There are many reasons companies want to adopt Agile development and one of the main reasons we hear is that people want to get products to market faster, or respond to changing market conditions and customer demands.

So the question is, can Agile really help here? The answer is a resounding yes but let’s look at why this is the case.

It all comes down to stakeholders and developers working closer together.

With traditional development in depth requirements are gathered up front, everyone within the business has an input and everyone has needs and desires that pulls the product in different directions and adds features to the final build. Once the requirements are gathered it then takes time for the developers to review them and provide feedback and start development, they then deliver the package of work at the end of the development cycle.

With Agile the developers work much more closely with the stakeholders from the start. The Product Owner will facilitate the gathering of requirements and force the business to make tough decisions around prioritising . In Agile everything cannot be the number 1 priority so features are prioritised in terms of importance and the business is challenged harder to establish what is critical and what isn’t as the impact of new features to timescales is very transparent to the stakeholders. Also, at the end of every Sprint a working, tested product is released and the business can decide when to release this to the market. They may choose to wait until everything in their wish list is complete and release but more commonly companies choose to release products with reduced functionality that they can build on over time.

This has a number of advantages. One such advantage is that it also allows you to reprioritise your new feature development if your customers aren’t responding in the way you were expecting or their is customer demand for something you hadn’t previously thought of.  Additionally it allows you to identify any issues faster and on a more limited codebase (i.e. there is less to fix if somethings wrong and you can do this faster and with less impact to people).

So in conclusion, yes Agile can help you get to market faster. This is due to their being a more single minded focus upon what is essential for the first release versus what is a nice to have. It also allows you to respond faster to competitive threats and customer demands as the priorities can be adapted at will with the right agreement from the stakeholders. If you want to find out more about how Agile can be used in your company to deliver products to market in less time then get in touch with us and one of our Agile coaches will be happy to help.

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