How Organizations Benefit from Agile

August 28, 2023 | By Claudia Fetter

benefits of agile

In order to adopt Agile, organizations should plan on making a dedicated time and resource commitment to upskill and reskill product teams, as Agile is a journey, not a destination.  To reap the real value of Agile, you cannot “do” Agile – your teams need to be Agile.  Making that kind of investment begs the question, what are the benefits or returns? 

We’ve previously discussed Why Organizations Adopt Agile and Why Organizations Struggle to Reap the Benefits of Agile, but let’s take a more holistic approach and explain, at a basic level, how Agile can benefit your organization.

Improved Product Quality

Arguably among the most beneficial aspects of adopting Agile is the improvement in product desirability, quality, and performance.  Agile helps to break work down into small increments that help product teams test whether they built the right thing the right way. Immediate feedback means modifications can happen while the work is still familiar, which also means development time is reduced, escaped errors are addressed pre-production, and unintended feature attributes are altered after user acceptance testing, before release to a target market. Shortened cycle times mean market testing data can be folded into backlog refinement to surface priority changes that most enhance the user experience.

Simply put, Agile helps you produce a better product your customers want. 

Increased Business Value & Customer Satisfaction

By enabling your teams to develop and iterate faster, Agile enables the Business to ship products quickly and update existing services faster than ever before. This has a twofold impact.  First, it allows the Business to immediately collect revenue on shipped products, rather than waiting months or years (yes, that’s still a thing) for any returns on investment.  The financial returns for investing in Agile are real and measurable. 

Secondly, it allows the Business to validate the relative desirability of functionality and features for customers so that the Business can focus exclusively on service attributes that have the greatest value, avoiding potentially significant losses linked to limited market traction.  

Value-added improvements translate, in Business terms, to higher customer satisfaction and brand loyalty. In an ever-digitally savvy marketplace, customers can recognize when companies are dedicated to perpetually improving their products and services.  This becomes a self-reinforcing loop, as growing the customer base or building off brand loyalty offers a steady stream of user data to drive enhancements or new services.  Agile allows organizations to be nimble when responding to customer feedback or performance issues, and short, quick end-to-end development and deployment cycles ensure course correction is operationally feasible. 

Given the rapidity with which the technology landscape changes, such operational adaptability is not trivial, potentially saving the organization millions of dollars which is ample return on any costs incurred for Agile adoption. 

Increased Adaptability & Alignment 

As our world becomes increasingly digitized for many everyday services, you’ll need to ensure your organization can adapt and modify services to accommodate market demands and customer preferences. Such flexibility gives your organization an edge against the competition. 

Good Agile practices help you do this by ensuring teams align incoming data with product purpose and goals, and evaluate incoming information against core target users’ requirements or the niche the service addresses.  Ongoing assessment of product goals and value is critical, ensuring the team remains focused on what matters to end-users, rather than “decorative” enhancements with relatively limited value. Agile facilitates value-based planning and review of emergent priorities against product objectives, a step often overlooked or poorly executed.  Cross-functional practices –not just within IT, but within the Business– during the front-end planning stage of product design are essential to accurately determining product value before significant development occurs and sunk costs cannot be recouped. 

All of this is made possible through the communication and predictability of Agile. Agile allows teams to structure and drive their own processes while setting parameters for decision-making and work deliverables so the Business can plan effectively. When a handful of new features are requested, the complexity, desirability, or system dependencies may drive the order of completion, but rough projections on delivery timeframes are far more predictable than “waterfall” or “Agilefall” hybrid approaches. 

Moreover, the Agile mindset shift helps to “rebuild” your culture around your customers, instead of defaulting to the token, entrenched ways of doing things. By getting your team out of the “we’ve always done it this way” mindset, teams become more adaptable and able to reimagine how your software is built. Team adaptability sets the foundation for scaling Agile; intra-organizational coordination and cross-functional collaboration become far easier to scale when it’s been time-tested and proven with successful product and service successes. 

Learn How Agile Can Benefit Your Business

The best way to achieve the results you’re looking for is to bring in Agile experts and ensure your team is properly organized and trained.  We don’t promise you a panacea out-of-the-gate, but we do offer you ongoing, consistent, and tenured support throughout the journey of Agile adoption, helping organizations work on the hallmark foundations of Agile to ensure best practices start on Day 1 and the promised benefits are achievable, not a pipedream.

We encourage you to explore Agile adoption for your organization; as Agilists, we live the benefits of the approach daily and have firsthand experience tying its benefits – value, customer satisfaction, and impact on internal operations – to outcomes for our clients.

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