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Gain competitive advantage with an agile software development process

Mervyn Graham

If you have thought about digitalising your business and venturing into the cloud with a new digital solution for internal use or for your customers, you may have heard of agile software development. 

Agile software development might sound like a method of getting from A to B, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. While it may end up being more cost-efficient or faster than the traditional waterfall method, there are plenty of benefits that extend beyond the period in which it’s being brought to market.

The differences

For some quick context, Agile and waterfall methodologies are inherently different in how they operate. The traditional waterfall method is the simpler of the two and focuses on a set end goal. The finish line and checkpoints along the way can be set and once a stage is finished it’s time to move onto the next set of goals.

The agile software development method is an iterative approach and involves shorter sprints but allows for review and flexibility throughout the overall process. The flexibility, consistency of testing and stakeholder interaction of agile set it apart from its counterpart as it’s efficient, malleable and allows the consumer to see where the product can go next with each iteration, meaning the end solution isn’t as much of a punt from the development team at the start.

Where the competitive advantage lies

If you’re still wondering which option typically wins in a debate between the two, most signs would point towards agile software development, unless you have a very clear vision of what you want your end digital solution to look like and want to get to that finish line as soon as possible.

Improved product quality, time to market, and employee satisfaction have led Harvard Business Review Analytic Services to call agile software “the competitive advantage for a digital age.” If you want an in-depth analysis of why that is, the report can be found through the link above.

Some of the biggest benefits come from the periods between each iteration of the product’s development. The ability to test the product after each iteration means that bugs can be ironed out early in the process and the stakeholders get a better idea of what their end product can look like after each iteration and subsequently make decisions along the way that they wouldn’t have considered from the start.

Another advantage that comes with opting for agile software development is the communication with developers. Agile is more client-centric in its approach and this does mean that teams get used to dealing with clients more often. There is a lot of value that can be obtained from getting an experienced software developer’s two cents on a matter. Having a greater understanding of this means you have a better idea of what your digital solution is capable of and how it can continue to be tailored to your needs. 

Agile software development does not just benefit the initial build but, the on-going development and roadmap of the final digital solution, as by having an iterative approach it provides flexibility and adaptability if market or customer requirements were to change.

What this does mean is that to get the highest level of competitive advantage, you need the best teams. If experienced agile software development teams that specialise in design are something you’re looking for, Zoosh could be the answer to your problems. Book a consultation today to see how we can help you.