The beauty of Agile is in it’s transparency and speed to market.
Stakeholders and developers work hand in hand to build the product. Stakeholders review the product frequently so can change things that don’t meet their expectations or the demands of the customer. The product produced is robust as its tested continually and bugs are picked up during development and not after a big market launch.
This results in happy stakeholders who get the product they want, happy developers who meet the demands of the business without last minute panic and pressure and of course most importantly; happy customers who get the product they want and updates that meet their needs and changing demands.The transparency in Agile is key as it removes the shock at the end of a traditional waterfall project when the finished product differs from the concept that is held within the business owners mind. In Agile stakeholders get frequent opportunities to review the product and ensure it’s shaping up as they had hoped.
Additional benefits of Agile are happier staff as projects complete faster as everyone is involved in the process from the start and it’s in everyones interest to remove anything blocking development which would traditionally build up and cause delays. The transparency of Agile means it is very apparent if something or someone is holding up the process.
In traditional development a lot of time is spent gathering requirements, documenting them, designing conceptual architectures, going through governance gates ahead of a requirements document being handed over to a new group of developers who need to get their head around the ideas and the designs. Once in development normally the business requirements are not flexible and do not reflect the real world that the developer is experiencing.
With Agile development work is started straight away with the development team responsible for developing the product along with the business, and this learning is done continually through the project with input from the relevant stakeholders. Of course using an Agile approach does not mean that you cannot have a governance process, it simply means that governance structure needs to be adapted slightly which is certainly something our coaches can help you implement.
If the lack of up front requirements gathering worries you then think back to the last project you were part of where the requirements gathered were perfect, there was no ambiguity found during development and the product was delivered on time. In reality different people work on the requirements, there is then a hand over to developers and when the developers are carrying out the work they uncover problems they struggle to resolve.
We’ve all been there, working on a project which is green for months then 6 weeks out from launch the project becomes amber and 4 weeks out it becomes red. Those issues where issues all along, they were just ignored until they became a launch gating. With Agile you would surface those issues far earlier on and work around them until there was the possibility of a fix.
With agile the developers discover as they write the code and problem solve continually. If there is a blocker reached and some key work cannot be done due to an external factor then there are processes in place to both allow them to pick up the next top priority piece of work and to get someone else to remove the blocker for them to work on shortly. This results in projects delivering faster, with no RAG status shock at the end of the project. Work is fully documented and auditable, the fact that Agile is not documented is a myth or the work has been carried out by a team who has cut corners.
So in conclusion Agile benefits both the business owners, the development team and then ultimately the customer.
If you’d like to find out more about how our Agile coaches can help your business then please get in touch. Contact us here.