Agile development principles encourage active ‘end user’ involvement throughout the product’s lifecycle. This visibility helps ensure that expectations are effectively managed and helps the business work with a team to maximize ROI. An iterative approach ensures that there is high visibility over the project life cycle and not just at the beginning and end which is more common in traditional development processes.
Agile allows users to have visibility into the project for its entire life cycle
In traditional development projects, all of the specifications are written up front when we know the least about what the final product will become. In addition, the fear of “scope creep” and changing requirements can often have a significant impact on a project’s success. Since agile is an iterative process with incremental releases; a development team is able to adapt and change direction with minimal impact to the business or the product.
Agile makes Adapting to change easier
The iterative nature of agile means that features are delivered incrementally. This means that ROI producing features could be released sooner which would provide an early revenue stream as less important features are developed later in the project. By prioritizing the features, an agile approach allows for business to fix costs and flex scope.
It should also be noted that research suggests that approximately 80% of all market leaders were first to market with a viable product. An agile approach enables the business to accelerate their time to market.
Agile improves ROI by developing high-value features early in the project
In an agile process, the risk is managed in several ways. Features are developed only when we have sufficient understanding to complete the feature within an iterative sprint. Since iterations are time-boxed, the risk of developing an incorrect or incomplete feature is significantly reduced. Also since quality and testing are built into the iterative development process; we can be assured that the product produced at the end of each cycle is production ready. Finally, if issues should be found after a release, the team can focus quickly on addressing those issues since the bugs are likely related to work they just completed. All of these factors add up to a reduced risk for the business.
Agile reduces risk by bringing understanding and development closer together
Unlike traditional command control projects where directions are set and creativity and experimentation are not valued. An agile approach allows a team to use their experience and knowledge without constraint. The team is empowered to implement creative solutions that often save time and money as well as creating an environment for the team to grow and take a personal ownership in the development of a product.
Agile enables teams to succeed and take pride in what they produce.
Because of the Visibility, Adaptability, Business Value, and Risk Management aspects of an agile project, the team is able to produce a product that meets and often exceeds expectations.