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How do organizations expect agile to drive business outcomes?


Let’s consider a couple of common aspects regardless of the agile approach used. Agile implies iterative and incremental. So, teams build a product in increments with each increment consisting of a complete delivery of value.

As each product increment is built, the end of the iteration provides an opportunity for learning. That learning happens through customer feedback, which is incredibly important. You might think you’re building a great product that everyone will love, but it’s your customers that decide that and not you.

So agile approaches focus teams on rapid delivery of business value that’s driven by what you learn from real customers.



Thinking about agile this way brings five business outcomes immediately to mind that neatly describe what organizations can expect from agile methods:
  1. Organizations expect to create products that are better aligned with customer needs. That is inherent in how work is executed in an agile context.

  2. They expect to reduce risk associated with product development. Face it, the riskiest aspect of creating new products is building a great product that nobody wants! The continual feedback-learning loop minimizes this risk

  3. Organizations look forward to creating higher quality solutions. This is also a result of the techniques that are used, along with the regular customer feedback during solution development

  4. They expect increased customer satisfaction. With the customer “plugged into” the solution development processes and providing critical feedback, it becomes easier to create a solution that your customers will love.

  5. Finally, organizations expect to see much fewer project failures. There are two critical parts to this:

    • First, you never see an absolute project failure; there is always something valuable created and your real decision is: Has enough value been created to release to our customers?

    • Second, work continues on a current solution until a decision is made that the subsequent solution build plans provide less value than some other venture that the agile team could be working on. This is a powerful safeguard against the dreaded “death-march project” which we’ve known about for decades, but which still seem to occur in today’s world.

What are your organization’s agile outcomes using these approaches? Keep the conversation flowing and share your thoughts on IIBA LinkedIn Group. Not a member yet? Join now.



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