Software development methodology
Nowadays, agile methodology is the most preferred approach by most organizations in developing a software product for all their departments, and most importantly, the marketing department. Agile combines both the iterative and incremental models, while at the same time focusing on process malleability and customer satisfaction through prompt delivery of a functional software product. In Agile, the product is broken down into small and manageable incremental products, which are released in iterations (usually between one to three weeks). In each iteration, there are various cross-functional parties involved in tasks such as planning, design, requirement elicitation and analysis, coding and testing. After every iteration, the team provides a working product for review (Highsmith, 2010).
There are several reasons for choosing agile methodology when developing marketing tool for a small number of users. Firstly, since the working products get released to the end-users in short-period iterations, the users can begin utilizing the software early while the product development is in progress, while they gain the revenue from the software. The marketers will, therefore, earn using the product while the developers team works on the next iterations. Additionally, the agile methodology is believed as the best technique used to introduce the business to the market early enough. Research claims that most of the market leaders who we see today (about 80% of them) were the beginners in the market. In agile, the clients are assured that they will have early software product releases that happen between one to three weeks. After the first release, the other releases are done incrementally, depending on requirement changes. The third reason is that agile assures the marketers of a high quality software product, which gets realized from agile key principle that ‘testing gets integrated during the entire lifecycle,’ thereby allowing for checkups and inspections. As a result, the owner of the product can request for new changes on the system if there is the need for improvement. Since the marketing team in our case is small, the users are easily engaged throughout the entire project if they use agile approach. The methodology provides for visibility, and this facilitates the achievements of the client’s expectations. In the marketing department, it is very likely for a risk to occur. However, agile methodology eliminates chances of occurrence of risks because after every incremental release, the software product is analyzed and the issues identified and eliminated before progressing further.
The identification and elimination of the risks at the early phase is important in minimizing the chances of the project failure (Highsmith, 2010). Usually, project failures are realized when some minor issues are ignored and build up to the level that they cannot get managed, and this results in project failure after too much spending. Another benefit of agile approach is that it is highly flexible. Since we are dealing with marketing department, whereby strategies changes depending on the nature of the market, I would not emphasize on using the traditional waterfall model when implementing the project. In traditional approach, the project development involves high discipline such that they do not entertain any changes made before the completion of the cycle. On the other hand, Agile solves this situation by eliminating unnecessary documentation and brings out the idea that not all requirements get known at the beginning, and that changes in circumstances may lead to request for implementation for new requirement. More importantly, the aim of every business is to maximize returns and minimize cost. In the development of a project using agile approach, less cost is accrued, since the project is completed within few weeks, as compared to most other methodologies like the waterfall model. Finally, in agile, all users are actively involved and therefore the process is very enjoyable. No one is left out at any single moment, during the work progress.
I would prefer that the marketing department should use phased rollout methodology when implementing the methodology. In phased rollout, the changeover happens in steps for some period such that the users move utilizes the system gradually (Laskowski, 2011). The reason for the choice is that it requires minimum cost and low risk as compared to the others. When the marketing team identifies the issues during the changeover, they will not affect the normal work to a greater extent.
There is a few marketing software available online. One of the major companies that use their services is Belgian digital agency Mia, which utilizes the services offered by HubSpot
Highsmith, J. A. (2010). Agile project management: Creating innovative products. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley.
Laskowski, J. (2011). Agile IT security implementation methodology: Plan, develop, and execute your organization’s robust agile security with IBM’s Senior IT Specialist. Birmingham: Packt Pub.