Instead of using a sequential design process for software design needs, agile methodology proposes an incremental approach instead. This means that specific tasks will be assigned and completed by individuals or team members without regard to how much of a project has already been completed. It would be like writing a book, but instead of writing it from Chapter 1 to Chapter 10 sequentially, each chapter would be written independently through assignment.
If you’re considering agile methodology pros and cons for your next software design project, then here are some of the key points to consider.
What Are the Pros of Agile Methodology?
1. It forces a team to collaborate.
If you have different components of your software coming from different individuals or teams, then every group involved must have open and transparent communication with one another for the project to succeed. There cannot be any rogue elements in placed because otherwise the project will fail.
2. It lets clients get involved with the innovation process.
Because there is a forced level of transparency involved with agile methodology, there is a greater opportunity to bring in a client and allow them to participate as well. Clients can examine the progress being made, offer suggestions at every stage of development, and this improves the final outcome of the software design.
3. It forges a closer, more comprehensive relationship with each client.
Because clients can be so involved with the creation process through agile methodology, it creates a relationship that is naturally enhanced. This increases the chances of repetitive business occurring because the enhanced relationship builds a sense of loyalty with the client.
4. Deployment of the software happens more quickly.
For many software designers, the time it takes to bring a new product to market is a deadline that is always providing pressure. Agile methodology allows for a faster deployment to the market because instead of working sequentially and being forced to wait for each step to be completed, all of the steps of software design can occur simultaneously.
5. It is much easier to manage costs.
Clients have the ability to pay for their design project as each installment is completed. This can help some small businesses be able to afford projects that they may not otherwise be able to afford.
What Are the Cons of Agile Methodology?
1. The costs of software design are less predictable.
Until the design has been completed, there isn’t really a way to provide a client with a definitive cost for a project. Because so many tasks are completed simultaneously instead of sequentially like in the waterfall method, only rough estimates from past experiences can be offered. Although there is greater levels of client participation, the fluid cost structure can be enough to turn some clients away from this type of project.
2. It can only be truly implemented when clients make themselves available.
There must be client resources made available for agile methodology to work. Some clients may not realize this because they’re used to the waterfall methodology. Others may not be able to provide the needed resources. This means the first few days of a project can make it or break it and that puts a lot of pressure onto everyone.
3. Agile methodology can be difficult to understand.
There is a certain jargon that accompanies agile methodology that requires practice to understand. Even designers who attempt to use common language while discussing a project cannot eliminate all of the jargon from the explanation. For clients who don’t know the language of agile methodology, the stress that comes from repetitive explanations over a portion of the software design can be enough to scrap the project altogether.
4. It only works well for large software design projects.
Agile methodology is highly repetitive when it is functioning properly. Think of it like an assembly line for software design. One team or one individual is typically responsible for accomplishing the same task in every project. This means that the process works well for large projects, but small design projects are not suitable for this methodology because maintenance needs are better suited to the waterfall methodologies.
5. Timing can be problematic.
Some clients may require a specific time of completion. Because agile methodology is about quality over speed, it can be difficult to predict when a project will be completed.
These agile methodology pros and cons show that when participation and quality control are needed for a large design project, it is the best way to go. It may not be suitable for every project, but can be a great way to built relationship and encourage client involvement through transparent communication. Agile methodology should therefore always be considered when there is a large software design project which must be completed.