Welcoming Change Whilst in the Realm of Agile Software Development
One of the toughest aspects of Agile Software Development to actually implement is the concept of welcoming change. Two of the assertions of values contained in the Agile manifesto are:
  1. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  2. Reacting to changes following a strategy
The two assertions contribute to the belief the idea that Agile Software Development welcomes changes from stakeholders, including customers within the project. The Software Custom Software Development Development team aims to collect feedback through frequent releases through developing the software over a sequence of repeated iterations. Customers who change their minds concerning the needs of a particular project isn't seen as an issue, and this can be quite different from the way that many methodologies take a look at the issue of requirements evolving. The integration of feedback and involvement from the customer can be a key element in the success of Agile methodologies as it leads to the creation of software that clients actually need. Following this principle is no easy taskbecause the application of this principle needs to begin from the beginning of the project. Guidelines for Implementing Agile Software Development usually highlight the importance in the role of an executive sponsors as well as other roles in the business within a business that need to be involved and help support any initiative to bring in Agile Software Development. However, in the case of a Software Development company that develops custom software that is specifically designed for customers, the business people within the company must understand and stick to the principles of Agile Software Development likewise. There is a possibility of an interest in Agile Software Development in a project from all of the participants however the perception of the business communityis that it's an aspect that developers are responsible for and doesn't directly be a concern for them. As much of the material available on Agile Software Development does specifically focus on Software Development teams, that is quite an understandable assumption to make. For a firm that develops custom software, the client needs to be made aware of the characteristics of the Agile Software Development project and a contract must be reached that is in accordance with the selected methodology. Business people involved in a project that usually hold the responsibility of setting expectations of the client for a project and negotiating the contract. A person who isn't well-versed in Software Development expect that when making a deal with an Software Development company that the procedure is similar to buying most other items and services. The customer explains what they need before they settle on a price along with a date for delivery, and the customer then is patiently waiting for the project to be fulfilled. The Software Development company will not try to sabotage this expectation for risk of making the client uneasy, and thus risking losing business. It is common for this to result in a binding agreement that mirrors these expectations. The client continues to believe that the software, by the release date will be up and running and perform everything the customer desires and only needs to remain patient. However it is inevitable that the client will have to provide feedback on the software and will be very eager to make adjustments. In the above scenario the client is going to find themselves giving their feedback prior to the date that they actually have the chance to use the software. The changes will not be a hugely positive experience for the Software Development company at this point. In the end, these demands for change can lead to friction between the customer and Software Development company, possibly bringing about arguments between both parties. The company could argue that the requirement wasn't mentioned at the time of contract signed , and will demand more money for the implementation of these changes. If the customer accepts with the changes, a new contract would have to be negotiated. In contrast, the company could agree to make these modifications for free, provided that the client is without doubt extremely upset the software cannot do what the client wants. If these modifications are free of charge, the company gets closer to losing money in the undertaking. In both of these scenarios the project is bound to be late. If the development team is trying to be Agile and is constructing the project in iterations the situation is often improved by getting feedback from the client earlier on in the project. However, if the contract is deemed to be identical, the modifications will still be unwelcome to the business people associated with the project. They'll be seen as an extra expense and the project's developers are likely to be compelled to delay making these changes until a fresh or revised contract is negotiated. When business leaders realize that there will be changes over time and needs addressing, they should recognize that a fresh approach will likely be required in the future for making new contracts with clients. A viable option they might choose is to to break down"development" to the idea into distinct scheduled phases that can be easily planned, and then include this as the main point of the contract. This strategy doesn't undermine the expectation of the client to be sure of the result of a project, and thus it's a safe option. At the beginning of an undertaking, a client is usually quite certain that they have a clear idea of what they hope to achieve. In practice, actually seeing and using the software will be enough to make the client think about the project in an even greater way that they would have otherwise. This phased approach to making contracts is not going to resolve the issue of accepting changes and creates new issues. When the first phase of the project is completed the customer is able to use the software for the first time and starts asking for changes. The next phase needs to be designed to be planned again. If the original phases were time-estimated, the next stage will require an updated estimate from the development team. In addition, the business personnel must create a new contract for the following phase. This will typically demand a large administrative overhead for relatively small amounts of work. The client is also likely to get impatient over the length of time it takes to complete the work completed. More steps need to be taken to develop within an iterative fashion. In a perfect world, the people setting the customer's expectations for the project would have been able to commit to the idea of Agile Software Development and grasp the principles involved. They'd have the task of convincing the client of the advantages and concluding a contract that goes perfectly with their chosen method. Three expectations from customers are likely to be questioned during this process:
  1. They already have an idea exactly what they need
  2. to be sure of what to anticipate at the end of the project
  3. That the Software Development company is exclusively accountable for the successful project
In order to convince the customer that developing the project the Agile approach is a good idea. The benefits of the Agile method need to be highlighted:
  • That they can alter their minds at any time they wish, at any time they'd like
  • The changes they make will be integrated into the application in a short time with minimal administrative overhead
  • They will not have to be patient to see their software changes
  • The application that they have developed will be what they want it to be , not what they want it to be at the moment, but what they'd like to see at the time of release
  • They will play a significant part in guiding the progress of the project throughout its evolution
There are, of course, disadvantages to these advantages:
  • The customer doesn't know what they will receive at the conclusion of the project once they sign the contract
  • The requirements for the success of the project will evolve over time and will not be stated explicitly in the contract as a specific description.
  • The customer should take on active part with the team. The success of the project is contingent on the efficiency of the cooperation between the client as well as the Software Development team.
  • The customer has to prioritize their changes, deciding which ones are developed first and which need to be removed if needed
A contract that is compatible will probably not contain a comprehensive plan for the project, nor will it make this plan a binding agreement with that Software Development company. General, advanced level requirements will be used as the success criteria for the project. In return , the contract allows the client to make changes to the project if they wish to. A formal description of how the changes are handled will be included in the contract. This will correspond to what is employed for members of the Software Development team. For the most Agile methodologies this will mean that the development team will be able to incorporate these changes in the following iteration after receiving the request to change made by the client. The contract won't contain time estimations specific to high-level needs. Instead, it will include an iteration schedule. A contract that welcomes modifications is a contract which does not have to be altered.

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