Agile has Transformed the Process of Software Development

Salesforce development may seem like software development, which it is in the broader sense of the term. But there are nuanced differences in the development process that bear the signature marks of Salesforce.  When talking about Salesforce development, it involves managing and changing metadata configuration to release it subsequently. The primary difference between Salesforce development and typical software development is that the former requires less code writing. The platform of Salesforce development derives benefits from a quick resolution of issues and rapid feedback cycles.

Salesforce DevOps is a technological advancement of the Salesforce application platform that aids the development process by triggering a continuous feedback loop from customers and thereby improving the quality of the application as well as IT responsiveness and business agility. DevOps is a software development and delivery process based on the Lean and Agile development methodologies that enable seamless collaboration between the Development and Operations teams. It helps in rapid and effective release management and allows businesses to deliver applications quickly using practices like Continuous Integration, Delivery, and Deployment.

Software development takes a long time, but industry leaders like Microsoft, Google, and the likes can churn out brand new versions of software at regular intervals of few weeks. No, it is not magic, but the use of the right technology like DevOps that makes all the difference. To understand how it is possible for faster project delivery, one must look behind DevOps to discover the role played by Agile in achieving the goal. There is ample evidence that organizations that use Agile complete their projects, almost 65% of the time, as compared to 40% timely completion achieved by organizations that do not use Agile.

To know more about Agile, keep reading.

What is Agile?

Agile uses some methodologies to establish a philosophy that talks about an approach to project management with a focus on bringing about gradual and feedback-driven changes in software development.  Before the introduction of Agile, software development had to rely upon the Waterfall method that involved spending massive amounts of effort and time in gathering resources and planning based on critical decisions taken by relying on assumptions. The Waterfall method was quite restrictive as developers realized by the 70s that the method was not working. In the next two decades that saw the emergence of the hacker generation, the feeling intensified.

The limitation of the Waterfall method was in its reliance on predictability and sequence, but for a more flexible project management software, developers needed room for errors, setbacks, bugs, and feedback from real users. This led to the development of Agile that puts users at the forefront of software development who believe in actionable work to speedily resolve issues they face instead of spending time on protocols and documentation.

Meeting sky-high expectations of users

To meet the expectations of users, the Agile creators created a dozen guiding principles to develop the methodology that gives the highest priority to customer satisfaction by ensuring quick and continuous software delivery by incorporating changes even in the later stages of development. One of the principles consists of setting a couple of weeks as the timeline for delivering software instead of months and years. Collaboration between the stakeholders and developers took the centerstage, and delivery of the end-product is the yardstick for measuring progress.

Users are more concerned about getting working software at the soonest and do not care about documentation and other requirements that bog down software developers. And Agile does precisely that, meet user expectations without leaving any room to ask for more.

Consider if Agile good for your team

There should not be any doubt about the effectiveness of Agile project management. You must first assess its compatibility for your company before deciding to use it because all projects do not benefit from Agile. Implementing Agile would bring about significant changes in the manner of working of the software development team because the focus will be on speed, and not everything can be planned but might need improvising on the spot. If your working environment can adapt this attitudinal and behavioral change of the development team, then you can think about taking up Agile.

Assessing the suitability of the team in implementing Agile

To know if your team is ready to embrace Agile, you must reflect within the team to assess their readiness for accepting changes and the risk-taking ability as well as the preparedness to face some uncertainties.

An uncertain journey – Implementing an Agile project can be stressful for control freaks just due to the sheer speed and continuous testing with real users. The stress increases further as you do not know where you will land up at the end. You must be ready to present some of the work-in-progress to users and have the heart to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) instead of waiting to present a product, finished in all respects, and ready to use.

High-risk exposure – Agile project management involves high risk because you keep developing and testing while incorporating user feedback into the process that exposes you to more uncertainties and higher risk.  The risk tolerance level of the team and organization is an important consideration to decide about implementing Agile, and it suits them best who are ready to face the uncertainties that come up along the way.

High flexibility – Since the process considers what users have to say at every stage of the project, the team must be ready to incorporate views and suggestions with an open mind instead of staying rigid about their viewpoint.  Shedding the ego of the software development team is critical to ensure the right collaboration that brings success to the project.

Company hierarchy – The spirit of collaboration that underlines Agile projects entail that the software development team must interact with users and other stakeholders almost every day to refine the process and work for product betterment. It depends on the company culture if such openness is acceptable or else the company hierarchy can prove to be a stumbling block.

Continuous refinement of the process and improving the product is at the heart of Agile. You must have a system in place to measure the progress and success of the project at every step that contributes to the betterment of the end-product.

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