How the Agile mindset benefits customers
There are many means to an end in the software development process, just like in any process focused on bringing a product to market. But, the main goal should be to deliver value to customers in a timely manner. Subscribing to an Agile mindset accomplishes that, which is why we’re dedicated to the Agile mindset at PrismRBS.
When evaluating system providers, including your current partner, it’s important to understand the process their team follows. During your evaluation, ask: Does the team follow an Agile or waterfall process? How often are they delivering new features, fixes and products? Are the features they’re delivering useful and necessary now?
For PrismRBS, the Agile framework allows us to be flexible and deliver useable, bite-sized features to our customers throughout the development of the full product. A waterfall method doesn’t allow for adjustments, instead delivering a complete product – and value – much later (years versus every month).
Our customers benefit from our Agile practices in three ways:
- They receive value more frequently.
Practicing the Agile mindset allows us to release new features and fixes monthly instead of quarterly or three times per year. Our product and development teams work on a two-week sprint schedule, rather than developing one behemoth of a product over the course of months or years. It can be thought of as delivering value faster, rather than delivering a product faster. In the two-week time period, our focus is to develop useable features that can be implemented and improve customers’ processes right away.
One way to think about it is in terms of building a car. Instead of building an entire sedan and then delivering it to customers in two years, we’ll build a skateboard and deliver it in a month. Then we’ll use customer feedback to determine the next need and deliver it. By the end, we may actually deliver a convertible instead of a sedan, because along the way, we figured out that’s what customers need now.
- They are an active part of the feedback loop.
Gathering and applying feedback is an integral piece of our Agile model. Through feedback from customers, developers, product managers, customer experience teams and sales teams, a project is guided through the development cycle. This is how we figure out that customers actually need a convertible instead of a sedan. After delivering a product or feature, feedback helps us determine what the real need is instead of making assumptions. Our Agile practices allow us the flexibility to use feedback to make adjustments to the end product.
- Their feedback is seen in new features, faster.
Delivering new features in a short timeframe is the hallmark of the Agile mindset. Our customers have continuously evolving needs. Their business operations don’t stop because we haven’t delivered the car. What we do instead is continue providing new skateboard features until the product evolves into the convertible. And, we’re committed to doing this on a monthly basis. Customers know and trust that we’ll deploy more applicable, useful features on the third Sunday of every month. Teams abiding by a waterfall method don’t deliver features on an ongoing basis; they only deliver the sedan, despite the customers’ desire or need for a convertible.