In the past, software stability and predictability were hallmarks of a good application. Moving forward, flexibility will define the winners of the future and prioritising it will empower organisations to deliver genuinely valuable customer experiences
Building strong foundations that can grow organically over time is vital to creating successful applications that deliver outstanding customer experiences. However, the flexibility should not only apply to ensuring applications can scale easier, but also to the approach organisations take when developing new products and features.
There has been much debate over the relative merits of Agile versus Waterfall and the best software methodologies. For instance, the former ensures organisations focus on customer centricity, while the latter helps companies create and prioritise segments within a user audience. Orthodox thinking would have organisations prioritising one methodology over the other — generally, Agile instead of Waterfall.
But it’s important to accept there is no magic solution that will work for every organisation. Obsession with methods shouldn’t replace the ability to analyse and think critically about what works and what doesn’t. Design and development is about solving problems. Deciding how to solve a challenge is the first problem to overcome.
Adopting a flexible approach and creating an environment that fosters innovation is more important than choosing a rigid development and design model and forcing everyone to fit into it. Leadership should approach their teams with that same customer-obsessed mindset when determining what tools to give them (think hybrid development approach) to complete their tasks perfectly.
Thus, by taking a flexible approach, designers and developers will be empowered to create innovative products, features and services that give their customers excellent experiences. This is because they can work in the most appropriate way for a given project, rather than being forced into a methodology that isn’t optimal for the desired outcome(s).