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Agile Software Development : The iPF Softwares Way

Agile Software Development : The iPF Softwares Way

By Grayson  |  Apr 29, 2022

95% of digital solutions built at iPF Softwares are delivered using the agile software development methodology. However, depending on the nature of the project and other circumstances, we sometimes use a waterfall software development methodology.

We started to adopt the agile development methodology sometime in 2017, after a complete failure in one of our earliest in-house projects, a mobile application SAAS solution we had built using waterfall development methodology, it was about time to explore and begin the agile transformation for the entire company. 

Despite our initial understanding of agile software development, we realized we needed to dig deeper in order to assess the benefits we could reap beyond what we had learned from school.

We formed an agile experts team to establish a long-term plan for a company-wide agile transformation, and we dedicated a few hours every Friday to our in-house training program (#HackITFriday) to teach our team the best practices of agile software development.

In this article, I am going to explain how Agile Software development methodology has helped our company to successfully design and develop mobile applications, website applications, and custom software solutions for corporates, government, NGOs, SMEs, and startups using agile software development methodology and successfully deployed over 8 countries in Africa.

What is Agile Software Development 

According to Jim Highsmith, creator, and author of “ Adaptive Software Development “.

Agility is the ability to adapt and respond to change...agile organisations view change as an opportunity, not a threat
Agile Software Development ExplainedAgile Software Development Explained

Agile is an attitude, not a technique 

To be able to adapt the agile software development approach requires a change of mindset and attitude of business leaders, innovators, and product owners. 

It requires learning, and a will to adapt to change, our 2017 transformation journey did not only happen in our organization we had to make sure our existing clients and partners are on board and we learned and adapted together.

Agile is an attitude, not a technique with boundaries. An attitude has no boundaries, so we wouldn't ask 'can I use agile here', but rather 'how would I act in the agile way here?' or 'how agile can we be, here?'

Agile Vs Waterfall

There is no simpler way to explain Agile development than comparing it to Waterfall Software Development Methodology. 

The Waterfall model is a sequential development process that falls like a waterfall ( hence the name), through all stages of a project from analysis, design, programming, testing to deployment, with each phase fully completed before the next begins. 

If there was a mantra for the waterfall model it would be "measure twice, cut once."  The Waterfall model's success is determined by the amount and quality of work done in the early stages of the project, which includes documenting everything in advance, including the user interface, user stories, and all feature variants and outcomes.

Agile Vs WaterfallAgile Vs Waterfall

The illustration above, explains in very simple steps the difference between Agile and Waterfall development. 

Imagine you have hired us to give you an alternative means of transport for moving from point A to B, and it should be luxurious and functional. 

If we use the waterfall model to solve this problem, we'll have to wait around a year before we can test our finished product. That's a long time to wait, because conditions may have changed, requirements may have changed, and the end results may not be as useful.

Approaching the problem the agile way, it will give an opportunity to learn the challenges, adapt and iterate quickly. 

The objective is to develop a usable and functioning feature at the end of each sprint, so instead of waiting to get in your luxury automobile for the first sprint, you will have a minimal viable product (MVP) - Skateboard, which will allow you to start moving, however slowly.

The next phase will be to develop and strengthen your product based on your comments and experience, giving you more control over what you need to add or remove from the initial release, as you continue adding value to your product.

“ In order to give our clients true freedom of adaptation to new market demands, we are only planning the work to be done for two weeks and then take a pause, reflect and plan for another two weeks. This way all necessary changes and new ideas are being incorporated with consistency and in a controlled manner. The scrum framework we are using to engineer products demands so, and it just is a sensible approach to keep up with today's fast-changing market. ”

Benefits of Agile Software Development 

If you've ever been involved in the software development cycle, from requirement gathering to design, development, and deployment; whether you've been a product owner, designer, or developer, you'll agree with me that software requirements are likely to change.

And there's nothing wrong with that; in most cases, it's a positive thing, as long as the change benefits the end customers. In such a scenario, the product owners (the ones who make all the decisions) should keep the team informed whenever the product requires adjustments.

The agile software development methodology is an excellent choice for delivering a high-quality product in an iterative manner, with higher stakeholder satisfaction.

Below are the key benefits of using Agile Software Development:- 

  • Quality digital solution : By breaking down a large product into smaller components, the development team can focus on quality and engagement ( sprints ). Regular testing and reviews at the end of each iteration also help your team to spot and fix bugs early on, as well as highlight anomalies between customer expectations and the product.

  • Higher team satisfaction : When stakeholders are included in the decision-making process, they are more engaged in the process. Consumers are only involved in the planning stage in the traditional model, but in Agile, they are actively involved in the development process, which has an impact on the product's flexibility and adaptability.

  • Efficient Risk Management : Users will not use a product that is slow to load or has a number of flaws. Agile stresses iterative delivery, so there is always room for improvement at the end of each iteration. In addition, the Agile software development team can quickly resolve problems, and all potential risks will be managed on time.
  • Better Project Control : Agile projects are transparent, focus on critical features, and are based on user feedback, so project managers have more control over the development process. Quality is ensured throughout the development lifecycle, and all stakeholders are involved in the project.

Always delivering above and beyond

We work in a fast-paced environment that requires us to learn, adapt and change with the pace. 

We will continue to build on agile software development, which appears to be the way to go at the present.

While we are adaptable in our approach, our ultimate aim remains the same, being part of the solution by building and delivering impactful digital solutions that will disrupt the way people do things through technology in Africa.


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