Hack Your Agility: Real Agility Requires Customer Agility

Are your customers giving you feedback as fast as you need it?  Are you finding that your agile practices are delivering features faster than your users can review?  Is your team frustrated by the quality of feedback from your stakeholders?

We spend a lot of time focusing on our software development practices, working on our ability to deliver software in short iterations, finding ways to lean out our development practices, implementing unit tests to ensure our software delivers consistent quality. But if we aren’t getting the consistent feedback from our customers, than we aren’t meeting our potential. Agility is as much about obtaining fast feedback (from customers) as it is from delivering product FOR fast feedback.  An agile team is only as effective as the quality of feedback they receive from their customers.  It’s not unusual for teams undergoing agile transformation to stall in their growth because their customers aren’t accustomed to the new practices and expectations. Real agile transformation must include the customer.  Customer agility is essential to obtain fast feedback.

Find ways to make it easier for your customers to review your product and provide you clear, actionable feedback! But don’t make these decisions in a vacuum.  Include your customer.  Ask them what would make it easier to get the feedback you need.  Your customer will likely have ideas about how to make it easier for them.

(Original article appeared in May 20th 2015 edition of The Tempo)

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