Product will not be perfect, ever. I want to start with this because it’s important to make this clear from the beginning. Well, it’s not exactly new, is it?
Yet, many entrepreneurs don’t understand this or tend to forget quite often. Agile means quickness, ease of movement, lightness. Here I will explain why, here at Mood Up Labs, we believe Agile is better for your product and costs less than fixed price.
“We don’t actually finish our films, we release them.” John Lasseter – Pixar executive
What John Lasseter said represent Agile approach pretty nicely. You will never be able to predict every bug, flaw, feature request of your product, not until you will offer it to the users. So developing a product isn’t something you can just finish and then sit back and relax. It’s constant development and improving that is deciding whether product is successful.
To gain competetive advantage you have to be quick, that’s why so many products fail to succeed – time is wasted on polishing it, trying to predict every variable untill it’s too late. Competitor was quicker, the market has changed, money is short or there is no longer need for this ‘perfection’.
At the same time people responsible for the product who actually understand that they ‘don’t actually finish their product, they release it’ gain major advantage by launching it earlier.
It’s not that they will agree to offer something half-finished, no. They just decide that 90-95% is enough to release and that they will be able to work on the product further with great ally on their side – user’s feedback.
This is what we believe in Mood Up Labs – Agile is better for you product (app). There is plenty of information about this approach avaible and it all started with Agile Manifesto. You can find out more here:
It’s easy to understand why client thinks that given a specific time and amount of money – development team will turn the idea into a perfect product. Unfortunately, it’s almost never that easy.
Why Agile costs less than fixed price?
After you established which platform should you support, and how will you monetize your future app, three major obstacles you encouter during development process will be planning, mutual understanding and uncertainty:
- Planning: objectives tend to change over time and some parts of the product that are already implemented need to be changed – waste of time and money, frustration
- Mutual understanding of needs: client provides spec of the product. It needs to be correct and developer must understand it completely. If these conditions are not met – waste of time and money, frustration will occure
- Uncertainty: projects are never the same so it’s impossible to tell exactly how much time will be needed with 100% accuracy, there are too many variables not to mention unpredicted problems – waste of time and money, frustration.
You see the pattern, right? That’s why here in Mood Up Labs we propose to follow Agile methodologies and to specify, design, implement and release iteratively.
How we work
To prevent waste of time and money, frustration we work using ‘Sprints’ – defined 2-4 weeks work bursts. Each sprint is meant to deliver part of product that can be tested, in some cases it can even be released afterwards.
The unit of development is ‘user story’ – piece of client’s expectation that will be transformed into feature, e.g.: ‘As a user I want to sort my photos by date’.
Such stories are consulted thorougly with client and then turned into development tasks.
This helps describing exactly what will be the final effect that can be tested and implemented. It is also huge help in prioriotizing tasks, we can then choose which should be developed first – the most important ones for the client of course.
Client benefits by choosing Agile in number of ways:
- He avoids bad surprises after months of development
- Prioriorities are delivered in first place
- There is flexibility to the changing market, unpredicted situations, change in objectives
- He is in control of the development team’s progress and as such he can intervene early and still have something valuable at the end of sprint
- There is less probability that conflict between client and development team occures
- Tons and tons of papers, documentation and Q&A is not needed before the start of project
Have you ever worked in Agile? What are your experiences?