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Agile Software Development

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@2020-12-27 17:12:18

Benefits vs. constraints

The following benefits and constraints you may run into from using Agile practices on your next project.

Benefits:

  • Agile projects deliver quickly.

  • New requirements can be swiftly incorporated into the design, the team, and priorities.

  • There is stakeholder engagement throughout the development process to review and improve the products and projects being delivered.

  • Transparency and openness are encouraged with a focus on improvement over blame.

  • Projects that aren’t successful can quickly be contained, repaired, or retired entirely to save money.

  • Defects and required enhancements are caught early because changes are tested over small iterations. These are picked up and added to future sprints in the sprint planning phase (for the Scrum method) or added into the backlog based on importance for the next delivery by the team (for the Kanban method).

  • Teams can adapt how they work, providing a more productive and satisfactory working environment by portraying mood and highlighting issues in retrospective sessions.

  • Documentation is less time consuming and costly because it is limited to use cases, test cases, user stories, and other artifacts over detailed product documentation. Documentation, as a result, is leaner and more concentrated, although admittedly less detailed.

Constraints:

  • Agile projects can be chaotic if not managed well or if the team does not engage in the practices.

  • Documentation can become quickly and easily out of date where teams have little time to write it over, reducing defects. This makes it hard for new team members to get up to speed and increases the number of duplicated conversations and confusion over why decisions were originally made.

  • A lot of time is spent in scrums, retrospectives, sprint planning, mood discussions, and stakeholder meetings which can strain time and money.

  • If there is no clear end-goal, the scope can forever increase with no defined measurement of success.

  • Good design is delayed in preference of quickly adding new features. This can lead to extra work in the long run because the functionality that hasn’t been thoroughly worked out may receive negative feedback and increase defects as more users start to use them.

  • With teams that are highly knowledgeable about their specific projects, members cannot always be easily replaced with low-cost resources, which can be essential to keeping a project within budget. This inability to outsource can cause significant headaches for organizations with low-cost thresholds. This also relates to teams needing to be entirely remote or entirely co-located, which can limit the available resource pool.

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