How do you start building Agile software?
Start by getting the basics right. Follow these tips for success with Agile development:
1. Have MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) ready before customers are even on the radar . Don’t wait till you have a customer to build your first version of an app or website! Remember, change is inevitable and you need to keep your product flexible. So build the MVPs first, before customers start asking for them.
2. Plan, Plan and Plan some more . Keep track of all requirements and use a proper planning tool like JIRA or Pivotal Tracker so that development does not lag behind changing goals and requirements along the way.
3. Have a development process that is flexible and can be changed . Agile practices like Scrum and Kanban let you change direction quickly and keep everyone on the same page at all times. Make sure your development team has learnt these processes to save time through consistent communication.
4. Keep things simple . The simpler your product is, the less time it takes to build it. The easier it is for customer’s to understand and use your app, the faster they will recommend it.
5. Test early . Begin testing even before development starts so that you get user-feedback along the way. WebStorm provides an excellent 100% free environment for PHP web development, testing and debugging.
6. Pay attention to details . Remember that 1% of your users make up for 1% of your costs . You might get the basics right, but you need to ensure that 90% of users are happy with what they get. So pay attention to even tiny changes in design or layout that can go a long way in keeping your users happy.
7. Use a codebase that can handle change . Code clarity and readability is more important than ever when you have to keep changing things on the fly or add new features depending on market conditions or customer needs. So choose your framework carefully, like Zend Framework which has out-of-the box support for Agile.
8. Keep an eye on your budget . When you are building web applications, make sure you manage time and costs carefully. You should keep an eye open for bugs or errors that could slow down the development process or affect quality control. Use tools like Quality Center to monitor workflow, check code reviews and stay ahead of problems with your web development process.
9. Don’t cut corners . ‘Done is better than perfect’, should not be your mantra here! Remember that no matter how important affordability or time-to-market is to you, having a product that lets down your customers at the first instance can have costly repercussions for your business. So don’t try to save money or time by cutting corners during development.
10. Test your application with the real-world . Get as much customer input as possible and constantly test with them so that you can deliver a product they will be proud of. Make sure that your app is available on the platforms and devices your customers want it on.
While it's not essential that all of these tips are followed, the more you do the better off your startup will be. Remember to keep your product agile and adaptable so that you can shift with market demands and compete in an ever-changing environment. And above all else, stay focused on building a product people love!
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