Agile Software Development

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Drawbacks and Benefits of Agile Software Development

Are you searching for a software solution that fits all the needs of your business?

If you’re software shopping, you may encounter a number of different development processes or methodologies that all claim to be the most effective, both in terms of cost and performance.

As with most industries, the software community has developed strategies that come in and out of vogue. Recently, the Agile development method has been touted as a solution that can meet your business needs quickly.      

Below, we unpack what is Agile software development and why it may or may not be the right choice for your organization.

What is Agile Software Development?

Agile software development refers to a software development process that enables developers to deliver complete solutions to clients quickly.    

As a method, Agile software development focuses more on the final product than the framework of steps that guide more traditional modes of software development.

In its purest form, agile development has no set budget or timelines, the budget increases and the timeline lengthens as the developer moves forward in the project, and both stop increasing when the project is completed. This allows for unforeseen issues to be resolved in real-time, and for pivots to be made, but comes with downsides as we’ll discuss below.      .      

What Are the Business Benefits of Agile Development?

Agile software development offers a number of business benefits     . In fact, businesses can anticipate both a shorter term for return on investment (ROI) and increased communication with the development team.

The key to agile development is focusing primarily on the business goal to be achieved as opposed to the predetermined structure of the project. This perspective helps keep the project focused on that one goal as opposed to tangential features that may arise.

Drawbacks and Benefits of Agile Software Development

While the above two outcomes can benefit your business, there are both drawbacks and benefits of agile development.

Benefits of Agile


Because agile development is highly iterative and the project is solidified primarily through the course of development, there is plenty of room for adjustments and pivots to be made throughout the process.

Reduced Complexity

Traditional software development methods include very complex processes that a single team works to solve. With Agile development, different teams work on different project components, streamlining the build process and offering multiple solutions and ideas.

Increased Predictability

Because of the iterative nature of the Agile software development process, fewer issues will arrive after launch.      

Drawbacks of Agile

Lack of structure

Agile software development, in its purest form, begins with no set budget or time frame for the project, the development team simply begins the project focused rather on meeting a business objective. While this can be a useful perspective, the lack of structure can be too big of an unknown for many businesses.

Challenging to Maintain Heightened Levels of Collaboration

Team availability, bandwidth, and schedule change every day. Given the level of collaboration necessary for a successful Agile development process, maintaining that ongoing collaborative level can be hard to do.

Lack of Documentation Requirements

Since Agile software development doesn’t rely on traditional frameworks, there aren’t guardrails built into its development. Lack of documentation requirements and other checklist processes can severely impact the viability of the final product.

Demands Immediate Issue Response

If something goes wrong, the product is going to need immediate, real-time response. If you’ve partnered with a technology developer who relies on the agile methodology, this may not be possible or even be in your contract.

Iterative Nature Can Detract from Production

WIth many people contributing many ideas to development, Agile software development poses the risk for the project to go completely off course. Since the primary focal point is the outcome, the path to getting there can become marred and the final project dissimilar than first envisioned.

Software Development with SCAD Development

At SCAD software, we offer our partners software design methods that combine the best aspects of both agile and traditional software into what you might call a “Waterfall approach” to development.

While we take the flexibility and business goal-focused approach of agile software, we also recognize the value of budgets and timelines as applied in more traditional methodologies.       

Like traditional development, we start with a plan and general idea of how the project will be structured and work. Similar to agile development, we give ourselves the flexibility to iron out the details and minutia as the project progresses based on the need of the business.

Our collaborative team has years of experience developing custom solutions that customers love.

Ready to learn more?

Contact us today.

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