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Can Startups Benefit from Agile Development?

Can Startups Benefit from Agile Development?

Change - Agile Development
Agile development is a common methodology used to approach development projects. It takes a flexible, teamwork-based approach to development that has proven to be very successful.

But what about startups?

Can a startup firm in the technology sector benefit from the application of Agile methodology?

To answer this question, we will first need to explore the unique challenges facing startups.

The Nature of Startup Life

A startup firm is often loosely defined as a new business that is not profitable, and the business owners are okay with that – it is a time to innovate, grow, and develop.

It is worth noting that being part of a startup can be very exciting. For instance:

  • Things are constantly changing each day.
  • Everything moves along quickly.
  • You are working on ‘the next big thing.’
  • You are surrounded by creativity and passion.

Unfortunately, because of the excitement, rapid growth, and abundance of creative ideas, challenges are likely to arise as well.

  • The business does not have a defined roadmap.
  • Approaches to development are disorganized and chaotic.
  • Early market reactions do not provide sufficient data to adjust long-term strategies.

And these are just to name a few. An infographic published by Clarity offers a very comprehensive list of struggles faced by many new startups:

The missing key to successful growth for most startups is to have an action plan for development – one that is flexible and dynamic.

At first glance, it appears that Agile development methodology may be an effective solution.

What Makes Agile Development Methodology Effective

Agile development allows for flexibility, especially if immediate change is required. The core concepts of this development model include the use of sprints, backlogs, daily standup meetings, and user stories.

Let’s review each.

  • User stories – Feedback from users serves as a leading indicator in terms of what needs to happen next
  • Sprints – These are short phases of development that are planned with input from the entire team. A single sprint can be as short as a week
  • Backlogs – These are complete lists of priorities and next steps that need to be addressed. The items appearing on a backlog often originate from user stories
  • Daily standup meetings – Sometimes referred to as scrum meetings, daily standups identify what needs to be done, and any issues that need to be collaborated on that day for fast resolution

In short, the Agile method is an effective approach because it breaks down development into small pieces. From documentation to testing, newly developed features can be ready for deployment in as little as a week.

This contributes to increased transparency, team synergy, and effective problem solving.

The Process of Agile Development

To get a better understanding of how Agile methodology is applied to development projects, let’s review the steps necessary to successfully complete a single print:

  • The development team meets and creates a backlog
  • The team defines their next burst of development – a sprint
  • User stories help to identify who will be responsible for different components in the sprint
  • The sprint begins
  • Daily standup meetings are held, allowing each team member to state his or her progress, projected progress, and any outstanding challenges
  • At the end of the sprint, what went did and did not go well is reviewed

From there, the process repeats itself.

The beauty of Agile development is that it permits everyone on the team to provide input, ask questions, and gain a greater understanding of the intended outcome.

It is a fun, engaging, and teamwork-based approach to development.

Does Agile Methodology Work for Startups?

To answer this question, let’s compare several factors.

  • Startups require development to happen quickly.
  • Agile methodology breaks development into short sprints.
  • Startup teams work very closely together.
  • Agile methodology takes a teamwork-based approach to problem solving.
  • Startups depend upon every individual to contribute ideas.
  • Agile methodology requires input from every team member.
  • Startups depend upon user feedback to define priorities.
  • Agile methodology has teams develop backlogs based on user stories.

In conclusion, Agile development methodology is a perfect fit for most startups. It helps to alleviate the chaos and disorganization that startup teams often face.

Final Thought

As with any project, a clear roadmap for success and a structured approach to development goes a long way.

Choosing to implement the Agile method in your startup provides a way to keep things moving quickly, maintain a teamwork based atmosphere, and ensure that every team member has a say.

The key to Agile methodology, whether your development team is on-site or offshore, is segmenting large projects into smaller pieces, and maintaining clear communication between all team members.

Do you believe the Agile method is a good fit for your startup?

Why, or not why?

Leave a comment below – we would love to hear from you.

Top iOS 8 features- Score more with your apps

Top iOS 8 features- Score more with your apps

iOS 8_top_features_classic_Informatics

This year at World Wide Developers Conference keynote, Apple spent a significant amount of time focusing on and speaking about the iOS 8. And it got everyone thinking about how the new version would look like. But you will have wait until September for the iOS 8 release. That’s too long, right? Well, being in the iOS app development business has its perks. The new operating system is available for iOS developers and we will tell you what makes iOS 8 more than just a new number.

No redesigning has been done to the new operating system. iOS 8 is built on iOS 7, taking its design and has included new features to it. The latest iOS updates are nothing like you have seen before. The new iOS 8 features will let the third parties score more with their apps. Yes, Apple is finally allowing the third-party apps to communicate with its own operating system as well as server through a number of extensions. The extensions that will allow the app developers to make apps are:

  • Today Extensions 

    Like Windows Phone’s Live Tiles and Android’s home screen widget, iOS 8’s Today extension will let you show limited information in the Today view in the Notification Center.

  • Share Extensions 

    Share extensions will let you share information from one app to online service. While one could share links or photos on Facebook and Twitter earlier also, the iOS8 is now open for online services such as Tumblr and Pinterest as well.

  • Action Extensions 

    The most interesting of all extensions, Action extensions will allow apps to manipulate or view content in another app. For example, by using Bing Translate one can translate the text in a Safari window.

  • Custom Keyboard Extensions 

    With the Custom keyboard extension, you can ditch the default keyboard and use third-party keyboards such as Fleksy or Swype.

  • Photo Editing Extensions 

    The Photo editing extensions will allow the use of third-party photo editing apps by the users without exiting the main Photos app. This opens the way for many more photo apps like VSCO cam.

  • Storage Provider Extensions 

    Storage provider extensions will let apps select documents from a variety of cloud services, such as Microsoft’s OneDrive, Dropbox and iCloud.