An agile software development process always starts by defining a product’s users and documenting a vision statement for the scope of problems, opportunities, and values to be addressed. The product owner captures this vision and works with a multidisciplinary team (or teams) to deliver on it.
Flexibility in deliverable
Traditional project management methods generally only had the project team in touch with the customer at the start and end of the project. As a result, if customer requirements or expectations were not captured correctly in the beginning or changed over time, the project team had no idea until it was too late. With Agile, there’s ongoing contact throughout the entire process and iterative deliveries to ensure your team is on track, so the end product will be exactly what the customer wants.
What if your customer told you halfway through a project that they needed a scope change? Using a traditional approach to project management, this either couldn’t be accommodated or likely involved significant increases to both the project cost and schedule. With Agile, you can incorporate changes with minimal effort, no matter how far along the project.
Agile incorporates a continuous development approach that ensures your team is continuously delivering workable products. Instead of waiting for six to 12 months or longer for an end product, your client is getting a working version of the product at much shorter intervals, typically every two to four weeks.
Lower project risk
Your team is developing versions of the product regularly and getting customer feedback early. Breaking a large project into iterations reduces your risk of iteration or draft failure. You’re more likely to find minor problems that can be addressed quickly rather than discovering a significant issue. You’ll have invested less time and money if you encounter a problem.
Agile supports collaboration and continuous improvement, leading to innovation and the development of new products and features. Co-locating teams and having daily meetings encourage brainstorming and idea creation. Agile supports an “idea meritocracy” where the best ideas win. The project team, stakeholders, and the customer can figure out functionality and features together.