Do I need Agile Development for my Platform?
Agile development is aimed at creating an online business platform suited to business needs that prevail at the end of the development cycle. This simple article skips out the technicalities. To save your time, we explain Agile from your point of view.
Do I really need Agile?
When you hire a developer for your business platform, if you are absolutely certain what you want your platform to look like and the tasks it should execute, you don’t really need Agile. You agree on a fixed budget, a fixed delivery time, and maybe suggest minor changes within the agreed bounds. Agility would cost you more in such a case. A perfect example of this case would be if you want an exact replica of an existing online platform.
However, it is more often that you have only a rough idea of what you want from your platform. If you want to periodically see what it looks like at different stages, so that you can change what you don’t like, or create new features and functions, or add something to what exists, you definitely need Agile development.
Additionally, if your platform is complex and needs months to create, it may have to meet business needs that have changed by then. The backend workflows / interfaces of your platform might need to change by the time it is ready. In a worst case scenario, you might need to end up with a product radically different from your initial brief to the developers. Agile is especially meant to resolve these issues in a way that you have complete control over changes.
How will Agile work?
Your development partner will break down your project into multiple parts in such a way that you can see and try out a completed platform with some of the desired functions at frequent intervals. Each time, you will actually be able to test out whether these functions are doing what you thought they would do. You will be able to easily think what changes might be needed. You might get ideas about new features. You and your managers and consultants can discuss changes that will benefit your business because you already have a platform you can see and handle.
Will Agile help me save time and money?
The benefit of Agile is that since your platform development is in parts, if anything needs to be scrapped or radically altered, only a small part of your project is affected. This will reduce your costs and your time. Traditional methods of developing the whole platform and then incorporating changes will be like doing it all over again. Agile gives you freedom to evolve a solution more suited to business needs that prevail at the end of the development cycle.
Also, as discussed before, your project will be composed of parts. To save time, some parts can easily be done simultaneously, but then, that would necessitate larger teams and more costs. The benefit is that your platform is up and benefitting your business very early.
What are the drawbacks of Agile ?
Because Agile will incorporate so many of your revisions, insights, enhancements, innovations and other changes, your development expert will not be able to give you a fixed cost and delivery time. You will get a range instead. Should you have major changes, even this range might get extended. However, imagine reworking major parts of your traditionally developed platform once it is completely ready, and it becomes clearer why Agile is the way to go for a flexible process in which your needs are a constant priority.
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