Having a new programme developed is costly and takes time and resources. It is therefore particularly important that the result is right. Agile software development is an approach that differs from traditional software development and aims to deliver good solutions quickly.

Agile Software Development

Having a new program developed is costly, takes time and resources. Therefore, it is particularly important that the result is right. Agile software development is an approach to work that stands out from classic software development and is intended to deliver good solutions quickly.

What does Agile Software Development stand for?

Agile software development is a way of working to develop new software products. This is not the concrete application of a specific method, but rather a way of thinking. An agile development process is charac­terized by a flexible, iterative process that does not adhere to a previously defined plan, but is designed to create the best possible result.

Various aspects play a special role in agile software development:

  • Speed
  • Flexibility
  • Transparency
  • User Orientation

Speed and Flexibility

With agile software development, work can be done faster and more flexibly than in the classic approach. It is tried to implement as fast as possible first partial functions of the software and to test in practice. Thus on the one hand a part of the software is already available after short time. On the other hand, direct use in practice makes it easy to find errors and potential for improvement and to optimize the software in an iterative process. If reasonable or necessary changes occur during the development process, they should be checked and followed up. This saves on time-consuming processes such as documen­tation. This is done at the minimum necessary.

Transparency and User Orientation

If software development is designed in an agile manner, an intensive exchange with the later users of the software is also crucial. Close cooperation between the later users of the software and the developers can ensure that the finished software also corresponds exactly to the user needs. This is achieved through interaction and exchange between the people involved and should not be replaced by the use of tools.

The difference between classical and agile Software

The classic method for developing software, the so-called waterfall model, follows a process with several stages. In contrast to the agile method, the final product is defined in great detail in a project plan right at the beginning. This is then implemented in several phases. Only when one phase has been completed the next one can be started. If change requests arise at a later point in time, an adjustment is very time-consuming. Developers cannot easily return to earlier phases of the project with this method.

In contrast to this, in agile software development more flexible reaction to changes can be made. Since work is done in iterative steps, there is a constant review of the necessity and adaptation of individual development steps.

What are the advantages of Agile Software Development?

Compared to classic software development, the agile model offers several advantages.

  • Due to the rapid development of individual parts of the product, the first functional (partial) results are quickly available.
  • These (partial) results can already be tested while the development is still running. Change requests can thus be implemented flexibly.
  • Close cooperation between the various project partners results in a special product tailored to the user needs.
  • Through short communi­cation channels, misdeve­lopments can be avoided. This also means a minimization of costs and risk.
  • If usage requirements or the market change during the development process, they can be easily addressed.
  • High Quality of the End Product.

Which disad­vantages and challenges are there in Agile Software Development?

Like all processes, agile software development has many advantages as well as some disad­vantages. Close collabo­ration between different departments, for example, always carries the risk of conflicts of interest. An agile way of working can only work if everyone involved works construc­tively towards a goal.

In addition, carrying out software development in an agile manner goes hand in hand with worse plannability, since deadlines are not set until the project is underway. Therefore, a high degree of personal respon­sibility and goal-oriented, speedy work by the project participants is necessary to achieve the project goal. At the same time, contracts should be negotiated in such a way that they offer security and allow room for maneuver.