I have had the benefit of seeing the Agile development philosophy from both the developer’s and the manager’s perspectives. From my experience, it seems that developers whole-hardheartedly embrace Agile while managers often seem to do so begrudgingly. This article is for managers and explains the primary benefit managers receive and should embrace from an Agile philosophy.
Agile Avoids Waste, Reduces Risk, and Responds to the Market
A primary premise of Agile is to deliver early and often. Delivering early means getting features in front of users, even before they are complete and polished, so that users can give feedback. This feedback is critical to assuring that features aren’t being developed that will either be unused or unusable.
Extensive, multi-year studies by companies like Microsoft, Netflix, and Quicken Loans show that two-thirds of software features fail to provide the benefit they intended to provide. The vast majority of software written simply doesn’t provide value to users. Companies throw billions of dollars at the problem of figuring out what users want and get it wrong over and over again.
The answer to this problem is delivering early and often. By getting features in front of users as quickly as possible, users can give feedback about whether the feature is valuable. That feedback can be used to iterate: decide to continue on course, change course, or scrap the feature and spend development resources where they will provide higher value.