How Agile Development Tools Can Speed Up Time to Market
Modern DevOps teams need tools that can keep pace with short development cycles
The adoption of agile methodology changed software development — teams now ship updates faster, iterate processes, and add bug fixes along the way. It’s the equivalent of building a plane in mid-air, but in the case of cloud-based solutions, that’s a good thing: It allows for flexibility and feedback, which benefits end users.
The challenge? Not all development platforms are created equal when it comes to serving agile teams, which can slow down time to market for a new product. In this article, we’ll cover why agile development tools are an essential asset for every team aiming for a speedier launch day.
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Benefits of Using Agile Development Methodology
Agile development benefits your team, current and future customers, and other stakeholders, including investment partners. Some of the most widely-acknowledged benefits of agile include:
- Better communication: Constant and open communication between all the stakeholders is at the heart of agile methodology.
- Greater employee agency: By encouraging open communication and constant feedback, your employees get to contribute and utilize their unique skillset instead of following top-down orders. They also get to decide what their day-to-day looks like, which can lead to higher job satisfaction.
- Higher-quality product: Agile teams ask for feedback from current and potential customers constantly, adding improvements along the way, which results in higher-caliber solutions.
- Improved accountability: Because agile teams check in with each other and their stakeholders constantly and work in short sprints, it’s much harder to veer off course.
Agile Development Tools and Time to Market
One of the few areas in which agile falls short is structure. Because agile teams often work in sprints, there isn’t much time for generating documentation, and the fragmented nature of delivering updates in short bursts can make creating repeatable processes tricky. And yet, solid documentation and repeatable processes are crucial to iteration and maintaining compliance.
This is where agile development tools can offer support. They allow your team to move quickly and stay flexible while providing an easy-to-replicate structure. Using agile tools can help you speed up time to market during each of the agile development phases, from design and inception all the way through to iteration, release, and maintenance.
Design and Inception
Flexible Organization with Source Control Tools
Beginning the development process with source control tools like Git or Subversion can help you set your development team up for a faster, more seamless workflow. Source control tools provide structure to keep code organized but also offer a way for different developers to follow different paths, which puts your team in charge of their day-to-day. This allows your team to react and pivot quickly, so your solution will likely get to market faster.
Adaptable Project Management
The design and inception stage is also a good time to invest in an agile project management system. Jira is perhaps the most well-known PM tool for agile teams, but any cloud-based solution with robust schedule management, task tracking, and file sharing features can be a strong option. If you’re planning to use Scrum or Kanban, make sure your project management tool of choice can support sprint tracking, velocity charts, or Scrum boards. Much like with source control tools, using an agile project management system helps your team move through the development cycle faster while tracking their progress.
Agile development tools that allow for a CI/CD framework are a must. Continuous integration and the ability to quickly ship code through a series of repeatable processes is, after all, at the heart of agile methodology. Platforms like Strider, Integrity, and Jenkins are some examples of continuous integration tools that let your team customize their plug-ins and update code quickly.
Automated Compliance and Cloud Provisioning
Compliance is a mammoth of a challenge for all new solutions, but especially so for start-ups and small businesses. It can take precious time and resources away from your team and slow down your time to market. Opting for an automated compliance and cloud-provisioning platform can save your team months — perhaps years — of time by providing built-in protocols and systems that you would otherwise have to figure out on your own. Instead, your team can focus all of their energy on the parts of your solution that make it unique. That usually leads to better outcomes and fewer delays. If you want to learn more about utilizing no-code/low-code platforms with automated compliance, give this white paper a read.
Exciting as they may be, release dates are also nerve-wracking even under the most ideal of circumstances. The good news is that if your team has been following an agile development plan and using at least some of the tools discussed so far, your risk of sending a flawed application out into the world is much lower. Strong collaboration and communication are the cornerstones of agile methodology, which means agile teams review and assess their progress as they go along, rather than wait for an entire project to be complete before getting feedback. This transparency allows bugs and inconsistencies to be resolved before they can become an issue. Reduced risk also means reduced back-and-forth, less time spent fixing preventable hiccups, and an overall faster time to market.
Once a new solution is on the market, agile teams continue the development cycle, writing and shipping updates that make the product stronger. One constant challenge that can get in the way of continuous innovation is continuous compliance. Standards are always being updated, and most types of compliance, including SOC and PCI DSS, require annual validation. For that reason, an agile development tool in your toolkit should include a continuous, automated compliance solution. For example, DuploCloud’s platform provides automatic updates and reporting both at and post-provisioning, which can save you hours of time spent on collecting documentation. Most importantly, continuous compliance ensures that your customers can keep using your product in good faith, knowing that their information is secure.
A DevSecOps Platform for Agile Teams
DuploCloud’s no-code/low-code platform provides a CI/CD framework that lets your team build, test, and deploy apps from GitHub commits and PRs. Made for seamless cloud-provisioning and built-in compliance, it’s the tool of choice for agile teams aiming to speed up their time to market. Reach out to schedule a demo.