Agile methodologies are no longer seen as an option for project management as most companies are adopting and reaping the benefits of the agile process. Agile workflows have become mainstream now owing to their cheap, effective, faster, and more productive outputs. As per data, around 71% of companies around the world have adopted agile development strategies. What’s more, a large percentage of these companies have reported a profit of more than 60% with agile techniques in contrast to just 26% profit when they followed the waterfall model. If you are looking for IT Staff Augmentation Company, then Hire an Agile Software Development Team From iTechnolabs
So if you want a better-streamlined business and improved efficiency then you must look at following agile procedures and hire an agile software development team. With the agile feature of frequent iterations, your development process would become more adaptive and responsive.
Let us explore in this article what an agile methodology is and what to look for when you hire an agile software development team.
Agile Development Overview
The backbone of agile development is a combined effort of cross-functional and self-reliant teams where demands and solutions evolve as the software development progresses. The salient features of agile development are:
- There is recurrent customer feedback in agile processes which enables corrections, if needed, in time.
- Agile techniques have taken away the problems related to the waterfall method where products were released after long periods while customers’ requirements changed rapidly making the product obsolete.
- Scrum is the widely used agile technique where a small team of people (called a scrum team) works together for a unit of product requirement. The team consists of scrum masters, developers, and product owners.
- There are no hierarchies in a scrum team nor the existence of any sub-teams. A scrum is a cohesive unit of professionals with varied skill sets who work towards one goal at a time.
- The primary benefit of agile is it gives clarity of results i.e. you are given an exact picture of what results to expect and when to expect.
- There is close proximity between customers and developers in an agile project. This allows customers to monitor the progress of the product more frequently and spot mistakes and misunderstandings in time so that corrections can be done.
- Scrum is based on a flat team with flat communication links.
- Developers and business stakeholders collaborate at every step of the development.
- Progress is measured solely based on the features of working software.
Benefits of Adopting Agile Development For Your Projects
In agile there are a number of self-organized teams working in tandem which encourages better design, improved quality of product, and better practices. The timely and continuous delivery of software features ensures enhanced customer satisfaction. One of the interesting things about the agile method which differentiates it from traditional development methods is that the agile team need not have a complete idea of the end product. The focus of the team is not on achieving a specific look of the final product or the tools to use for that look. In place of that, the agile team works towards the delivery of quality software within stipulated time which satisfies the customer.
- Requirements can change even at the last moment – The way agile techniques work allows customers to ask for any kind of change to the functionality, even at the last moment. The team welcomes the change since they work in iterations and produce a set of defined features in one sprint.
- Quality of product is highly improved – It is estimated that the product quality of projects that use agile methods has improved by 42% compared to traditional methods. The result of such a method is a high-quality product that matches the customer’s requirements and expectations perfectly.
- Quicker time to market – Since the agile teams work closely with other teams and customers, it makes the development process extremely efficient. The time to market is faster as it leverages the fixed schedule sprints where new features are delivered frequently and swiftly.
- Flexibility – If you have agile software development teams working on your project, the entire problem gets divided into smaller components amongst the different teams. Each of these components can be tested and delivered to the client and if something is not working as expected then the team can quickly modify it.
- The overall risk is reduced – With an agile software development team, the situation of complete failure is almost eradicated. Since the entire product gets developed in phases within sprints, the team can incorporate changes as and when needed. It is much easier to adapt the product to a client’s changing needs using agile techniques which greatly reduces the failure of any software.
What Approach to Take When You Hire An Agile Software Development Team
The success of agile teams depends a lot on intense communication between key members of the teams. Every member of an agile team needs to be aware of what the tasks and responsibilities of others are in the project. While selecting members for an agile software development team one must gather a specific group of people as outlined by one of the three types of team structures that are typical to agile processes:
- Generalist – In a generalist team all the team members are equipped with a broad skill set and can perform a variety of tasks pertaining to the development of a product. Each of these individuals possesses some knowledge about a lot many things. By virtue of their versatility, all the members of this type of team can conduct a wide range of jobs related to software development. They are skilled enough to switch roles with their colleagues. In general, a generalist team is responsible for the end-to-end development of either a specific feature or the entire project.
- What kind of project is best suited for this type of team? – A small project with a clear tech stack requirement is best suited for such a team structure.
- Domain specialist – A domain specialist has expert knowledge in various creative as well as technical spheres. A team made up of domain specialists has individuals who specialize in a particular niche area of the project and handle all the tasks that fall under that niche. This type of team is capable of delivering highly complex and innovative projects successfully. If you are forming a big agile software development team then you must have a domain specialists team structure so that you have adequate people working in specific areas.
- What kind of project is best suited for this type of team? – You should form this team if the project is very niche and complex.
- Hybrid – A combination of generalist and domain specialist teams forms a hybrid team. In hybrid teams, domain specialists handle the specific niche tasks and other generalists are responsible for the integration of various components and making the project viable as a whole. This team structure ensures outstanding efficiency in the development process with a greater sense of ownership of each individual and superior quality of the product.
- What kind of project is best suited for this type of team? – This team structure would work well for almost all types of projects, including the extremely complicated ones.
What are the Important Roles in a Typical Agile Software Development Team
The main aim of the agile development method is to make the project development process extremely efficient, flexible, and transparent. This enhances the quality of the product and reduces time to market. To achieve this, in every sprint roles and responsibilities of every individual in the team are clearly defined.
Those who are forming an agile software development team for the first team must understand the key roles that apply to an agile team structure:
- Product owner – This is one of the most significant roles and mandatory to be present in every team. You can look at a product owner as the voice of a customer as s/he communicates and establishes the vision of the product to the team members. A product owner owns the product backlog and clearly outlines the requirements in each sprint making sure that the objectives are met all through the product life cycle. The product owner prioritizes which features are to be delivered first to maximize ROI (Return on Investment.) The product owner keeps in mind the budget and time constraints of the project while deciding on which features are to be delivered within the scope of the project.
- Scrum master – This is the coach and leader of a scrum team who facilitates the team’s daily work by removing obstacles and improving productivity. A scrum master ensures that all scrum values are upheld and looks over scrum’s daily activities like stand-ups, ensures work is completed in time, and checks with team members to find impediments and strives to resolve them. This is a required role in any agile software development team.
- Team members – This is an umbrella term that encompasses many roles across various industries. An agile software development team comprises software engineers (front end and back end), QA professionals, documentation experts, UX programmers, designers, and many others. Team members are the creators of various features of a product.
- Business Analyst (BA) – Business analysts elicit and document the requirements for the entire team. One of the primary responsibilities of a BA is to help the team create user stories that are stored in the product backlog. BAs also facilitate and coordinate testing and are quite often the bridge between business areas and IT. It is not essential for every agile team to have a BA but a business analyst in a team surely helps in mitigating risks related to the business. BAs stay on top of the changing market trends and guide the team in modifying the product to make it more cost-effective and competitive.
- Stakeholders – Though stakeholders are not directly related to software development and part of a scrum, they have a critical role in shaping the face of the product. Stakeholders are in constant touch with the product owner, developers, and product manager to streamline the development process. They have valuable feedback to provide to the team which greatly influences the shape of the final product. Stakeholders typically consist of senior professionals of the company, investors, and end-users.
Do You want to hire an Agile Software Development Team From iTechnolabs?
An agile software development team is made up of people with different skill sets who work towards a common goal. In a typical agile team, there are a maximum of ten members who take care of various aspects of the product. If the agile team is larger it can also have more roles like subject matter experts, enterprise architects, database experts, etc. Forming an agile software development team is an investment that an organization should make to complete projects with the highest value and on-time delivery.