If you want maximum flexibility and regular progress reviews during software development, adopting an agile methodology could work best you.
Agile methodologies focus on collaboration between the client and the developers, completing work in stages and adapting and fine-tuning work as the process continues.
It is a popular method of working as it provides so much flexibility, and therefore, perhaps most importantly, it ensures as the development team learns more about the specifics of the project, it can adapt easily.
The team that originally proposed agile presented it as having come to value:
More info can be found at the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
We've found that taking this approach leads to better software more easily.
Agile can be interpreted and implemented in different ways, but typically the idea is to have an integrated, multi-discipline team working on a project or system based on the customer’s needs, but without the weeks or sometimes months of planning involved with a more traditional approach.
After a quick turnaround of about two weeks, typically working on a small aspect of a larger project, the work is taken to the client for feedback, and this feedback is then incorporated into the next two weeks of work, and so on.
This approach does not mean work is erratic or purely speculative – it requires skilled, disciplined, knowledgeable developers and continual product testing.
The client is fully engaged throughout the project, providing decision-making and domain-guidance throughout – ensuring they are well aware of what’s being created at all times.
Being agile allows you to refine and adapt your plan as you go along, rather than working to the letter on a pre-defined plan that will often need to change anyway.
Since work is delivered in stages, any unforeseeable problems with the requirement or the implementation are picked up early.
For a customer embarking on a large development project, is typically means greater visibility throughout the work, and, generally, leads to a more effective development relationship.
Agile methodologies allow for a much quicker start and frequent presentations to client – work is expected to evolve and clients will be part of this process, rather than just seeing an end product.
But this work in progress approach is not for everyone, and not all customers will need to, of have the time to, collaborate on an ongoing basis.
Agile processes are not necessarily quicker on the whole than a traditional plan and build, but they do allow for greater flexibility which reduces project risk and may well save time in the long run.
We are experienced with agile project management, both working within an existing team or taking on a project ourselves.
Three essential parts of our company culture enable agile to work: our clarity of communication; our transparency; our focus on quality. These help to break down the barriers between the customer and the development team.
Our creative but disciplined coding, testing and implementation ensures that you end up with the software product that you need.