Agile Vs. Waterfall: Choose The Right Business Strategy For Your Business
As the head of an eCommerce business or company, you will surely be saddled with the responsibility of implementing eCommerce initiatives throughout, with the help and cooperation of a development team. The concept of agile vs. waterfall development is focused on software development, but it can also be applicable to eCommerce websites and platforms.
To understand the eCommerce Scenario, it is necessary to understand what a typical eCommerce journey looks like. First or all, you need to understand what your typical customer profiles will look like. Secondly, it is necessary to understand how to build the eCommerce website, and also other factors such as demographics, customers, and those who share your product the most with their networks. It is also in the best interests to study the following points about your customer profile in order to balance the long term prospects with the short-term goals:
- Who are your customers
- What do they want
- How social are they?
- Do they engage with online content?
- Where are they on social media?
- What motivates them to shop online?
- What is their user experience?
- How should I attract these customers for a lifetime?
While you are in the position of evaluating the answers to these questions, you will need to understand that you will need to find answers to dozens of other questions, which might be an extremely laborious and difficult task. For this reason, you will need to think about following the lean process for building out your eCommerce website. This is one of the best practices that you can leverage to start out with your eCommerce journey. Try working on the initial strategy that includes the best practices in design, user experience, and customer service. This should be combined with a high level, non-bulky understanding of the most profitable customer profile.
The data gathering process continues even after you have launched your eCommerce website. The data you have converted can be converted into action such as insights and hypotheses, and coming up with ideas that can be turned into growth prospects. Hence, your eCommerce journey never over. What you also need is a short term as well as long term road map for your eCommerce platform, along with a list of things you need to get done in the future. It’s certainly your responsibility to drive and own the revenue goal, it is now your responsibility to map out the developments as bulleted above and also create and manage while streamlining the process to get there.
Currently, there are two processes to get there – Agile and Waterfall. Let us examine these processes to understand which ones you will choose to get there.
Waterfall Method : In brief, the waterfall process involves the following points:
- Mapping out a very detailed, very complete plan for the construction of a certain project.
- Requires very detailed research, planning and analysis phase at the beginning of a project.
- Steps are laid out, after which responsibilities are assigned and only then the timelines are put into place.
- The planning phase is very large. The steps are pretty well laid out from the get-go.
- It must be emphasized that the system itself is not built for flexibility.
- The system was built to streamline and simplify a long-term plan of action by getting everything planned from the beginning. Then this is followed out by mapping out all the steps that eventually lead towards the required goal.
- Waterfall development is divided into large phases or releases. Everything is divided into phase 1, phase 2, phase 3 and so on.
- Each phase contains several/multiple items or fixes. It usually takes several months to release.
- Releases are usually quite substantial. Hence there is often a lot of time spent fixing bugs or making adjustments so that the implementation can be run on a smooth basis.
- Waterfall development can be a tough process for those who
- require immediate fixes
- Wish to launch a new release quickly to counter a competitive threat
- Respond to new development
- Waterfall process has a long-term vision. It requires everything to be prioritized according to its impact on the long-term viability of the platform.
Agile Development :
- Agile development is a fast, flexible and versatile method of development
- Developers work in “sprints” to accomplish goals in short time-frames, spanning 1-2 weeks.
- There is a still a road-map of developments and implementations
- However, they are separated into very short buckets so that tasks can be updated, changed, or prioritized very quickly.
- Testing is less rigorous because each release is small, allowing you to control most of the variables.
- In fact, Agile development grew out of the Waterfall method after developers recognized that its processes were not effective in constantly evolving landscapes.
The adaptability of Agile isn’t limited simply to eCommerce as a landscape; it’s equally applicable to the individual in charge of the platform (or its marketing team) as well as the business in general.
Business needs change all the time, especially in eCommerce, which requires a versatile strategy that can adapt to evolving or changing business needs. Directors can change their mind about a particular element for development, or go in an entirely new direction.
For example, resources might be constrained and require delays or stalling entirely. Customer needs may change, and therefore requiring a different strategy. Compared to the Waterfall method, the chances offered by Agile development for change, alteration and shifting development plans are much more flexible and easy.
Since we all live and work in a landscape that changes daily, we need to understand that new strategies and opportunities are continuously emerging all the time. We are always constantly focused on countering competitive threats and finding new as well as competitive ways to acquire customers and counter strategies to increase customer loyalty and retention. Our focus is always on bolstering margins while decreasing costs.
It could be a difficult condition if you drop a clanger on this and loose out on critical business goals, thereby proving to be devastation in today’s hyper competitive environment. Hence, you need to be very careful in choosing our development model between waterfall method and development strategy, before you realize that the one we chose was the wrong one not suited for your eCommerce businesses.