Speed and efficiency are the center of how SaaS products get delivered. To ensure products are delivered on time, companies use an Agile framework when developing their products.
But what is Agile software development and what makes it such a great tool for SaaS product development?
Stick around, we’ll give you the answer to all of that and more.
What is Agile?
The term “Agile” is used to describe a set of best practices for software development that allows developers to adapt quickly to changing market trends. Signed by over a dozen well-established programming professionals, The Agile Manifesto lays out a set of four values and 12 principles for developing software. These values and principles focus on delivering superior value through high-quality service. There are several different Agile methodologies for software development; however, there is no one standard way of approaching Agile-based development.
The most popular Agile framework in the software development world is Scrum. The Scrum framework is based on timed sprints of development, typically a few weeks in length. For maximum production efficiency, members of a development team are delegated one of three roles: product owner, scrum master, and development team member.
The product owner is responsible for making sure the team is in alignment with product goals. They must understand market trends and customer desires.
The scrum master is responsible for keeping the team in alignment with Scrum values. They keep development teams on track by planning and leading meetings, maintaining an efficient backlog, and removing unnecessary distractions.
Development team members handle the hands-on work of product development. These are the engineers, designers, and marketing professionals that make up a development team. They are responsible for contributing to sprint goals, testing & designing products, and improving products as necessary.
What is SaaS Agile and why should you consider it?
SaaS products are built and delivered over the internet, meaning that changes and updates happen very quickly. Successful SaaS products require many iterations for sustained success, and this is where the Agile framework comes in. SaaS Agile enables development teams to quickly deliver high-quality products, updates, and new features.
This speed of delivery is especially important when it comes to customer service. The nature of SaaS products means issues can arise very quickly, so it’s important that these issues get resolved just as quickly. Features and updates built in collaboration with customers give a product a higher chance of long-term success.
How do you implement Agile in your project?
The name of the game with SaaS Agile is speed, flexibility, and continuous delivery—but how do you implement it on a project? Let’s go over the steps to take for implementation.
Define product goals and ensure buy-in
The first thing you should do is define your goals for your product. Every goal should be clear and concise, as well as in line with your product vision. Are your goals realistic? Can you reach them in your product’s given timeline?
Beyond methodologies and best practices, implementing Agile in a SaaS product requires complete buy-in. Your product development team and every other team in the company should be on board with putting the project at the center of their attention. Is everyone on the team on the same page? Will everyone be able to stay on the same page for the long term? These are questions to carefully consider, as unification across the board will make the product development process that much easier.
Create a backlog
With the goals and vision for your product squared away, it’s time to create your product’s backlog. Your product backlog consists of all the tasks that need to be completed to achieve your product’s goals. On top of that, your backlog will constantly be updated and refined according to changing market conditions and customer feedback. Backlogs are created and maintained in collaboration with engineers, product managers, and marketing managers.
Plan your development sprints and have daily meetings
Development sprints are the backbone of Agile software development. These one- to two-week-long periods see every member of the team assigned tasks that turn into a completed product over time. Development sprints are essential to building SaaS products, and communication is key for maximizing their potential.
A great way to maintain communication over the development cycle is through daily meetings. Daily meetings look like every member of the team discussing the progress of their tasks, accomplishments, and roadblocks or issues to their productivity.
These meetings need not be long: 15 minutes or less is the target length to shoot for. This practice will prevent issues from snowballing out of control by addressing them as they come, as well as give the team motivation to keep stacking wins.
Perform sprint reviews
At the end of each development sprint, your team should come together with stakeholders to review and reflect on what was accomplished during the sprint. This presents an opportunity to go over what could be made better or done differently for the next sprint. What areas could use improvement? Are there any gaps in the process slowing things down? What tasks were the easiest and hardest to complete?
Continuously iterate and improve
Even with the initial production process complete, there’s always a lot to learn and improve on. Perhaps product goals changed during the course of development, and changes to the backlog are necessary. Or maybe customers are requesting new features your team hasn’t yet considered. Market conditions are ever-evolving, and customer feedback will always reveal new opportunities for growth.
Make your next SaaS project Agile
Hopefully, you’ve learned everything you need to know on how to implement Agile software development for your next SaaS project. Adopting Agile will help your team release products quickly and efficiently, as well as make your team adaptable, effective, and efficient.
Are you trying to build the SaaS product of your dreams but need help with the legwork? We’ve got you covered! Book a call with us today to get started.