Agile software development refers to the processes and methodologies of software development which are based upon the implementation of iterative development with the help of a joint venture through which solutions are devised by making use of cross-functional teams. Coined in the year 2001 with the promulgation of the Agile Manifesto, this special program of computer program development mainly focuses on the philosophy of leadership and accountability with the intention to fulfill the needs of customers and achieving company goals. Moreover it does not only emphasize on best teamwork practices but also promotes best industry practices.
Hence agile methodology of software development is extremely beneficial for industries and software companies as it provides a greatest number of myriad benefits at their disposal (Reifer, 2006). On the flip side we have the traditional method of computer program and software development which includes a number of different methodologies which can be used in various ways for the fulfillment of objectives through traditional methods. Traditional methods are commonly classified or labeled as all those methods of software development that cannot be categorized or accommodated in agile development method.
Therefore when talking about traditional methods we have at our disposal some of the ways that are known as iterative development procedures, waterfall methods and even cowboy tailoring, hence in a nutshell it encompasses all those characteristics or most of them that are not the salient feature of the agile method of software and computer programming, hence with increasing innovation and advancement taking place in the technological sector the efficacy and credibility of traditional methods of software development is slowly and steadily decreasing (Lewis, 2008).
Salient features of each methodology As stated earlier that some of the major characteristics that are among the prime features of agile method of software development due to which it is considered highly preferable for computer companies in contemporary times. All the methods that are described and accommodated by the agile method promote teamwork, collaboration and adaptability to the changing environment and scenario of the technological mainstream.
Since agile method accentuates upon the feature of adaptability potentials with the passage of time most of the computer programs that are made by using agile methodology do not focus on long term planning. Each iteration that is designed by using the principle designing features of the program consist of short time frames or time boxes as they are professionally referred to as. These time boxes last for minimum two to a maximum four weeks.
However it is worth mentioning here that every fragment of information that is designed using this method of software technology uses and adheres to the principles and features of proper analysis, observation, market strategy prevalent at that specific period of time and involves proper and well-coordinated collaboration of all team members that contribute their opinion and perspectives after which the decision of software developing is finalized and presented to the major stake holders of the company (Highsmith, 2002).
With all such features incorporated well in the entire project that is looked forward towards designing the probability of risks and hazards that can affect the entire project in adverse ways minimizes substantially and at the same time makes the entire computer program highly susceptible and non-immune for the adaptability of changes that can easily be made in the rudimentary mechanism of the entire computer program to make it suitable and usable in the long run.
As far as the features of the traditional methods of computer program development is concerned since there are many methods that can be classified under the banner of traditional method, each method has its own dos and don’ts. For example some of the salient features of the Waterfall Method which is known as one of the structured organized of all traditional methods follows a strict procedure of stepping through requirements, analysis, design and coding in an at all once sort of a way which basically halts the sustainability and longevity of the computer program being designed.
In contrast to this we have the cowboy method which does not follow or adhere to any specific rules and regulations of software program development and n which the team that is developing and designing the program have complete liberty as a result of which the outcome is not as effective and long-lasting as made by following other program and methods of software development (Kram and Tsui, 2009). Pros and Cons of each methodology
Every program of software development is accompanied with its own pros and cons and similar is the case of agile and traditional methods of computer program development. We will have a look at some of the advantages of the agile method and procedure first. The biggest advantage that web and software developers when using agile methodology is that the program outcome of this software is highly adaptable and possess the ability of undergoing changes and alterations that makes it adaptable to the dynamically changing environment of the technological and web arena.
A further benefit that is an extension of the former one is that the developing and technical team does not have to invest further time, effort and resources to cater to the needs of the client that has altered, if such a condition does take place which is frequent enough slight or even substantial changes can be made without exerting oneself too much or without wasting too much time and further resources to ultimately gratify the client.
Another very positive point of using agile method for computer programming is attributed to the presence of constant face to face communication between the developing team and that with the customer leaves no space for speculation in the work and the kind of task that has been undertaken by the company itself.
Furthermore the documentation made through agile methodology is short, concise, and crisp and is targeted specifically to the point that is required by the client without any redundant and irrelevant information. With the collective and flawless consolidation of all these factors the software prepared by using this methodology is as demanded and as per the requirement of the customer. Once done with this lets have a look at some of the cons and don’ts that are related to agile method.
It has normally been viewed that the software development prepared using the agile method is limited in benefits to short scale projects, if large scale projects are prepared using this method their effectivity and credibility may not last long mainly because of the fact that in large scale projects it become difficult to evaluate the effort and scope of resources that needs to be invested in the preparation of the project during in its initial stages of software development cycle in particular.
Secondly, another shortcoming of agile method also lies in the fact that it does not completely emphasize on the preparation of mandatory documentation and designing which are some of the elements that are extremely important and dire for any software program and for the maintenance of its efficacy.
Agile methods are always accompanied with the threat that the customer or the client may easily withdraw or rollback the entire project if he is not able to understand the objectives that the project needs to fulfill and the benefits that the project can extract for him as a result of which the entire project and the resources and effort invested in it will go in vain.
Moreover it is also worth mentioning here that agile method of program development is carefully and manageably handled by professional, highly qualified, experienced and learned computer professionals so that they possess all the necessary skills in communication as well as adequate technical expertise to satisfy all the myriad and diverse requirements that the client needs in the computer program he is looking forward to design. Once done with the advantages and disadvantages of agile methodologies of technical software development we now move on to the pros and cons of traditional methods (Sanja, 2010).
Since traditional method accommodates a wide array of different methods and procedures some are effective and advantageous whereas others do not share the same level of credibility and usage. Some of the traditional methods that are used such as the Waterfall method is highly accredited as some of the most organized and well-managed ways of software development due to the high level of convenience and simplicity it offer at the disposal of the client. Waterfall Method which is among the most prominent method of traditional development offers the effective departmentalization of resources and expertise as well as of managerial control.
It also follows some of the key principles that are vital for the success of any project; these include analysis of an issue through all ways and magnitudes through proper consultation and recommendations from all major experts involved in the process, but despite of this a major drawback that is offered by the usage and adherence to the principles of traditional methods of software development are that the software program constructed by making use of traditional methods do not have the potential of turning back or reverting the process that has been established once, as a result of this if a client demands an alteration in the basic mechanism of the program that ahs initially been designed for him, the company employees and the technical staff involved in the making of the program will have to start from the scratch in order to incorporate the change demanded by the customer. This will also require greater investment of time, resources and efforts from the entire team in order to conform to clients needs.
When such processes take place time for other projects that are pending have less time for their completion as a result of which a chain reaction of chaos, anomie and mismanagement initiates that disturbs the entire process of effective management (Keith, 2007). The affectivity of each software development method depends on the kind of the client and the requirement of the client that it is dealing with. In contemporary technological mainstream we see that the entire business of Information technology has been shifted overseas and are being handled primarily by countries that can provide ample and low cost labor force such as China and India.
In such cases these countries work for many of the software companies located in United States and other major economies of the world and their companies like Microsoft, Dell and Hewlett Packard, therefore the choice of the software that they demand has to be satisfied under all conditions and the requirements and nature of the software in turn determines the kind of the software that needs to be used for the making of the software. In some cases the company might show interest in developing software though agile while in other ways traditional methods have to be applied. Hence in a nutshell the affectivity of each methodology of software making depends on the requirements of the client and the nature of the software that needs to be developed by the concerned organization.
Requirements and demands may also vary at a local level for example a local Indian software company known as Satyam mostly shows interest in developing software through agile methods as alterations in it can readily be achieved to cater to the needs and requirements of their target audience. In some circumstances it is also a possibility that the software model and the specializations and expertise of the company involved in providing technological services come into consideration when choosing the methodology being applied. Some companies despite of client reliance and coercion apply tactics in order to convince the client the best way through which his services can reach his specified target audience in order to make sure that the capital investment being made by the client provides him maximum benefit in the form of the services being provided by the software company itself (Hass, 2007).