Agile Is About Feedback, Not About Fancy Practices

Creative Commons License woodleywonderworks

Too often people complain that to become agile they need to start using iterations, fancy story points and time boxes even though it simply does not fit the way they work.
But, that’s not true. Agile is much simpler than that. And much harder. In essence, agile is about fast feedback. But the feedback needs to be relevant.

Real Customer Value

The most important thing to make feedback relevant is to get it from the right people. Especially in design questions, everyone seems to be an expert. But, in the end, only the end users count. Are they able to get value out of using your product? That’s the only thing which really counts and that’s usually the feedback which is hardest to get.

The Art Of Knowing…

One way of getting that feedback is demoing working software at the end of an iteration. By doing so, you ensure that you get feedback at least every couple of weeks by at least customer representatives (if no real users can take part in your demos). But there’s an even faster way of getting direct feedback from your real users. By using click tracking, session recording and A/B testing (Google Website Optimizer, A/Bingo), you get relevant feedback constantly. How can you possibly get more agile? And this has nothing to do with fancy, magic agile practices…

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