In order to build UM Technologies’ Software as a service (SaaS) energy management suite, we needed to be responsive to our business goals, as well as our customers needs in a rapidly changing market. One of the ways we were able to accomplish this was by becoming more agile in the software development process.
What is Agile Development?
Agile seeks to connect the software development with business decisions and promote collaboration between team members by focusing on end-users. One way we accomplished this was by increasing communication between team members and our customers via frequent reporting, site visits, and responding immediately to customer concerns.
Agile prioritizes responsiveness in the software development process to deliver fast and effective results to our customers. Agile software development is more responsive than traditional software development methods because it addresses issues and barriers to change early on in the process and employs continuous monitoring and feedback to improve end-results. Addressing issues in the initial phases of the process allows for quicker builds by reducing the amount of time that changes need to be made during the final phases of the development process. Agile development helps keep projects on time and on budget.
Using Agile to Create our SaaS Energy Management Platform
You may be a little familiar with the principles of agile development. Rather than following a linear development process, agile segments tasks into smaller sprints (1-4 week projects) with internal deadlines for faster speeds. Once a sprint is completed, it undergoes a review and retrospective to see if any changes need to be made. One advantage of this process is that team deliverables do not change, allowing for progress to always be at the forefront of the development process.
Working in sprints also promotes greater control and independence among staff. By assigning your best UX designers to take the lead on sprints that pertain to their skillset, you encourage your strongest team members to complete tasks under the system that works best for them.
In the end, these changes allow for more responsive builds that are of higher quality and make it to market faster. By prioritizing iterative sprints and addressing barriers early in the software development process, agile software development can deliver the right product at the right time.
UM Tech’s energy management platform is an ongoing project full of continuous research and development to meet our customers’ changing needs. With continuous feedback and monitoring, UM Tech is continually striving to create software that adds value to the energy marketplace and to our customers’ businesses.