Traditional software development has two notable features: fixed deadlines for product releases, and developers who are notoriously bad at meeting those deadlines. Shifting to an agile model without fixed deadlines but with regular reviews can actually get projects finished more quickly.
Picture by Gwydion M Williams
Speaking at a media launch in Sydney last week, Deborah Carlson from learning and performance tools software company Ancile Solutions noted that shifting to an agile development model had been a major benefit as Ancile worked on its Plaid business communication management system. "That has been really new to us," she said. "We've done traditional app development in the past, but this is nice because we're getting feedback that's real."
Not having a conventional process doesn't mean deadlines disappear entirely. Plaid (which is currently aiming for a November release) is still subject to weekly reviews. However, changing from a hard-and-fast approach to a more fluid model can have benefits for all sorts of projects, not just software development.