What does an Agile delivery mean to you – the customer?
Every technology services company in the world will say they will deliver the product / website / application in agile delivery. But should you “the customer” care?
I have been part of sales team for the past 5 years and it is role I truly enjoying doing. Helping customers solve their challenges and achieve their goals and objectives. But sometimes we lose sight of what the customers want. I was recently giving a presentation to the customer on how we can design a website that will help drive the business and I informed the customer that we will deliver the website via agile software delivery model. He looked at me and said “I don’t care about agile delivery – as long as I get what I want”. I informed him, that he should care and for that matter all customers should care about their delivery model.
So let’s start with what is agile delivery model – What is it?
My favorite analogy is cooking a new dish for party. One way to do it, is to read all the cook books on making this new dish, collect all the ingredients required. On the day of the party – select an appropriate vessel, and then cook for couple of hours and then present it to your friends without tasting. Not really an ideal way.
Instead, we first understand what kind of dish we are planning to cook. Then prior to the party, for your family/ friend, try put to make the dish, see how they are like it, refine and season as required. This is your basic dish. Then you can experiment more and try more options, make it fancier, garnish, plate it. And the next thing you know it, you are ready to cater to a large audience on the day of the party.
In the same way agile, breaks down your final deliverable into smaller increments that can deliver value from early stages itself.
Some of the reasons why you should care are:
- Quality – A project delivered via agile is of better quality. Simple reason is the customer is involved throughout the process. You are able to see the product as it evolves, make changes as required. Sometimes what you thought will make sense initially will not make sense later, so you can course correct and be flexible.
- Time – With agile, you can identify the most essential functionalities required and deliver it in iterations. This way you are able to capture the market and then build on it. For example, you can first deliver a website where people can view all your products and visit your store to purchase it. Next step, then you can deliver the functionality to order it online. This way you ensure first to market advantage
- Cost – With quality and time improved, cost is no brainer that will automatically improve. Although the initial few iterations might look expensive with no outcome but in the long run, this will help drive cost down as you will be able to identify features that are really critical to business value and ensure that they are delivered on priority.
Don’t believe us, see what market research say about agile delivery
- Agile projects are nearly 1.5X more successful than projects deliveries
- After adopting Agile, companies have experienced an average 60% growth in revenue and profit.
- Agile teams are 25% more productive.