Incremental vs Big Bang

In software development we have different ways of releasing new changes.  One approach is the Big Bang release where we put every item asked for by the customer.  Usually the customer thinks this is what they want.  They want it all at once and it will just be great.  I am sure anyone who has worked on a project that releases this way knows that it is less than perfect.  There might be bugs in this release but there is also bloatware.  When we ask what they want they come with the list of features.

In over a year of developing software in a Agile method, I learned a lot about the bloatware that can fill up feature lists.  In Agile development they talk a lot about adding business value.  When you look down a list of items that a customer may request the business value can be negligible on some items.  “Suzy would really like another button on the order entry screen.”  It may not really help anyone out or it may confuse the other people, or it could not be what the business owner’s want.

Incremental development lets us put out a few features and iterate on those to get the valuable features out and get important feedback.  The Agile manifesto covers this and points us in the right direction.

How are you releasing your software?

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