Requirements are an essential part of a software product, and success of a product largely depends on requirements. Requirements-related issues are often named among highest risks of software product development.
The main risks with the requirements are typically connected to missing some requirements, defective or dubious requirements, or requirements that conflict with one another. Working with such requirements leads to wrong product creation, and it will take pretty much time, effort and money to correct mistakes, or even redevelop the product from scratch. This surely sounds really unpleasant. However, the situations like described above, are not rare in the area of software product development.
How can Agile Development methods help?
Agile development methods, when they are suitable for the occasion and implemented correctly can help mitigate those risks. I’m not telling that Agile is the best methodology for software product development ever seen. As any other methodology it has its pros and cons, and there are plenty of Waterfall methods that do great, when they are suitable for the situation. I mean, when the requirements are not finally defined, and there’s a high possibility that changes will be introduced, etc., Agile may really help.
As a rule, software development services involve lots of requirements. However, not all of them will be implemented, and most of them will be revised and changed. Changing requirements, in fact, is developers’ pet peeve. As Agile Methodology implies iterative approach to software product development, developers analyze and work with requirements defined for this exact iteration.
The customer, commonly involved in iterations planning, is available to discuss and explain questions related to requirements. If there were some misconceptions or controversies, there’s a chance for developers to find out what the customer meant by “it should perform… you know… the thing like… well, it should be just great!” It was a joke, but you see my point.
Thus, the required functionality is implemented into the product by small parts, giving both developers and customers clarify clear moments, and giving customers the possibility to introduce changes painlessly for the team involved in their software product development. These are essential parts of software development, and success of a product largely depends on requirements. Requirements-related issues are often named among highest risks faced by a software development company.
Some of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto:
• Customer satisfaction by rapid, continuous delivery of useful software
• Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
• Working software is the principal measure of progress
• Even late changes in requirements are welcomed
• Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
• Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
• Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
• Self-organizing teams
• Regular adaptation to changing circumstance