The term agile has come to be used frequently in the business field in recent years. It is especially true in medical software development, where it is crucial to hone every step. But despite its prevalence, not everyone understands what it means and what benefits it brings to the business. So, I discussed the Agile approach with experts at Velvetech LLC company before writing this article and sharing my finds below. Hope it helps.
The Essence of the Agile Approach
Most agile methodologies aim to minimize risk by reducing development to a series of short cycles called sprints. They usually last one to two weeks. Since medical equipment must be of high quality and meet certain standards, this breakdown of processes into small sprints only benefits both the developer and the customer.
Each sprint itself looks like a smaller software project and includes all the required tasks to issue a mini-increase in functionality.
These Tasks Include:
- Planning – divide the concept into small parts;
- Requirements analysis – numerous meetings with clients and project managers to gather detailed information;
- Design – create a design based on the latest requirements;
- Coding – create a working product;
- Testing – check the finished software for errors;
- Launch – delivering the finished product to customers.
After the launch, customers start using the product, and if any problems arise, the team reviews and solves them.
The primary metric of agile methods is the work product. By favoring direct communication, agile methods reduce the amount of written documentation compared to other methods.
- Human beings and interplay are greater essential than procedures and tools;
- Functional products are more important than complete documentation;
- Collaboration with the customer is more important than agreeing on contract terms;
- Willingness to extrude is extra crucial than following a unique plan.
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Benefits of Agile Approach in Custom Software Development in the Field of Medicine
The advantage of the agile methodology is that all of its development phases are flexible and do not have to be sequential. Unlike other approaches, in Agile, all stages can interact or coincide. Small modules allow developers to identify bugs early and fix them.
In the development of promising medical software, the needs of the end-users are crucial. The customer knows best what his product should end up being. After each sprint, clients see the result and leave feedback. The team updates the project design and estimates the priority of the next sprint.
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7 Primary Benefits of Agile that You Should Know:
1. Changes Are Welcome
The approach is flexible, allowing you to add and adapt new features easily. This means that clients can change their minds and implement new ideas without affecting the project’s timeline or budget. Moreover, the product is continually updated, as the latest technologies can be added at any time. So, medical software can be supplemented with a convenient function for hospital staff without starting all development from scratch.
2. Strong Teamwork
Agile involves personal communication and interaction between all team members. They are all responsible for the final work product, not just individual parts of the project. This approach increases the quality of the product and improves the work environment.
3. Customer Involvement
The big difference between Agile and Waterfall is the opportunity for customers to voice their opinions during development, see the intermediate results, and influence the final product. This fosters a trusting relationship between customers and contractors.
4. Higher Quality
By breaking the project into manageable blocks, the project team can focus on high-quality development, testing, and collaboration. Also, by doing frequent testing and getting feedback during each integration, quality improves. Developers can quickly find and fix bugs and identify inconsistencies early on.
5. Early and Predictable Presentation of Working Versions
With fixed scripts (1 to 4 weeks), developers can deliver new features quickly and often with a high degree of predictability. This also ensures that software can be released or beta-tested earlier than planned.
6. Predictable Costs
Each script has a fixed duration. Costs are predictable and limited to the amount of work done with a team on a fixed schedule. A cost estimate is provided to the client even before each script is performed. The client can easily understand the approximate cost of each element and the need for additional integrations.
7. The Focus Is on Business Benefits
It allows customers to prioritize opportunities. The team understands what is most important to the client and can work out only those features that provide the most value to the business.
How to Improve Productivity in Agile Projects
Agile is a comprehensive system of business change. If properly integrated, it can raise team performance and improve product quality.
To properly implement it, you should:
- Make a clear idea of the desired product: what it is needed for, what problems it will solve.
- Divide responsibilities within the team.
- Implement a weekly reporting about the product – every week, you (as the customer) should see the working product and give feedback. This will allow the developers to fine-tune the product to its final form.
- Remember that each member of the team is interchangeable. Some problems require collective discussion, so everyone should be able to offer a solution.
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Software development is a primary part of the daily enterprise of medical manufacturers. So, agile is a unique system for doing such a business. Although in some cases, it can be a challenge for the company. Pay attention to the advantages and disadvantages of the agile approach before implementing it in your business.