Developing Software Products: Agile or Traditional Model?
When it comes to software product development, organizations are faced with a persistent need to have the ability to adapt themselves to complex environments and needs. This need for the ability to quickly adjust can be defined as system agility. Much in the same manner that all other areas of life are dynamic, so is the life cycle of software development models. As the overall environment changes in a startup or product requirements that may evolve, the needs will change, and the manner in which that software is developed will also change to conform with the needs of the stakeholders and users that use it. Maintaining this type of agility requires architects with agility, as well as agile tools and methods. When it comes to software product development, the idea is to sustain the discipline necessary for optimal quality, while possessing the agility necessary to meet the need for constant change.
While it may seem that the agile software product development method would be an automatic choice for most instances, there may be times in which a traditional model will be more conducive to producing the software product that is needed.
Working with a Traditional Model
Traditional models call for a more precise approach in which teams will work according to a highly detailed plan that consists of a comprehensive list of detailed characteristics in addition to specific tasks that will have to be completed within a specified period of time, because the specificity is related to the product and its lifecycle. This type of model is 100 percent dependent on the requirement analysis and precise planning at the initiation of the lifecycle. Additionally, any type of changes that take place will have to be filtered through a strict change management process and may cost more.
Understanding the Agile Model
Agile methodologies are reflective of the use of adaptive software development mechanisms and practices. The agile model uses an adaptive approach in which there is no detailed list of pre defined requirements, but only those user stories that are absolutely necessary for the development of the software product. When it comes to product development cycles, the demand for change favors the adaptive model, because it has the potential to extend the lifecycle of the product. When a software product is highly specified and locked into the constraints created by a more traditional development approach, it is likely that the product will quickly become outdated. The digital world is a rapidly evolving force, which means that the tools and mechanisms that users depend on must evolve.
In the past, the use of traditional methods meant that the only evolutionary process for software products was to create a new one; however, agile software product development models allow for the development of software products that have the agility to be readapted as the need arises. With evolving new ways of delivering software as service using cloud, no wonder Agile has become most preferred way to perform software product development in modern times.