cost overruns if not executed properly. Too many development shops us "We're doing this in Agile" as an excuse to skip basic requirements planning, be loose with quality control, and put together systems with mis-aligned modules and UI's. Done right, Agile can indeed be a very useful tool to deliver business benefits quickly. Done poorly, Agile can result in a project that seems to never end, never has enough money, and irritates the customer with a ever longer bug list.

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