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Agile and burndown methodology are vastly different methods of managing a software development project. Agile methodology is targeted to the systematic and stage-by-stage development of a project, whereas burndown development is a more holistic way of looking at the software development process. Here are a few of the core differences between the two design philosophies.

Differing Metrics for Success

Agile methodology rates success based on how accurate the final deliverable is to the initial specifications given. In essence, it is focused towards precisely fulfilling the initial project. Comparatively, burndown methodology is more focused on the end results rather than the end product. In burndown methodology, the primary metric for success is end user adoption and retention. An accurate deliverable that yielded poor results would still be a success in agile, while an inaccurate deliverable that yielded fantastic results would be a success in burndown.

Creating Priorities in Software Development

In agile development, priorities are generally set based on product backlogs, through the use of sprint planning. Burndown methodology instead uses mockups and prototypes in order to begin the development of the project and slowly work through the project as a whole. As with metrics for success, agile development is focused on an accurate and consistent process, while burndown development is focused primarily on the end result and satisfaction of consumers.

Working Environments and Day-to-Day Operations

Burndown methodology is more flexible than agile development. In agile development, two week sprints are developed that must be followed to meet certain milestones. In burndown development, the priorities change every single day as needed. Because of this, some employees may be more suited to different types of development. Some employees may find the flexibility of burndown methodology freeing, while other employees may find it confusing.

Releasing the End Product and Prioritizing Updates

In agile methodology, updates and new features are generally packed and rolled out together. Burndown methodology instead releases a single feature at a time. Either of this can be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on the situation. On the end user side, multiple features being released at one can seem overwhelming. However, a single feature at a time will often be overkill for more complex development patterns.

Finding Specialists in Each Software Development Strategy

In general, agile development is considered to be an industry standard. Most software developers have worked in agile development at one point or another. Burndown development is more often used by freelancers and independent contractors. App development is often done through burndown development.

Both agile and burndown methods of software development are important for a developer and project manager to be knowledgeable about. Agile methods, for instance, are more suited to long-term, complex projects, whereas burndown methods are more suited to smaller projects and rapid prototyping and development. If you’re a software engineer or project manager, you can look at project management job listings at Software Specialists. Contact us for more information about project management jobs today.