If you’re new to the world of software development, you might not be familiar with the wide array of processes that are out there. Maybe you’re wondering, what is a software development process anyhow? The answer is actually surprisingly simple: it’s how the various stages in making and deploying software are organized. There’s a lot more to it than that, but don’t worry because we’ve got an article all about how one goes about picking the process that’s right for them!
We’ll start by going over some definitions before talking about why this question even arises in the first place. From there, we’ll move into discussing some key considerations to think about when choosing your process on where it should be best suited. You’ll learn about where Waterfall versus Agile is a better fit, how to properly handle the organizational aspects of your process, and what’s in store for the future!
Defining Software Development Process
First off, let’s cover some basic concepts regarding software development processes. We’ll start with a few definitions. When it comes to software development processes, there are two main categories to know about: Waterfall and Agile. A waterfall model refers to a sequential process where each stage must be completed before the next one can begin. On the other hand, an Agile model refers to an iterative approach in which work is done simultaneously across several stages. Although the terminology itself is sometimes confusing, the concept actually isn’t.
Once you understand the difference in how Agile and Waterfall products are developed, you’ll find it easier to decide which one will work best for your company. You’ll also have a better understanding of how both of them differ from one another. To get a more thorough understanding of how each process works, let’s take a closer look at each of them.
In Waterfall, there are typically four stages: analysis, design, implementation, and testing. Each stage must be completed before moving on to the next stage. Agile, on the other hand, comprises the following three stages: elaboration, iteration, and stabilization.
In Waterfall, you generally have a set amount of time for each stage. You start by defining what you’re going to make and when the entire project is going to be completed. Then, each stage begins with a plan being created for what needs to be done during that particular stage. The final step is when all of the steps from earlier are reviewed by peers or senior members in order to confirm that they were done correctly. Overall, it’s a fairly restrictive process which makes it difficult at times for companies who want more flexibility with their development schedules.
When it comes to the Agile development process, the development process is much more flexible. It’s also more collaborative as all members of the organization can help contribute to each stage. As a result, it’s less expensive since it provides an opportunity for organizations to make changes during each stage.
Does that mean Agile is better than Waterfall? Not necessarily; they’re both good processes and work well in different circumstances. For instance, if you’re a larger company with many diverse stakeholders, Agile may be a better choice for you since it doesn’t require as much planning and allows for more flexibility in terms of how long each phase should take.
On the other hand, Waterfall works well for companies that are more focused on delivering something quickly. In these cases, you’d likely choose a waterfall process.
Choosing a Process
You’ve either already decided to go through the Agile development process or you’re planning on trying it in the future, but at this point, you still haven’t quite figured out what your process will be like. At this point, you need to ask yourself some key questions about how your company will work and what it needs in relation to its development process. Here are some questions that should help guide your decisions:
How much does each stage of the process cost?
This is largely driven by how long it takes for a stage to complete. Shorter time windows mean a process is more costly. Is your company large or small? Larger companies tend to have more people who want to be involved in the development process. How much experience do they have? Experience generally means that people are better at what they do. Make sure you understand how powerful each role is and how experienced they are in their field. What’s your average team size? This obviously depends on how many people are on your team, but the average tends to hover around 5-10 on an agile software development team.
In addition to the above questions, there are a few other considerations related to organizational issues that you should keep in mind when deciding on your process. These include things like how will anyone work with one another, what constitutes a good quality product, and even how you will be paid. This particular article isn’t meant to give you all the answers to these questions because each company has different needs.
Let us have a brief look at the agile development process to understand it in a better and clear way-
AGILE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Organizations that are all Agile tend to have some core values in place. For example, they might be pretty collaborative and allow people to adapt to change as it happens. They might also work towards continuous improvement and not limit their work based on how much time has passed.
On the other hand, organizations that are a mix of both Waterfowl and Agile tend to run into problems with their development processes. The biggest difference is that Agile’s aim is always for continuous improvement whereas Waterfall’s focus is on delivering something as quickly as possible. While it may seem like a small difference at face value, it can make a big impact when it comes down to actually planning which stage should take longer in the process.
Benefits of Agile development process
The biggest benefit to using Agile development is the fact that it allows your company to deliver working software quickly and efficiently. Software projects are expensive, and the digital era has only brought about an increase in their costs. This is especially true for larger companies that have the resources to hire more programmers. This means that they can afford to hire a few people specifically for the purpose of creating something that works well and getting it out as soon as possible. With Waterfowl, you generally have a set amount of time in which you must complete each stage. This can make things a little more difficult since you must take into consideration complaints, changes, etc.
On the other hand, Agile software development helps to avoid some of these issues by requiring that each stage be completed in shorter time frames. You still have to consider what needs to be done as well as when everything will be completed, but you can accomplish this in a way that is much more flexible and efficient.
How to Use Agile Methodology
One of the main obstacles that many organizations have with their software development process is the fact that it can seem too complicated for some people to understand. With Agile, however, the process is very simple. The most important thing to remember is that everyone should be involved with all stages of the process.
The first step when using this methodology is to define what it means for a feature to be complete. It’s quite common for software companies to use checklists like those found on this website which helps them decide exactly what needs to be done in each stage and when the work will be complete. From there, it’s just a matter of determining how long each task should take and everyone deciding how they’ll interact with one another.
Once everyone understands what they should be doing, it’s just a matter of getting started. This is generally where the Waterfall methodology might win because people already understand their roles. There’s no need to discuss things further. With Agile, however, you still need to make sure that people know how much longer a certain task will take as well as when it will be complete. Otherwise, they may end up doing a lot more work than they should and having nothing to show for it at the end of the day.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to planning your time with Agile software development so it can seem like everything is moving very slowly at first. However, the key is to make sure that everyone understands what they should be doing and how it will fit into the overall process. Once teams start understanding this, they’re able to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time.
Pay for Productivity
The last organizational issue we’ll discuss here is one that can really impact your entire process. This issue also has two parts: one related to how money is allocated and another which concerns transparency. Both of these parts are sometimes overlooked because companies may focus on using Agile software development as their only process for creating new products. However, there are other ways to get your product out faster and with fewer bugs than you might expect just from using Agile alone. In this case, there’s one thing that can help the most and it has to do with transparency. When anyone who works on a project knows exactly what needs to be done and how they can do it, they’re able to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. This is why companies should rely heavily on another process called Kanban.
Kanban software development is actually a type of Agile method which focuses on two main goals: transparency and productivity. The secret to its success is that it allows everyone involved in a project to understand everything that’s going on with the team and what each person is working on at any given time.
This is all about the different software development processes. For more information on the same, you can get in touch with Blue Agile and get the best information on the same.