A product will never be perfect in a world that is as fast-paced as the one today.
Customer requirements change and the products that serve them need to evolve if they are to retain their usefulness. Many entrepreneurs, however, tend to forget this quite often and remain in pursuit of creating the perfect product, which ends up in higher development costs and missed opportunities.
At Mood Up team, we advocate a more agile approach to developing products as they allow for faster development and more updates at a lower cost for our clients than the outdated fixed priced approach.
“We don’t actually finish our films, we release them.” John Lasseter – Pixar executive
What John Lasseter said represent Agile approach pretty nicely, as there is no possible way to predict every bug, flaw, feature request of your product until the customer gets their hands on it. A successful product, therefore, is only possible if it is constantly evaluated and improved upon.
But what exactly is a successful product?
A successful product in our eyes is one that satisfies its end users and help its owner achieve intended business outcomes. Such products, however, need to be fast on its feet and adjust itself to fit the evolving requirements of its users, or risk being replaced by its competitors. This makes every hour crucial, as the competitive forces that threaten to replace your product are surely using the Agile approach to develop their products, at a lower cost.
One must not, however, confuse the Agile approach with a half-baked approach to product development, as Agile products are usually released when they are at 90-95% completion, with the rest being completed via user feedback. Such early releases allow a product to leapfrog ahead of their competitors and take a co-development approach with a new ally- its users!
You might now be getting a glimpse into why we at Mood Up team tend to favour the agile approach to developing products.
Keen on learning more about the Agile approach to software development? You can read more about it in the Agile Manifesto. You can find out more here:
But how do Agile products lead to cost savings?
Software development is not an easy task, but some good brainstorming should help you decide on the platforms it should support, and it’s monetization strategy. The challenge, however, is far from over as you now have to grapple with planning, mutual understanding and uncertainty:
- Planning: objectives tend to change over time with customer requirements, making already completed portions of the software redundant. This is a waste of time, effort and can lead to endless frustration for the product’s stakeholders.
- Mutual understanding of needs: a good partnership is one where all parties understand each other’s needs. Failure to do so is akin to an invitation for trouble and will drain resources.
- Uncertainty: no two projects are the same, making accurate predictions about development time and costs impossible. Attempting to do otherwise in our experience is a waste of time and money, causing frustration for all parties.
You see the pattern, right? That’s why here in Mood Up team follow Agile methodologies to specify, design, implement and release iteratively.
Our approach to developing software
The unit of development we use is ‘user story’- a client expectation that will be transformed into a feature, e.g.: “As a user, I want to sort my photos by date”.
Such user stories help in understanding the client requirements and the final output that must be developed, tested and implemented. It also aids us in prioritizing tasks, as they are developed with a thorough consultation with the client, allowing us to have a mutual understanding of what’s important for the client.
The agreed user stories are then handed over to the developers, who work on 2-4 week work bursts called ‘Sprints’, to produce the same. At the end of each sprint is the delivery of part of the product to the client who then provides us with feedback on it as the rest of the work progresses ahead. It’s also not uncommon to release the completed portion of the product, as it has undergone thorough testing.
You might now have an understanding of how this approach to software development might alleviate the issues we saw in planning, mutual understanding and uncertainty.
Here’s how Agile can help you
- Avoid bad surprises after months of costly development
- Receive the features you need first with user-stories
- Remain flexible to unpredictable markets, users and objectives
- Control development progress and intervene if development deviates from agreed upon objectives
- Lower probability of conflict between clients and the development team
- A real focus on product development over excessive documentation
Got a product we can build over Agile? Tell us more about it here and get an estimate.