In my mind, active user involvement is the first principle of agile development.
It’s not always possible to have users directly involved in development projects, particularly if the agile development project is to build a product where the real end users will be external customers or consumers.
In this event it is imperative to have a senior and experienced user representative involved throughout.
Not convinced? Here’s 16 reasons why!
- Requirements are clearly communicated and understood (at a high level) at the outset
- Requirements are prioritised appropriately based on the needs of the user and market
- Requirements can be clarified on a daily basis with the entire project team, rather than resorting to lengthy documents that aren’t read or are misunderstood
- Emerging requirements can be factored into the development schedule as appropriate with the impact and trade-off decisions clearly understood
- The right product is delivered
- As iterations of the product are delivered, that the product meets user expectations
- The product is more intuitive and easy to use
- The user/business is seen to be interested in the development on a daily basis
- The user/business sees the commitment of the team
- Developers are accountable, sharing progress openly with the user/business every day
- There is complete transparency as there is nothing to hide
- The user/business shares responsibility for issues arising in development; it’s not a customer-supplier relationship but a joint team effort
- Timely decisions can be made, about features, priorities, issues, and when the product is ready
- Responsibility is shared; the team is responsible together for delivery of the product
- Individuals are accountable, reporting for themselves in daily updates that involve the user/business
- When the going gets tough, the whole team – business and technical – work together!
10 Key Principles of Agile Development