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The Benefits of Agile Software Development

By JJ Vega on 03-08-2024

There are three main goals we have for software projects.

  1. Keep the project within a client budget.
  2. Deliver the project on time.
  3. Make sure the software solves the client's problems.

Software development is an emergent discipline. This means that we and a client don't know exactly what they need until we start developing the software. It always starts with a pain point and an idea. We then discover together the software that will address that pain point, and others.

This is different from other disciplines, like building construction. With building construction, there is more known information than unknown. If you are building a house, you already have a good idea of what the design and building process will look like. There are only so many choices for rooms, foundations, and other structural elements.

Software development involves a lot of unknown. We have to tackle these types of projects with a different approach. This is where Agile project management comes in.

What Is Agile Software Development?

In 2001, several influential software developers came together in Snowbird, Utah. During that meeting, they discussed ways to make software development more lightweight. They left having drafted the Agile Manifesto for Software Development. This document outlined a core set of values and principles. Together, they establish what the culture of a software development team should embrace.

This culture should:

  • Emphasize collaboration with customers early and often
  • Focus on developing software in small chunks
  • Avoid planning too far into the future to embrace change

A successful Agile culture will be laser-focused on one thing: delivering value. In software development, that means working software that meets the client's needs.

What is Waterfall Project Management?

Remember that example about building construction earlier? This is the type of project that benefits from a waterfall approach.

A waterfall approach will plan the entire project out ahead of time. The project will take place in distinct stages. Once planned, it is hard to change the plan. Clients see the final result at the end of the project.

Again, this is a fine approach when there is a clear end goal. When you know what the product should look like, you can plan it all ahead of time.

In what situation is Agile project management superior to waterfall?

Anytime the end product goal is unclear from the beginning, Agile is the best approach. Agile's emphasis on short development cycles and quick feedback prevents waste. A client's worst nightmare is waiting to see a final product and finding out that it doesn't meet their needs. That means wasted time and wasted money.

With an Agile approach, a team would spend time with the client to get their initial requirements. They would then work for a short period of time. That could be a week, two weeks, or even a month. During that time, they'll get a piece of software working. Once it is, they will meet with the client and show the software. They will then get feedback from the client to improve or change the software. Then they'll work another short period and repeat the process.

What clients often discover is that what they thought they needed is different to what they need. That's no fault of their own. Software is abstract and intangible, so it is hard to imagine what the right software will look like! This is why we work in short sprints and show the results fast.

As the project progresses, clients will start to understand their own needs better. As they do, the team will adapt the project plan to include features that meet those needs. The process repeats over and over until a final product emerges.

Of course, no software project is ever final. New features, bug fixes, and improvements will emerge over time. As they do, the software will get better and better at meeting business needs.

How Does Equanimity Use Agile Software Development?

Our mission is to help businesses using custom software and technology solutions. That means we work closely with our clients to discover their needs. We also communicate often and get feedback early to make sure the software is what they need. This approach puts us in line with the Agile way of developing software.

The custom aspect of our software is what makes the Agile approach ideal. A more traditional out of the box SaaS product could be a traditional Waterfall project. Again, if you know what the end result should look like, you can plan a project further out with less risk and waste. When working with custom solutions, it’s important to limit the scope of planning to mitigate that risk with so much unknown at play.


Agile is often a buzzword that gets thrown around in business circles. Many people have opinions on Agile: some positive, some negative. The true heart of Agile is about how people work together to solve problems. We've embraced that heart as the engine that drives our culture. We know that the only way to solve problems and create value is to do it together.


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