Iterate Instead of Working Towards Deadlines

Many Agile projects still stick to working towards deadlines instead of iterating and building product increments. When working towards a deadline, building feature after feature per iteration, the benefits that one would normally have with an incremental way of working, such as learning about users, market, technology, and architecture are lost. The risk of waste is taken for granted in that case. Nevertheless the agile manifesto is violated on several points such as simplicity or delivering valuable software to users.

When features are created towards a deadline a lot of effort is spent in making it perfect according to the assumptions of a few people. Who confirms that these assumptions are actually correct?
Developers, testers, user experience people and visual designers spend way too much effort in trying to make features perfect at the first try, just because it should be finished by a deadline. This approach is probably more costly than necessary since parts of the work might need to be changed or removed after real user feedback is received. Imagine how frustrating that is to people who spent effort and even might have worked extra hours in order to meet the deadline.

Building the most simple form of a feature that still delivers value to users gives you the possibility to learn and increment with each iteration. Gather and incorporate user feedback into the product increments. The chance that your product will be successful is much higher when working incrementally and your resources are spent smarter.
Simply implementing the Agile Manifesto will lead you to working incrementally and make proper use of iterations. In case you need a little more structure around the Agile Manifesto, Scrum is a good choice that covers everything you need for good product development. There are several other benefits that Scrum introduces to your project, as I’ve covered in my post: Benefits of Adopting Scrum for Software Development.
But even outside of agile software development, incremental product development based on user feedback gives you an advantage over your competitors who work towards deadlines.

Posted in Agile Manifesto, Product Development, Scrum Tagged with: , ,

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