I have been researching agile methodology over the last 6 months and have begun putting it into practice for digital strategy and website development. Agile is a methodology that was born out of the minds of engineers and resulting in the Agile Manifesto. Over the last couple of years, this methodology has begun to infiltrate website and mobile app projects and has started to replace the waterfall model.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
As website development continues to evolve, I believe the waterfall model is becoming inefficient and restricting. With its sequential model, there is no room for flexibility, adjustments and iterative testing and deployments. It does not work well for a process. Websites need to be dynamic (and I am not talking about the ability to update content or an image slider with a CMS). With responsive design, changing APIs and more sophisticated functionality requirements, websites built on the waterfall model are beginning to run into problems because it becomes costly to try to integrate an agile process.
Agile Is the New Way of Design and Development
With agile, the website project’s foundation is built on an interative and incremental process. The roadmap for development will involve lots of testing and several incremental releases. This may be difficult for designers who are accustomed to designing a website, handing over artwork and then moving to the next project, but it is necessary to discipline their minds to be agile.
Joel Diaz at www.tutsplus.com does a great job explaining agile and how it applies to designers (it is worth your while to read).
In order to stay relevant, forward-thinking and competitive, agile will need to be adopted. It doesn’t matter if you are an agency, freelancer or department, it affects all of you and the success of your business and your clients.