Top 10 ways agile will change your product development experience

Even before David Letterman did his Top 10 Lists – I’ve always loved lists. They’re straightforward, to-the-point and darn it they’re just fun!

So let’s do a top 10 ways Agile will change your product development experience!

1. Agile Development Discipline is incredibly hard.

Agile development keeps you on your feet. It’s about outcomes and value more than the process itself or hitting stage gates. Humming at the Agile tempo requires an incredible amount of discipline in people, process, engineering practices and truly mindset. If you want the easy way out then you should look elsewhere.

2. Quality All-Day, Everyday

Quality is no longer an afterthought. It isn’t something you do once or depend on a group to do it after you throw it over the fence. It is built within each step of the way. That is the only way you’ll get agility. See #1 development discipline because this requires intense discipline.

3. Inspect and Adapt

Build it simple, incrementally, and iteratively. Test it. Get feedback. Learn faster than everyone and adjust. Rinse and repeat indefinitely in a sustainable fashion. You’ll be surprised at how much faster, stronger you will be by doing Agile.

4. Everything Seems to be Broken with Transparency!

If you’re doing Agile right it will likely seem like everything is broken. Agile promotes – rather encourages and rewards transparency. This is the only way you’re going to get better! So, embrace it and prioritize what kind of impediments and challenges you’re going to break and solve.

5. More than Double Value

Solve your customer’s problems. Deliver that value. Deliver your company’s mission statement. This is what Agile is all about. Every step of the way not only quality but what is the value your customer will get out of your user story? If you’re not centering or obsessing over that then you’re in the wrong line of business.

6. Better Get Your Nikes!

Do you like to go fast? Do you believe if you’re not first you’re last? Ok, maybe not that drastic. But the funny, somewhat ironic thing about Agile development is you must be disciplined about great engineering practices, building quality in, cycles of learning, engaging everyone – all which seemingly takes a lot of time upfront. But guess what? When all those Agile items are practiced together and you’re following the Agile values and Agile principles to the tee – you might seemingly go slow initially but before you know it you’ll be that track star.

7. You Too Can Get Mastery

Do you like learning something new? Agile development promotes a self-sustaining learning cycle for all of those involved. Sprints aren’t just about doing the work – but also a learning cycle. Often, I’m more interested if people are learning than doing the work because that’s where productivity and value increases in the long run. Working while learning.

8. Autonomy is for Winners

People are motivated by autonomy. Self-organization is a critical pillar and belief in Agile. The belief that people want to be treated like people and that you trust your people to get the job done. So please, unleash your people otherwise why’d you hire them?

9. Purpose Answers the Why

If you don’t have a purpose or a vision of where you’re going it’s not going to end well or you’ll be caught up in endless unproductive cycles to even get alignment. Agile encourages continuous alignment and conversation to ensure the purpose and intended value is delivered.

10. It’s Damn Fun!

Yes. Wait, who said work isn’t supposed to be fun? But it’s a scientifically proven method when you engage everyone at work and people have a say in what they’re building its just damn fun for everyone. Try it.