The Top 10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Be Agile, #8-10

Welcome to the final part of My Top 10 Reasons Why Your Company Should Be Using Agile. In this entry, I’m going to talk about my final three reasons for using Agile but don’t be fooled: they are just as important – in fact more so – than everything that has gone before.

You could say that all the previous seven reasons for using Agile all lead to this point. So why should your company by using Agile? Well, in summary, because customers will be happier, products can be made faster and they can be made better.

You Should Be Using Agile Because…

Reason # 8: Product Owners/ Customers Are Happier With Agile

“Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”

– The Agile Manifesto

As Product Owners and customers have the chance to feedback on the development at each stage of an Agile development, customer/Product Owner satisfaction is usually very high. Problems and issues can be identified and tackled earlier, any misunderstandings can quickly be clarified and products developed to clear specifications. What’s not to love?

All of which avoids common problems such as scope creep, lack of vision or focus, promising too much, no customer involvement until it’s too late, lack of acceptance criteria, unrealistic deadlines and more.

No wonder the customer/Product Owner is happier with Agile.

Reason # 9: Agile Leads to Faster Results

If you are Agile, you should be enjoying working software from every Sprint. What’s more, you should be delivering the most critical factors first and eliminating the non-valuable tasks or removing the jobs that take you away from what you really should be doing – all of which means that you get your work done faster.

A faster time to market helps the business to retain or grow market share, keep up in a fast changing environment, be ahead of competitors and retain customer interest and excitement.

Delivering working products in short iterations (emphasis on the working) helps to avoid a lengthy test or fix cycle, late testing, one big delivery at the end that may or may not be to scope, poor customer involvement and an inability to cope with change. These things should never be a problem in an Agile environment.

Reason # 10: Agile Improves Quality.

Ah, our last reason for using Agile and arguably the most important. All of the things that I’ve already mentioned don’t really mean very much without a high quality product at the end of it. You can deliver often and fast, for instance, but if you create inferior software or a poor product, you negate any benefit Agile can bring you.

The good news is that the very process of using Agile – assuming you use it correctly – should ensure superiority of process and product by default. It does so by ensuring quality and testing are included in each sprint rather than simply being bolted on the end as it would be in a waterfall process.

Quality assurance is incorporated from the off; products should work at the end of each sprint but if there are errors or anything that can be improved, these will be addressed in the next sprint, ensuring continuous improvement at every stage.

Customer feedback and input leads the entire Agile process, making sure that customers receive the product that they want. All change is welcomed and never rejected if it adds value to the customer, allowing the business to take advantage of new technologies, products and advances since development started.

All of that, plus the motivated and creative Developers you’ll have working with you under Agile, means that the team can work smarter and not just harder – ensuring the business will have a product it can be proud of.

After all, as the Agile Manifesto says:

“Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.”

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