We’re in fast-moving times and this is making life exciting in software development. With a wider grasp on technology and how it can really influence and improve lives for so many, software development is the place to be.

The software development industry is overflowing with a deep-range of companies, thinkers, leaders, evangelists, and challengers. Everyone, is committed to seeing their ideas and solutions coming to fruition. From back-end technology that enables the user-facing instant gratification needs of technology, software development is everywhere.

And it’s for this very reason that its time for you to be working within an agile software development team and mindset. Think of how quickly your role as software developer, quality assurance specialist, product manager, technical writer, or user interface specialist has changed in the last couple of years. Now think of how well your team and company are functioning within this fast-paced environment.

At times it likely feels like a sink or swim situation – you’re just barely keeping up-to-date with the latest tools, methodologies, and client needs. The long days working on a project for three to six months are getting draining and it seems like you’re still behind on release date.

Yes – all signs are pointing towards needing a change to agile software development. Say good-bye to the old school methods of feature planning, development, testing, and documentation. You’re in the ideal situation to take advantage of the benefits of agile software development, thereby keeping yourself and your organization front-and-center in the quickening world of software and technology.

Read on to learn the top reasons for moving to agile software development. Email, share, and Tweet this article with your colleagues, boss, and friends – the more people who understand and believe in agile software development – the better the innovations, products, and services we create and deliver.

Quality Product

One of the major cornerstones of agile software development is in continual testing through-out the development cycle. By taking advantage of automated testing and the thorough review and application of user acceptance tests and plans – the code, GUI, documentation, and story as a whole are thoroughly tested and fixed before declaring the story done or ready.

This serves to deliver better features and code that actually work and fit together to deliver a quality product. Defects and blockers are identified early, fixed, and verified – nothing gets forgotten or ignored.

Transparency

With an agile approach, all clients (internal and external) are able to be involved and connected to the software development cycle. By taking advantage of a whiteboard or team wall approach – the stories, people involved, progress level, blockers, and success factors are clear and visible to everyone concerned.

This fosters better communication and collaboration across the team and makes it easier to get stakeholders involved when larger decisions need to be made about product direction. This transparency also makes it easier for the product owner, ScrumMaster, and PMO to manage the teams – no one is working in isolation hidden away in a cubicle.

Flexibility and Adaptability

As we highlighted above, the modern age of software development thrives on the ability to adapt and change. This is exactly what agile software development is designed for – equipping organizations with the skillsets, communication tools, collaboration techniques, and thinking that allows for change, flexibility, and agility.

Product release delays or products that require multiple patches to be functional, are a relic of the past with agile software development. Your team is able to adjust priorities, change focus or approach, and to add/remove stories as needed to ensure product quality is delivered.

User-Centric

There is nothing worse than working on a piece of code or feature and not knowing why you’re working on it. Because agile software development puts the user front-and-center, it’s much easier to design features and products that meet the real needs of the user.

The entire team is able to clearly see and realize the why behind what they’re working on. Depending on the team and organization, this user-first approach is also ideal for bringing the client into conversations more frequently and easily. The product owner should be in regular communication with the client, ensuring that the product is continuing to meet their needs and to assess future requirements.

Risk Management

The catch-22 of this fast-paced moving technology-driven environment is the risk that comes with chasing ideas. It can be easy to get caught up in  the latest product innovation, losing sight of why you’re doing the work or for whom you’re doing the work – meanwhile, the costs and resource demands become crippling.

When teams are working in Sprints, it’s easier for the product owner and PMO to manage resource demands, to handle cost overruns, and to be adapt to failure scenarios. To further extend this risk management, savvy software development teams should be taking advantage of the latest in collaborative software that allows for easy communication, planning, deliverable break-downs, and deep-diving into the areas for improvement.

In knowing what each team is working on, why they’re working on it, and what they’ll work on next – risk is no longer a four-letter word.

Real Teamwork

The very nature of a communicating, collaborative, cross-functional, transparent, and quality-focused team sets up a natural environment for effective teamwork. No one wants to be working in a dysfunctional team or feel left out of the decision-making process.

Agile software development works when everyone is connected and working together. By taking advantage of stand-ups, iteration planning, story break-downs, and iteration reviews – everyone on the team has a chance to speak up, contribute, and know they play an active and important role in the team and organization success.