Extreme Programming
Lifeware's software is developed using the Extreme Programming approach.
Extreme Programming is a new way of developing software, which addresses the increasing need for an effective response to changing requirements and technology throughout the development cycle of a software project. In other words, XP was set up to address the problems of project risk. Almost all software projects managed in the traditional way either miss the delivery deadline, exceed the allocated budget or both. Furthermore projects thus developed are often unused.
The main cause for failure is the traditional development process based on 4 stages carried out by different teams of mainly independent individuals. In such projects every stage takes from 3 up to 12 months. Things worsen when the software is put into production: a technically less skilled team must maintain the application. No major resources are allocated for them and no further improvement activities are undertaken. The consequences are the value and quality of the software decrease very rapidly.
Thanks to XP the approach is different. This methodology emphasizes teamwork. Managers, customers and developers are all part of a team dedicated to delivering quality software.

XP's targets are explained in the following 5 simple points:
  • XP shortens the development cycles in order to deliver the application as soon as possible.
  • XP delivers the necessary functionality for the customer's needs at the right time.
  • XP adopts a minimalist approach: most important features first.
  • XP integrates the customer's feedback: the customer is the best tester.
  • XP believes in constant improvement: extendible and customizable applications rather than standard software packages

The benign influence of the XP methodology on Lifeware's customers are explained in the following few points: The development lead-time is very short: in 3 to 4 months the customer can sell the first insurance policy. The risk of failure is low because Lifeware quickly and consistently delivers usable software. The application constantly develops to meet changes in customer needs. No monthly releases, no yearly versions: the application is updated daily without customer intervention. No particular computer skills are required.
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