Agile for rapid delivery of scalable & high-quality websites

Agile Software Development is an umbrella term that is popularly being used for various iterative and incremental software development methodologies. The principles and practices promoted by agile development promise to deliver higher quality software systems to achieve results faster by reducing the development time. The concept of “Agile” which started as software development technique is now being extensively applied in business, marketing, and product development as well.

According to the 10th annual state of Agile report, 95% of the respondents reported that their organization practices Agile; out of which only 1% had experienced Agile failure.

What is the Agile Approach – A Process or A Mindset?

Agile web development is not a specific process or a set of instructions. Agile is an attitude, a mindset with which the project must be undertaken. The agile approach aims at streamlining the project by eliminating unnecessary time-lags, performing frequent sanity checks, and ensuring to take up only value-adding activities.

Using Agile in web development is about spending quality time on actions that bring about value addition to the website to make it better and more responsive. A team working with the Agile approach achieves the same goals but in less time than that of the traditional web development process.

In the Agile approach, the client needs to be involved in every developmental phase of the process and is also required to give feedback on the same. According to the survey conducted, large enterprises are implementing Agile and the methodology is scaling rapidly from IT departments to various businesses, 24% of the respondents work for companies with a 20,000-plus workforce.

What is the Agile Approach in Web Development and How Does It Work?

The main objectives of the Agile Approach are to achieve the goals with a faster turnaround time and to get the client involved at every step to encourage feedback. Small functional teams are formed comprising of members skilled in different areas who work in collaboration to complete the project.

Agile Web Development Process

The web has changed in the present scenario and so have the expectations for what a site should be delivering. At the same time, considering the accelerated pace of development it has become imperative to keep up with the speed and efficiency of the process.

The most common steps in Agile Web Development can be summarized as follows:-

Discovery: Understanding the client’s vision, goals, business climate, and customers before starting a project with a series of Discovery Sessions.
The Product Backlog: A wish list of useful features is created by allowing the client to determine priority. This helps in focusing on delivering the higher-value features before the lower-value ones.
Iterations: After the team has understood the client’s vision and has created the product backlog, it starts delivering features through a series of sprints.
Continuing the Cycle: Conduct additional sprints by incorporating the client’s feedback, reviewing, and user beta testing.

The basic principles of Agile in the Web Development process include:-

  • It works towards delivering usable website components early and continuously.
  • The changes to the scope of work are taken into consideration throughout the process.
  • In the web development process, the sprints must be kept short and frequent, preferably in weeks.
  • Cross-functional teams must be involved having a variety of business and technical expertise.
  • Web conferences or face-to-face meetings with the client must be performed weekly.
  • Communication and status updates must be provided daily.

Benefits of Using Agile in Web Development

Stakeholder Engagement: By involving the client before, during and after each sprint the possibility of delivering faster and more efficient websites increases.
Transparency: The clients have complete transparency of the work in progress.
Early and Predictable Delivery: New features are delivered quickly and frequently by using the fixed schedule sprints.
Allows for change: The product backlog can be reprioritized.
Improves Quality: As the project is broken down into manageable components, the team focuses on delivering high-quality development. The quality is improved after every sprint based on the client’s feedback.

Impact of Using Agile On Web Development

As per the survey conducted by VersionOne, it was found that the use of Agile has doubled this year from 35 to 76 %. The frequently used Agile frameworks are Scrum/XP and Scrum.

The chief reasons for adopting Agile by various organizations include:

  • To increase overall productivity.
  • To better align the IT objective with the business objective.
  • To handle changing priorities effectively and more efficiently.
  • To speed up the product’s time to market.

Incorporating Agile methodologies in web development has a huge impact on the overall success of the website by providing a lean and effective model for website development. Its talent and experience are also growing exponentially with time. 63 % of the respondents of the 10th annual State of Agile report counted themselves as ‘extremely’ knowledgeable about Agile.