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The Perils of Agile Software Development

Agile methods for software development have gained greetings with the change from traditional methods. However, whether it is for ERP software development or others, while opting for Agile methodologies you must consider the disadvantages or drawbacks of using it. Agile has its share of cons along with benefits that should be made clear to all those who would be involved in your project management team.

1.      Agile methods require a strong collaboration of competent and efficient users to meet expectations. For not only software development projects but also any other management projects, a key requisite is active user involvement to reduce the chances of failure. However, this can become too demanding for a software preparing team as the factors of mediocrity are not considered. Not all members display the same level of skills and competency and this is a disadvantage of Agile usage.

2.    Agile incorporates flexibility – an advantage that allows change, of course, to adapt and achieve the desired software development product. But there are drawbacks to this. This gives uncertainty over project delivery if there is no determined time scale for the software project. This gives rise to scope creep and also difficulty in making budget estimates. A part of strong-willed planning focused upon timely delivery is lost with this flexibility option.

3.    Agile software development does away with wasted efforts that would not show up in the final product. There is less clarity regarding information that is produced upfront as such requirements are met on the way of preparing the software product. This cannot be possible all the time as less information at the project beginning can cause less know-how relating to the project and create future difficulties especially for the testers on board.

4.    Agile encourages and is implemented through product testing throughout the project duration. As against traditional methods, this does help against an end project testing procedure that can cause further delay, especially if the product doesn’t pass the tests. But this can cause a considerable shoot up of costs as testing is carried out with every stage of completion.

5.     There is a need for frequent delivery of products and signing off as ‘done’ with each stage of completion before the product developer moves onto the next level of testing. This can cause de-motivation if the project is not sufficiently spread over a suitable time frame due to fatigue and the tiring course it takes on the developers and testers. Also, frequent testing causes prolongation of the Project process.

6.    Implementing Agile methodologies can become tricky if an organization’s merit and incentivization is based upon individual performance and not group efforts. While Agile stresses upon cohesive teamwork, a disparate incentivizing process can hamper teamwork. It might also lead to incomplete participation of the management team members which is by no means favorable for any work arena.

Like any management methodology, Agile too hosts its share of shortcomings and has often been met with skepticism by those who back traditional methods of project management.

Contributed by Janice Sweet. Janice has loved computers since she was a child. In her high school days, she starting coding and executing small software. Today, she’s an amazing and fast software engineer. Janice has a grasp over the advanced software development tactics and works more efficiently while leading a team. to know more about her work, visit:


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