What are iterations and the advantages of using them

When we talk about Agile projects, an iteration is a standard period of time of fixed duration. In this period, teams deliver fully developed and tested work items. The average duration of the iterations varies from a week to a month and using them has multiple advantages, as you can read below.

The iterations seen closer

In Agile, project work is divided into different blocks of time called iterations. The iterations are like subprojects in which a process is repeated similar. Its objective is to provide an incremental delivery based on the results obtained from previous deliveries. 

I understand, but how is it done?

Adding new requirements or improving those that were already completed in previous iterations. This is very useful since, ultimately, the product evolves with each iteration. 

It is important to note that the deliveries are complete (development, testing and documentation). This is in order not to leave any project activity pending for the final phases.

With each iteration, value is delivered to the customer, therefore, it becomes essential to correctly prioritize the requirements. 

The goal is to generate the most value in the first few iterations.

Main advantages to use iterations

  • You can start the project with high-level requirements and refine them throughout the project.
  • Results are generated that the client can use from the beginning.
  • After each iteration, the client's feedback can be received and thus adjust the project to their expectations, so that at the end the expected result is obtained.
  • Given the short duration of the iterations, there is a more natural adaptation to change. This helps mitigate the risks of change requests due to client expectations or factors external to the project towards the end of the project.
  • At the end of the iterations, the team can improve the established processes based on the experience in the previous period.
  • The productivity of the work team is increased since they work more efficiently with short-term objectives.
  • The risk of resource losses is minimized, since you lose the resource of the iteration and not the entire project.
  • Since the speed and performance of the team in the different iterations is already known, more accurate estimates of effort and cost can be made.

Conclusion

Using short iterations in projects (between 2 and 4 weeks) has multiple advantages. The main one is that they increase the probability of success, since results are validated during its life and not at the end. In addition, they generate more productive teams that adapt to change more easily.

Do you want to know more about Agile? You can read this article by our collaborator Manuel Guzmán: https://coacharte.mx/beneficios-de-agile-la-gestion-empresarial-esta-viviendo-un-cambio-de-paradigma/

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