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Agile Software Development

Why Agile Software Development is Proven To Be Impacting Every Industry

Since the dawn of civilization, agility has been a trait that has allowed the brain of human beings to survive and evolve in what were often treacherous times. For example, the advent of iron for farming and hunting tools was the quintessential “agile development,” and it fundamentally changed the arc of human evolution. These early tools allowed men and women to pivot from less productive activities to those that maximized their work, every day. Fast forward to today where agile software development is quickly becoming essential.

A new type of “Agile Development” is now being employed for modern-day tools such as computer software. This should surprise no one. Innovative business leaders have extolled the benefits of “agility” for many years. The late Chairman and CEO of Accenture, Pierre Nanterme, presciently said:        

“Success is no longer about changing strategies more often but having the agility to execute multiple strategies concurrently.”

Now that agile software development has become a part of the vernacular of contemporary business leaders, thoughts about its benefits and deployment should be considered. Asinpa, a custom software development company, is leading the way in this discussion.

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What is Agile Software Development?

To understand the ramifications of agile software development, it helps to have a little history lesson. According to this source, “By the mid-1990s, many software professionals had become frustrated with development processes that micro-managed them and overlooked their needs. Iterative development methods already existed, but these developers needed something more dynamic to help them work. Software was becoming increasingly sophisticated. They wanted more freedom to shape their projects. So, they began to streamline an approach where they could stay flexible and respond to design challenges as these emerged. Appropriately, they called it ‘Agile.’”

The founder and CEO of Asinpa, Gustavo (Tavo) Vasconcelos offers a working definition of agile development. “There are many definitions out there. At Asinpa, we subscribe to the “Agile Manifesto.”. In a nutshell, Agile allows us to embrace and adapt to change. We often refer to Agile as a framework. An iterative development process that focuses on incremental value-delivery because of continuous planning and collaboration done by a self-organizing team.”

Why has this Agile development approach garnered a great deal of support from both large and smaller enterprises? James Rock (link to the new James Rock bio on the new website), of Asinpa adds, “You can look at this in two ways.   With an Agile approach, the team organizes the work that will result in a demonstrable/shippable product, creating a transparent process for progress/deliverable and affirmation. Which validates MVP (minimum viable product). Interestingly, it allows us to FAIL much sooner. However, it also allows us to adapt and do a course correction much sooner. In the past with a ‘waterfall approach,’ which is a linear, sequential approach to the software development lifecycle, it would take months if not years for projects to be canceled, resulting in bigger losses for the companies.

“The shortened product feature lifecycle encourages closer real-time feedback by the “product owner.” This enables the team to identify the MVP features easily, creating useful software in the least amount of time possible.”

Signs An Enterprise Should Consider Agile Development

For software development, should an enterprise catch a wave on the “waterfall” or opt for agile? Tavo offers his professional opinion. 

“An enterprise should consider using agile development if the organization would benefit from smaller, incremental feature deliveries that respond to the business’s most pressing needs. When implemented correctly, agile framework is great in situations where project details/direction are unknown. For example, if adaptiveness and response to change resulting from software development is unknown, agile development is a much more prudent decision.

“We are sometimes asked if one industry, over another, benefits more from agile development. Frankly, every industry benefits from this agile approach.”

The Asinpa Approach to Agile Software Development

The methodology Asinpa uses for this innovative software development with a client is straight-forward. James Rock explains.

“Of course, It varies based on the engagement,” he said. “However, generally speaking, we follow this action plan:

  • Build the team and agree on roles and responsibilities to maximize collaboration between client and Asinpa’s.
  • Backlog generation – we have “grooming sessions” to detail out and estimate the most important items of the product.
  • Release planning (This is feature-driven vs date-driven).
  • Sprint planning – This is one iteration that will yield demonstrable progress (e.g., something that client can push into production).
  • During the sprint cycle we have daily stand-ups to ensure team is making the right progress and to help with any challenges (called “Impediments” in Agile).
  • At the end of each sprint cycle the team does a demonstration of their progress. (This makes our progress fully transparent)
  • To close the sprint cycle, the team does a retrospective:
    • What did we do in this sprint that didn’t help? So, we can stop doing that.
    • What did we do in this sprint that was helpful? How can we do more of it?
    • What are one or two things that we should do differently? – This is to improve velocity and quality.
  • Rinse and repeat. It’s on to the next sprint!

A Fundamental Change

“Agile software development is much more than ‘the next shiny object,’’ Tavo concludes. “This is a fundamental change – for the better – in custom software development. 

“Of course, some of the steps within this process will evolve over time, but the basic approach of ‘Agile’ will change the expectations that companies have for efficient technology upgrades. We are pleased to be at the forefront of this shift.”

New and more efficient ways to develop custom software are part and parcel of the evolution of how companies take advantage of digital transformation.

If you would like to find out more about Agile development, contact Asinpa, for a no-obligation consultation on your company’s needs and objectives.

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