Are you agile? For app developers is it the best methodology?

Are you Agile? The best methodology in app development !

Are you Agile?. Although really through years of weekly(once!) running and daily morning 1 hour yoga, I am agile, but I did not mean that physically.

Agile started as a way to quickly develop software, now has turned into the major way everyone from coders, marketers to business startups develop software. It is the way in which industries are attempting to structure their strategies in order to keep up with a fast changing market. This is definitely true with mobile app development

In a world of consumption, the product or service that provides the most value is the one that will beat other products or services. The more efficiently you can provide your customers with adequate solutions and motivations to use your app the better you can provide value. In the end, the company that adapts the fastest to the ever-changing value streams of consumers, is the company that is going to beat their competition.

The key to being a successful company is providing evolving value to customers. Agile is helping businesses do this. The basis of an agile approach is as Andy Hunt says ‘to embrace change; to be aware of changes to the product under development, the needs and wishes of the users, the environment, the competition, the market, the technology; all of these can be volatile fountains of change.’ To embrace the flood of changes, agile methods advise us to “inspect and adapt.”

The philosophy is in contrast to the old style of business planning and management that sought to create the perfect business plan, the perfect well …‘waterfall’. Using market research and months of planning to fit/ find a market space. Then doing more market research to plan the perfect product to meet the needs of your consumers.

App development should no longer be a linear process, but a circular, never ending Agile one that includes all stakeholders working in tandem to rapidly launch a minimally viable product (MVP)  mobile app that can be put in the hands of the user as soon as possible. With a mindset of continuous improvement, and iterative development practices, app developers will receive rapid customer feedback and evolve the mobile app accordingly. This sure beats resetting the whole process and sending the app back to development, the way it used to be done.

A quick Google search asking “how long it takes to create a mobile app?” yields an outdated (from January 2013), and debatable answer 18 weeks.  A five to six month development deadline is not fast enough to keep up with evolving consumer expectations.

And, if mobile app development is too slow, then the finished product may not even work on mobile operating systems which are continuously releasing new versions, rendering slowly developed apps obsolete.

Agile seeks to accelerate the process. Planning a business with the “quick to fail, quick to adapt” mantra is what is guiding businesses today.

We iterate mobile app development sending it up the faster app stores weekly. Customers can get the feel of things to be done. Of course it brings the ‘dreaded’ additional scope creep!

One of the central aspects of developer-client communication is the feedback process. When it comes to designing and developing mobile apps, giving  good and effective feedback is required. We are working to develop Agile feedback best practices. It is important for clients and teammates to identify what the problems are and why they need to be fixed. Once the client and developer understand the full scope of a problem, then the developer can most effectively focus and find time to explore the best possible solution. Before you start design or development, the client and developer should agree on a mobile app making schedule built into the Agile Sprint flow. Make sure that schedule includes everyone needed especially the key app users who will be providing the most relevant feedback. The client should have enough time to review the mobile app internally and organize the feedback . For specific sprints, developers should try to request specific feedback from  customers. For instance, if Sprint 2 is focused on building out the app navigation flow, the developer should tell the customer to focus on navigation rather than on other parts of the app that may not be complete.The developer and client are on the same team; whether you are the client or the developer, everyone is working toward a common goal: Developing mobile apps and customer engagement and experiences the best they can be, for productive Sprints and great useful mobile app development.

Also indicative of the agile, never finished, mindset that has been helping businesses build and maintain good patronage.

Adaptive Path’s Brandon Schauer  has his better similar model for planning new experiences – the cupcake model. Start with something small, but very desirable. Move on to additional releases that also balance the expected (cake) with enough filling and icing to create a great experience that sets you apart.

When you are not sure about an mobile app’s performance, not sure about your app’s true potential, start small and safe. Simple.

Are you agile?
Are you agile?
What other frameworks are guiding business in a market of changing values? Is Agile just a fad? Or is it the way to success and the future?Please send your feedback.

Reference: Principles behind the Agile Manifesto. I endorse the agile manifesto.

But now we have the “Failure of agile”  by Andy Hunt one of the 17 founders of the agile manifesto of 2001.” The word “agile” has become sloganized; meaningless at best, jingoist at worst. We have large swaths of people doing “flaccid agile,” a half-hearted attempt at following a few select software development practices, poorly. We have scads of vocal agile zealots—as per the definition that a zealot is one who redoubles their effort after they’ve forgotten their aim.”

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With bachelor's and masters in engineering and technology I try my best to be ahead in engineering the mobile ecosystem!

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