I have been working on a new whitepaper about how to become an online leader. One of the cornerstones is to use a strategic, agile process. While agile is not for every project, often it is by far the optimal process for web development. While many large development organization such as Microsoft, IBM, Google and Yahoo! use agile, very few companies that don’t do software development for a living are using it – particularly small and midsized businesses. I am tasked with how to promote agile development to companies needing a new website. So it was perfect timing that the latest edition of Information Week included “Agile Development” and “Agile Processes Go Lean” articles. The articles did not disappoint. They provided plenty of great arguments for the move to agile.
Instead of collecting, collating, and casting in concrete everyone’s 2 cents worth before launching development, agile developers take a more flexible approach. They work one-on-one with stakeholders who make decisions, provide information, and prioritize requirements throughout the process.
The end result is a much leaner, more focused requirements specification that includes only the features that stakeholders expect and developers can deliver.
You should use iterative development only on projects that you want to succeed. … it is an essential technique, one you can use to expose risk early on and to obtain better control over development. It is not the same as having no management, although to be fair, I should point out that some have used it that way. It does need to be well planned.