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Agile Software Development: Key Life Cycle Phases In Product Development

A person is using a laptop computer for agile software development.

Today it is hard to find a business that does not have an application for providing services to users.

After all, with the development and implementation of new technologies, digital transformation has spread to all industries, naturally leading to increased demand for a full-cycle product development service

Whether it's mobile platforms, web applications, or PC apps — access to services and products in one way or another implies using an application.

And one of the most effective approaches when it comes to product development is Agile methodology.

Due to its flexibility and quick response to change, the Agile approach has proven to be an effective methodology. At the same time, Agile is also steadily expanding with new methods and technologies to meet the challenges that constantly arise due to the demand for innovation.

So, let's look at what Agile is, its value, and the key stages a product goes through during the development process: from idea to launch.

What is Agile

By its concept, Agile is one of the approaches in software development, which is based on iterations and fast delivery of the product to customers. Apart from this, Agile also applies to project management and planning.

The main features of Agile include:

  • Iterative approach
  • Uninterrupted project work
  • Regular evaluation of results
  • Adaptation and rapid response to changes

All these lead to advanced flexibility and more efficient use of resources to achieve set goals, which makes the Agile methodology one of the most attractive and frequently used in modern software development.

Agile Software Development Life Cycle

New product development is a multi-layered and extensive process that includes sequential mini-steps and self-integral stages that are part of the general Agile methodology.

The Agile software life cycle may vary from developer to developer, but there are always commonalities. The main stages of development usually include 7 phases.

Planning

Any project always starts with a plan and timeframe approvals. At this stage, the teams responsible for product development focus on planning the entire project from A to Z. This is where the development company sets deadlines, evaluates human resources, and conducts additional research if necessary.

The main task at this stage is to understand how best to implement the project and get a general vision to draw up a detailed plan of roles and responsibilities.

Requirements

Requirements analysis is the second step. Here, the developers need to establish a bridge between them and the stakeholder to achieve a mutual understanding of what the final product should be and how to plan the development process to meet the requirements.

When the parties have come to a shared vision and all the details agreed upon, it is possible to approve timeframes and the technological stack necessary for product development and set the people and teams responsible for the project.

Design

Once the plan is in place and stakeholder requirements are considered, it's time for the next step, design.

At this stage, the development team creates a future product prototype. An essential task here is to create a clickable prototype and include an intuitive UI design because, based on the prototype, the stakeholder may suggest adjustments to make the product fit their needs and wishes.

That is, prototyping and designing the future product is necessary to evaluate the actual application before its launch. And with an Agile approach, the team can implement changes without writing new code at this stage.

Implementation 

It is one of the main stages in the agile development life cycle when the dev team has a clear idea of ​​the plan, timeframe, and tasks that should be completed. At this stage, active product development starts for further launch and market entry.

Testing 

Depending on the development company, this step may begin during the planning stage or after the product is ready, and all that remains is to test it.

I think it's best to include quality assurance engineers in the process at the planning stage. With this approach, engineers can get all the necessary information and insight about the project and give valuable advice, which will help avoid many mistakes and save time.

With each new feature added to the application, testing is recommended to eliminate the risk of bugs and system errors after the launch. Thus, the most rational approach is to constantly test the product step by step to avoid bugs and loss of time and money.

Deployment

The deployment process often occurs in several iterations. Here, special attention and efforts are focused on the application architecture, code, functions, adjustments, changes, etc. All these actions are necessary to release a stable product that meets the stakeholder's needs and will be accepted by users.

Maintenance and Support

After the successful product's launch, it remains only to keep it up-to-date and stable.

Even if no critical errors were made during the development process, it does not guarantee the absence of bugs. That is why developers should constantly release new patches, search for bugs, and fix them.

In addition, the Agile approach implies a flexible development process. This means many features that enhance the app's capabilities are added after the launch, improving the product step by step.

Thus, maintenance and support are necessary to guarantee a stable product's functioning, improvements, high performance, and relevance.

Benefits of Agile 

The Agile approach has several advantages explaining its popularity and demand among most development companies. The benefits of this type of development approach include:

  • Software delivery acceleration
  • Improved software maintainability
  • Increased flexibility and adaptation
  • Enhanced developer's productivity
  • High-quality end product
  • Reduced risks, time, and costs
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