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What Is Agile Development and How to Do It

What Is Agile Development?

To understand agile development, let’s go back to the days of the waterfall methodology. Here, you produce something and then you say, ‘Okay, now it's working, but it might have broken.’ And then you go through a process that's in series. There's a clear start and there's a clear end, but there's nothing in the middle that isn't defined. It only has a start and an end, and the product is created.

 

If you need help with the agile development process, schedule a free consultation today. We’ll jump in and have a look at some of your projects and make sure that you are doing them in the most efficient and effective way. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The problem with that is it costs a lot of money and doesn't make money most of the time throughout the process. It needs a lot of capital but there’s no money coming in from it. In a nutshell, it's creating the smallest, most basic item that's scalable, which you could send off to your clients or send out to market.

A Good Example Would Be Uber

Uber created their app so that you can share a ride with other users. Their intention was to create autonomous vehicles but they needed to have acceleration, data and any other points of black spots and what-not.

However, AI was going to be way too expensive, so they created a small product and then continued to develop the product. They created an app that allowed for ridesharing. They used people—the meat in a seat—to achieve their objectives until they’re able to have AI to a spot where they were able to have it work. They had a known ending but had a profitable product to start off with. 

Agile development gives you a return straight away or very close to straight away. Traditional models or the waterfall model means that you’re going to make an autonomous vehicle and you’re going to say, ‘Okay, it's going to cost us billions of dollars but we have a clear defined outcome.’ 

With Uber’s agile development, they thought ‘let's break this down into profitable steps, where we can then use that.’ So although Uber appears as if they're in competition with DiDi, Ola and Lyft overseas, they're not really in competition with them and that's why Uber's balance sheets look like they're running at a loss.

You look at others and you go ‘Wow! They're doing exactly the same thing. How is Uber running at such a loss?’

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But aren't the people who are first are the ones who end up losing all the money?

Uber paved the way and then the others like DiDi, Ola and Lyft jump on it.

McDonald's and Hungry Jack's could have the same argument. McDonald's and Hungry Jack's are pretty much exactly the same, but you've got McDonald's and it's definitely first, yet it's still out there and definitely larger. It all depends. 

Uber's definitely got the name. No one says ‘I'm going to catch an Ola.’ They go catch an Uber.

The others changed the market and made it a level playing ground. Before, an Uber from your house to the airport could be 28 dollars and now it could be 55 dollars. So all DiDi's done is they've just leveled the playing field. What Uber did was what Netflix did to Blockbuster: ‘Let's crush the taxi drivers. Once we've crushed taxi drivers, increase our profits.’

But you have the early adopters, and then you have the latecomers. They would've known that someone was going to come along and copy the idea. But they would have had such a deep footing and grounding in what they've done. It wouldn't have mattered because their end goal wasn't to compete with DiDi or Ola but to use the points of data.

For us, it looks like the same app, but the intelligence that they’re actually gaining from the app is far greater than what DiDi or Ola has.

If you need help with your agile development process, schedule a free consultation today. We’ll jump in and have a look at some of your projects and make sure that you are doing them in the most efficient and effective way. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Have You Heard of Beyond Meat?

Beyond Meat has more protein than steak and most hamburgers. It takes up 99% less landmass, has nearly all the health benefits of consuming meat, burns and cooks like meat and has haem in it the same as haemoglobin in meat. It tastes exactly like meat.

Beyond Meat created one product: the Beyond Meat patty. It is absolutely revolutionary with the way that it works, and it means that it'll be a sustainable product that still gives you all the same benefits as meat into the future.

Regardless of health and life choices, their intention was to have a huge range of products. But they obviously can't do that and be profitable if they're working on all these products at once. So they developed the easiest product that was able to sneak into the market as easy as possible. 

If you have a look at the predominant meat eaters, it'd definitely be America. Asia is more vegetarian than America even though they have a huge population.

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Why Does Agile Development Make a Difference?

With the traditional methodology, the goal is to produce the simplest product into the market as quickly as possible. Agile development is about improving the original product, with a bigger end goal than just the initial project.

The idea is testing the waters without getting your feet wet. You can use the agile methodology for anything, even marketing. You can slowly develop your business without having a huge cost outlay. From a marketing perspective, there are different ways that people use the agile method.

If you need help with the agile development process, schedule a free consultation today. We’ll jump in and have a look at some of your projects and make sure that you are doing them in the most efficient and effective way. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Another Example: Apple

Steve Jobs had six different iPhones in front of his stand. One of them played videos, one of them received SMSs and calls, one of them played music, one of them had apps that showed maps, and so on and so forth. Not a single iPhone could do all the things at once without crashing. Each person with agile methodology was able to create a certain function working on each device, but not all of them together. If you tried to, and you accidentally did it, it might start working and then crash mid-presentation.

To save face while he was showing everyone this revolutionary new technology, he went up and said this is world changing, this is revolutionary, and everyone's going to have one of these in their pocket. And he's not half wrong.

What he did there was just fancy video editing. As he put the phone down and then picked it up, he already knew that it was going to be exactly the spot where it needed to be. Additionally, they had a tower that was put there by Verizon and was only paired to their phones that were on the stand—to make sure that they had absolutely lightning-fast speed and no congestion with everyone else that was in the audience. That bit isn't really agile; that's just tricky.

But having the different phones, knowing that you can do it somewhat—but you don't have the capital to continue producing a single device and you don't know how well it's going to be received—allowed for a world audience to see, pre-order the devices and have the money to then build it out.

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Free Beer and Survey

Joshua and his dad started a craft brewery. They've got 10 different products that they've got on tap. They haven't gotten the licensing to sell it, which is quite expensive when you don't know if it's going to work and if people are actually going to enjoy the taste of your brew. They've created a survey, which people fill out and they give the beers away for free. When people fill out the survey and they try the beers and they go, 'Yes this is fantastic", Joshua and his dad pay a pre-order to buy a six-pack for instance. Once they have 6,000 people on that list, they then know that there's enough of a test there and they know that people would be interested in buying it without having to fork out the money for larger infrastructure and any of the licensing costs.

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Agile Development in Marketing

With communication and branding, we can say that a lot of that would come to their marketing and how well they're being shown on the web, making sure that everything is consistent.

But if you went to a small business and you said ‘you need to make sure that your story resonates with your ideal client,’ but the marketing budget is going to be $200,000 to make sure that you get their message to the appropriate people, most business owners will go, ‘I can't afford that. I know that that's what I need to do, but I can't afford that.’

So let's test the water, use a long tail keyword, do sniper marketing, and target a very test small audience because you can't afford the $200,000 even though you know that's going to work. Test a smaller audience, a subset niche of your target market, and then from that go ‘Okay, that has worked. That is now bringing in income.’ Especially for startup business, even if the income is not huge, it's bringing in income that allows you to push the money towards the $200,000. It’s about testing the waters as opposed to knowing that you've got the full solution from start to finish.

Sometimes, you don't know how to go about finishing creating a product or service, and that's where we say ‘agile developmental design is your answer.’

That's what Steve Jobs did to make sure that they had a product, although they would have had the money and the market research that said ‘this product is going to work,’ they may not have wanted to spend the capital on something that might have flopped because there already was the Nokia phone that could do nearly everything, but it just didn't have the right story-telling and the right approach to it.

If you need help with the agile development process, schedule a free consultation today. We’ll jump in and have a look at some of your projects and make sure that you are doing them in the most efficient and effective way. 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Importance of Security in Agile Development

Security is another big objective towards agile development. If you don't have good security practices in your business, it will delay and push things out.

Have you seen the HTTPS at the start of websites? Up until a couple of years ago, there was a vulnerability that had been there for decades for about a decade called heart bleed. Apple was aware of it. Apple had protected all of their systems. Apple didn't let everyone else know about that. Apple was able to snoop and see any details that were deemed encrypted on everyone else's system. That's terrible.

The OpenSSL protocol was able to be broken into. Certain people knew about it and other people didn't. The person that developed that was in their garage, just a home business that developed this and gave it away for free for everyone to use, and then everyone abused that, and that then opened up to mass hysteria when the security problem came out about a year ago.

Make sure you keep your eyes on the process and your security around all of the processes. If you don't, you'll have delays in the way that your product is going to be released.

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The Final Word

It’s better to be producing something that you can test the waters with. If you need help with the agile development process, schedule a free consultation today. We’ll jump in and have a look at some of your projects and make sure that you are doing them in the most efficient and effective way. 

This article is based on Joshua Lewis’s Special Presentation on Agile Methodology. Joshua founded Dorks Delivered in 2007, wrote for columns for an online entrepreneur magazine, published a book, and was featured on news.com.au. He has a podcast and YouTube channel and a podcast where he shares his passion for automation.

 

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