Agile Methodology In New Product Development

Product development involves a methodological approach. Does it sound complex? Well! It isn’t so actually! Product development can be more organized, interesting and successful – all at once. Yes!

Over the last few years, product development and release have become simple, hassle-free and mostly successful; and this can be attributed to Agile Methodology in Product development. Agile has been proving great for product development, however, on the flip side, there are unsaid and unaddressed challenges which when identified and resolved will power the methodology to render success.

It is important to understand the fact that each product development project is different from the rest of the already executed ones, and each of them requires all together a new approach in design, architecture and development so as to finish within stipulated time and budget. No two product development projects are same and therefore, the same format of the Agile methodology will not work for all as it worked for one of them.

Most companies are adopting “Agile” methodology for software development today and this is a very commendable shift, paving way for releasing products or their features in shorter development cycles.

Agile methodology and new product development” becomes a best match only when the members of the development team have an in-depth knowledge of how and where Agile best fits in their project and what is the best way to incorporate it.

In new product development projects, Agile methodology incorporation is a best bet yet extremely challenging, for the package comes with great benefits coupled with unknown risks. If the team has no idea about the possible risks and the probability of surviving them, the outcomes of the project can be totally derailing and inefficient. And you don’t want that with your project.

Here Are Four Unaddressed Challenges In The Agile-Product Development:

Changing The Core Project Architecture

Agile methodology is effective, efficient and reliable, balancing the changes made to requirements at the feature level as long as the core project architecture is retained. If your requirement changes are likely to iterate the architecture, it’s alarming!

While developing new products, the teams often come under pressure to make quick requirement iterations without considering the architecture stability, in order to meet the timelines. In such situations, the product development may catch pace, but it attracts unknown and unidentified risks simultaneously.

An alternative to such risks is to try and consider working on base platform features and not making major changes to the core architecture.

Unknown Technical Challenges

Irrespective of the development methodology used in the process of new product development, unidentified technical challenges are extremely critical. Unlike an established product, the number of unidentified technical challenges, in simple words the “not yet proven ideas” in a new product development, is relatively bigger. How can one say the impact of unidentified technical challenges? Their impact can be as small as just a bug or as big as a complete derailing of the outcome. Therefore, it is important to identify these challenges, gauge their impact, grab the positive side of them and prove the ideas at the earliest.

Incomplete Architecture

Incomplete system architecture can be the most critical challenge flashing during an agile product development project. Typically either unknown technical challenges or making changes to the core architecture can contribute to this. Incomplete spaces are created due to lack of knowledge on how a small piece of the entire project fits in the whole project as a structure in bigger picture.

System architecture is actually a reference and a guiding tool that helps in bringing individual project pieces to create a whole new product.

For instance, say a bunch of friends are walking in different directions hoping to meet at a random point. What would be the outcome? The chances of meeting are undefined and indefinite. With no proper structure, the project ends up being a big time fail! Agile methodology is popular for its capability to bring different pieces of the project together in sync with each other creating a bigger one, that’s right in all means and is in time for delivery.

A well-prepared architecture is like a well-marked map that best guides to your destination.

Undefined Framework Obstructing Continuous Integration

In projects with Agile methodology powered product development, there is a need to continuously integrate the features as and when they are developed. Lack of a framework for continuous integration, testing and verification of the developed features can lead to unwanted defects.

Agile helps in rolling out a new product within a short time period in a cost-effective way. Therefore, the product team implementing Agile in their product development should strive towards taking best advantage of this capability.

Identify the challenges and invigorate success through Agile!