Agile iPhone Development
At DrewCrawfordApps, we practice an agile development methodology based on multiple small sprints and continuous delivery. This is because agile methods provide higher productivity, lower costs, result in higher quality software, and happier clients.
Higher Productivity and Lower Costs
According to VersionOne’s 2010 study, 66% of agile practitioners report faster time-to-completion for software projects. More than half of all respondants report that agile has “Significantly Improved” or “Improved” their ability to respond to change, alignment with business objectives, team morale, time-to-market, productivity, software quality, risk management, engineering disciple, and software maintainability.
But a significant feature of Agile is that developers are less likely to build software that is no longer needed. When software development iterations are large or are done in a “big bang” fashion, the long lead times between specification and delivery can mean that the features requested are no longer relevant to users. Shortening the feedback cycle means that engineering resources are spent on delivering features that are actually useful, instead of out-of-date by the time that they are delivered.
VersionOne found that 74% of those surveyed reported that morale was improved through the introduction of agile processes. Improvement in developer morale not only means higher-quality productivity as developers are motivated to work harder to ship software, but also that the highly mobile top tier of technical talent can be more easily acquired by the organization.
Faster to Market
Rally Software’s in-depth study of agile development showed that Agile practices lead to a 37% faster time-to-market for software projects vs traditional methods.
Salesforce.com reports a +568% increase in features delivered to customers as a direct result of implementing agile methods.
David Rico’s research on Agile development showed that Agile projects have a median quality improvement of 63% over traditional methods and a minimum quality improvement of 10% in the companies he surveyed. 84% of the VersionOne survey respondants felt that Agile methodologies had reduced the number of bugs by 10% or more.
Improved Client Satisfaction
With all of these improvements, it’s no wonder that these practices lead to higher satisfaction among iPhone project clients. iPhone development is a fast-changing world that moves even more quickly than other types of web, desktop, or systems development.
Many potential clients make the common mistake of adapting a traditional software development process to the mobile development world, without a true understanding of the assumptions and underlying requirements of the development methodology.
The iOS software market is much more competitive than the traditional software market, because there is only one primary sales channel–the Apple App Store. As a result, millions of software products compete for the same real estate. Even in a “niche” vertical, there are often many software vendors competing for customer dollars. If a competitor is using a lower-cost development methodology, that competitor will be able to consistently deliver a higher-quality experience to its users, putting you out of business.
Even if you have no competitors, Apple itself dictates a rapid pace for the iPhone and iPad application market. iOS, the iPhone and iPad operating system, is currently on a yearly release cycle. Because of Apple’s highly secretive product roadmap, it is very difficult to predict the future in this market. Apple’s rapid improvements to iOS can obsolete dozens of product lines from individual developers overnight. Sudden announcements can cause an unforseen shift in development, due to added or removed functionality in the underlying operating system or new hardware capabilities. In this challenging marketplace, it is more important than ever to adopt an agile software development process for your iPhone projects, both to stay current on the latest Apple development practices and to remain competitive in a marketplace of other agressive software developers.
It should come as no surprise that according to a study at Colorado University, an overwhelming 80% of respondents reported an increase in customer satisfaction after introducing Agile methods. Agile development methodologies are an important ingredient in our overall strategy at DrewCrawfordApps to deliver the highest quality software at the fastest possible speed. When selecting a development partner for your iPhone project, make sure you are working with a development team with an understanding of the unique challenges of the iOS marketplace and with a development strategy that will lead to success for your iPhone development project.