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Why Agile Is Critical to Software Development

Rodolpho Loreto
Agile software development team plotting out sprint with Post-It notes

There’s a debate in the software development world over whether Agile methodology or the Waterfall model works best.


This topic sparks many a discussion and debate, with each school of thought having a strong following. But what is the best approach to manage an IT Project? Is Agile methodology a better approach than Waterfall? Simply put, the Waterfall model calls for a strict linear approach to the developmental process. Agile methodology calls for collaboration with multiple teams and at each step. There are many arguments for and against each method on both sides: 


  • Anecdotal reports of successfully managed projects
  • Fast troubleshooting
  • Handling and adaptability
  • Costs and risks control
  • Planning
  • And others.

All of these arguments focus on the benefits and disadvantages generated by one or the other approach. But these points never fully address the issue at the core of this question. To answer the question, “what is the better approach to IT project management?” we first need to answer a prerequisite question: “why is software development so difficult to predict?” The answer is key to getting the ball rolling on your next IT project. 


Agile Methodology Allows For Creativity

 It’s possible this is the first time you’ve read something like this. The reason for the unpredictable trait in software engineering is often forgotten or disregarded. It’s also perhaps one of the most important: Creativity!

Yes, creating software is more like creating a piece of music, a poem, or a painting than building a car or a skyscraper. 


Every problem set gets approached in a unique way. This is important because your software project will change. Problems happen at every stage of the developmental process. It’s best to use your team’s creativity to identify and implement solutions from the start.


It’s similar to a musician writing a symphony. He uses the principles of music and mathematics as a tool to express his views in a single piece, adding these parts together to realize his main work. He never has the entire symphony in his mind when he starts to write it. There’s always an element of experimentation: working piece by piece, adding the small music segments together, and finally seeing the work as a whole.


“It’s an approach capable of allowing for course correction and the fast, continuous development of effective solutions.”


Because of this, the process to create a musical work is called composing. And all of these pieces are tied together and connected in perfect harmony by the musician’s creativity. The same thing happens with software engineering when you add functionalities and connect the parts of your systems together. The result is a coded symphony, a great digital solution that creates value.


This creative quirk of software development means developers need to compose a great work in small bites at a time. But planning great changes over the long term leads to the risk of you no longer seeing the forest for the trees. If you only see the smaller problem set in front of you, you could lose sight of solutions applied to the bugs that no longer present themselves later, or that have grown into larger problems.


The best way to solve complex problems is to approach them iteratively, focusing on the biggest pain points first. This way you can spark the creativity of your developers, enabling them to promote smart and precious solutions for the problems you are trying to solve.


This is why Agile methodology in software development matters. It’s the only approach capable of allowing for course correction and the fast, continuous development of solutions. It also gives the client the opportunity to test, evaluate, and provide feedback on whether the creative solutions you present suit their needs. Finally, Agile methodology also allows you to quickly adapt to changing user behavior and priorities.


Programmers employs Agile methods in their digital transformation solutions. Contact us today to learn more.



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