Agile: The Second Pillar of Realizing Your Software Product Vision

Steven ten Napel By Steven ten Napel on August 14, 2014

This is the second blog post as part of the series to discuss the three pillars of realizing your software product vision. In the first blog we have talked about the challenges that ISVs face while scaling up and what would be the right approach for software companies to deal with the challenges. We also discussed in detail the necessity of hiring the right talent as the first pillar for realizing software product vision.

Agile_methodology

The second pillar for realizing product vision must be the right methodology that you can adopt to stay ahead of your competitors. In a competitive scenario, ISVs, specially the SMEs, face the dilemma of whether to choose between traditional models such as waterfall, spiral, and rapid prototyping or modern models such as agile methodology.

During the product life cycle, traditional methodologies require the developer to provide a detailed idea of the exact requirements with respect to the intended software. However, in agile development, the developer always remains in the loop, suggest modifications and reviews in every phase. Also, in terms of cost, agile method of software development has an edge over traditional approaches. When budget is a constraint, agile methodology helps to reduce the reworking costs, which tend to rise after testing.

10 reasons for using agile to optimize the software development process

1. Agile maintains customer satisfaction as the highest priority through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

2. It came into existence as a solution to the various shortcomings of the traditional sequential waterfall model.

3. Agile methodology has transformed the way companies are approaching software development.

4. A lightweight method, agile enables software developers to focus on smaller work areas, overhead becomes less, and the project costs considerably less compared to the waterfall method.

5. Agile is the ideal approach when your customer requirements are hazy or the business environment is uncertain.

6. Agile allows developers to make frequent changes and test during the development stage.

7. The ‘inspect and adapt’ approach followed in agile method has the potential to cut down development costs and time to market significantly.

8. In this process, your R&D team can develop software at the time of gathering the requirements.

9. Agile will empower your team to continuously replan their release to optimize its value throughout development.

10. Thanks to agile, your product would have gained competitive advantage in the market.

Go for Scrum, boost productivity

As an ISV, you have often heard about Scrum, but you are not aware how it can boost your productivity. As one of the effective agile methods, Scrum emphasizes teamwork, close customer collaboration, and the ability to respond quickly to change. It is one of the proven approaches for your R&D team to work together to develop a complex product.

How Scrum boosts your product development process

• Scrum development process occurs in small pieces.

• Building products one small piece at a time encourages creativity.

• It enables teams to respond to feedback and change.

• It focuses on making progress through a series of sprints.

You can also go for a development partner, who can create a Scrum team that usually contains anywhere from 5-10 people. The best part of Scrum is that it offers convenient scalability as and when required. None of the traditional software engineering team roles are upheld with Scrum. Instead, the team gets together and each member decides to perform a task during each sprint session and then push forward to complete it together, thus building a rapport among themselves. As the product owner, you will be the key stakeholder and the key user in the project and at the same time have full control over the team. Perhaps, you should consider a partner who is an expert in Scrum.

To read more and learn about the other pillars of realizing your software product vision, don't forget to download the ebook!

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