In the age of digitization, activities such as software development, software architecture design, process automation, and more have gained prominence. They are no longer breakthroughs that were new to the market. In 2023, businesses operating in almost every industry and operating at all scales have started driving digitization by designing and developing robust applications.

However, the software development methodologies used by developers have evolved over time. Today, businesses prefer development methodologies that facilitate flexibility, scalability, and speed. This is the reason why companies around the world are flocking toward Agile development. If you are willing to design and develop powerful business-specific applications, it is advisable to implement Agile development methodologies within your organization.

Before discussing while Agile development is so important in the age of digitization, let us briefly understand what the methodology is.

What is Agile Development?

Agile development, also simply referred to as Agile, is a modern development methodology that predicts the need for flexibility while building software and delivers the final product through logical and practical processes. Instead of focusing on the entire product (application) to be built, Agile development focuses on the smaller parts of the project to ensure clean, quick, and fast deliveries.

The Agile development process facilitates seamless collaboration and helps your teams in an evolving digital landscape without losing focus on building a robust software application. The methodology involves different members of the team being well-versed with their respective roles and working in sync with each other toward common objectives to be achieved.

Implementing Agile development makes developers and their teams feel more confident about their work as it facilitates building a strong application that is thoroughly tested. You can make necessary changes to the application throughout the course of its development according to your needs and preferences.

Agile manifesto and the Core values

The birth of Agile development can be traced back to 2001 when 17 software developers gathered to discuss the idea of lightweight and flexible software development. This led to the creation of the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto consists of four core values of Agile development that hold true even today.

Here are the four core Agile values that help software developers around the world build strong and responsive applications:

1. Individual interactions are above processes and tools

The Agile methodology gives more importance to people and interpersonal interactions than development processes and tools. According to Agile, if tools and processes start influencing software development, people would be less likely to respond and stay in sync with the same, leading to unsatisfactory software development.

2. Preference for working Software over thorough documentation

Earlier, developers used to spend a good amount of time documenting a product before engaging in actual development. This resulted in a lengthy list of document requirements that resulted in unwanted delays in development.

While the Agile development process does not eliminate the need for documentation completely, it streamlines documentation in a way that developers are provided with only the most necessary information. Here, the focus is primarily on the working software being built instead of documentation.

3. Collaboration over Contract negotiations

Agile development encourages collaboration between a client and a software developer instead of negotiations when it comes to building a software application. Instead of keeping the client aloof from the development process and negotiating with them at later stages, the Agile development process asks developers to involve their clients throughout the course of the project.

This gives more surety to software developers about the product they are working on and allows them to make necessary changes as and when they are required. By the end of the project, developers would build an application that is in perfect sync with the client’s requirements.

4. Responding to change

Earlier, software development did not welcome change as it was seen as an undesired expense. Agile changes this notion by stressing the need to respond to changes. According to the modern development methodology, it is important for software developers to alter their approach and adjust according to the changing environment.

The principles of Agile development

Along with the four core values, the Agile Manifesto also contains 12 distinct principles to guide developers in building powerful applications.

Here are the principles of Agile development that you should be aware of:

  1. Satisfy your clients with early, continuous, and valuable delivery of work
  2. Break bigger projects into smaller tasks that can be handled effectively
  3. Acknowledge that the best work results from self-organizing teams
  4. Give motivated professionals the support and environment that is best for them and trust them for getting the job done
  5. Create processes that incline towards sustainable efforts
  6. Keep a steady pace for completing the work
  7. Be open to changes, even if they show up late during the project
  8. Assemble business owners and the software development team on a daily basis throughout the course of your project
  9. Have your team reflect on how to increase its effectiveness at regular intervals and make necessary adjustments
  10. Measure your progress by the amount of work done
  11. Keep seeking excellence
  12. Harness change to have a competitive advantage

Why is Agile Development Important?

Although the Agile Manifesto was created more than two decades ago, the Agile development process has never lost relevance. In fact, as more and more businesses are driving digitization, they have been seeking software developers that follow the Agile development methodology.

1. Improved Time-to-market

Agile development helps you enhance the time-to-market when it comes to developing and deploying your software application. As the entire project is divided into smaller chunks and each chunk is looked after by dedicated professionals, it increases the speed of the overall project, helping you launch your application without any delays.

2. Seamless Testing

Testing plays a very important role in Agile development. This development methodology involves testing your application throughout the course of the project, making sure there is no compromise with the quality of the product.

Every stage of Agile development involves analyzing the efficiency and functionality of the application being developed. If any issues or irregularities are found, they are resolved immediately instead of dealing with them at the end of the development lifecycle. This helps you develop high-quality software applications that cater to all the needs of your client.

3. High Flexibility

One of the biggest reasons why Agile development is still relevant (and highly preferred); it encourages high flexibility throughout the development process. Irrespective of the stage you are at, Agile allows you to make relevant changes to the product being developed and your approach without having to start from scratch. High flexibility allows developers to be more creative and work without worrying about hitting roadblocks.

4. Keeping the spirit of Collaboration alive

While Agile development divides a project into multiple segments, it facilitates complete collaboration between the different team members and between the developers and their clients. It takes everyone having a vested interest in the project seriously and keeps everyone on the same page.

As Agile development includes testing and reviewing after every sprint (development phase), it allows all your members to be in sync with each other before moving to the next stage of development. This leads to systematic and efficient software

5. High Transparency

Throughout the course of a project, Agile development ensures that the status of the project is visible to every stakeholder at all times. It focuses on keeping everyone informed at every stage and ask their valuable feedback as well. There are no secrets and hidden processes involved in the Agile development process as it promoted complete transparency from beginning to end.

6. Empowered team members

Agile development allows developers to build self-organized and self-managing teams where all members shoulder important responsibilities towards completing the project. It allows each of the members involved to take ownership of the tasks they are required to perform and encourages all stakeholders to trust them with the same. This empowers the team members to give their best and ensure the efficient development of software applications.

7. Continuous focus on end-users

Agile development encourages developers to have a continuous focus on the end-user of the product being developed. From start to finish, it involves adding value to the product according to the needs and preferences of the end-users. Customer satisfaction and enhanced user satisfaction drive this methodology, allowing businesses to build healthy relations with their customers.

8. Scope for continuous improvement

The Agile development process does not end with the development and launch of a software application. It always leaves scope for continuous improvement in the product to prevent hitting stagnation. Moreover, this allows developers to stay in sync with the constant changes in the trends and technological advancements taking place in the industry by making necessary upgrades to the applications built.

The Final Word

These were some of the major reasons why Agile development is the need of the hour in 2023. It helps you stay in tune with the constantly changing tech trends, develop robust software applications, and cater to the needs of your clients in the best way possible.