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Agile but Customer Dependent

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

The method of developing software has changed rapidly in the past ten years, and I think in many ways is creating a blueprint for businesses to follow. In the past companies would conceive of a software and spend two years building it, and then once it was built, they would realize they needed some upgrade and set forth to rebuild it again. This process was painstaking and often over budget with little room to make updates along the way. Then came agile development with short build and iterations, typically done in two week sprints. Although this new model is far superior, there is a need for product teams to incorporate customer research and customer data into design, product planning and design scenarios.

One of the key challenges with building digital products or software is that the product and goals keep extending out, and being modified and made better as you go. And the knowledge comes as it’s being built, so even the most insightful team still does not know what the end product will completely look like in the future. A key to success is creating a culture within the company that aids in consistent design, and consistent feedback as you go.

A key to building a good team is ensuring that the appropriate tools and culture exist to measure customer satisfaction levels, and engagement levels. The goal is to create customer centered designs and develop products that are built around the needs of the customer. This can be done by creating feedback surveys to the website or online commerce platform. You can also create within those feedback loops open-ended questions for customers asking ways in which they would like your service to improve.

Agile development has made possible the ability to develop and iterate digital products in faster times than ever. However, the key factors leading this design and progress should always be the customer and a connection to how they want to use the product.

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