Why Agile? DEVOPSdigest asked the experts for their opinions on what are the most important advantages of being Agile. Part 5, the final installment, covers how Agile improves product quality and the customer experience.
Start with The Top Advantages of Being Agile - Part 1
Start with The Top Advantages of Being Agile - Part 2
Start with The Top Advantages of Being Agile - Part 3
Start with The Top Advantages of Being Agile - Part 4
IMPROVED APPLICATION PERFORMANCE
DevOps, development and IT Ops teams can become more agile by integrating proactive performance testing into their development efforts. Too often, application code is written without understanding the underlying infrastructure that will be supporting the applications. If they have access to a dedicated test bed equipped with infrastructure performance monitoring tools, then the process of ensuring the performance of the application once it is deployed in production can be vastly improved as they can see how the infrastructure responds to changing application workload behavior and adjust in a much more timely fashion.
CMO, Virtual Instruments
The real value of agile is that it sets the stage for true innovation. Agile promotes collaboration and teamwork while at the same time provides a very solid process where people are not focused on how to deliver but rather part of a culture that drives innovative and creative thought.
VP Product Management, Tasktop Technologies
The greatest advantage of being Agile comes when companies combine Agile's iterative development, continuous integration and testing with a DevOps mindset to gain a process for repeatable innovation that can dramatically shrink time to market.
The greatest advantage for agility in a dev team is the ability to rapidly iterate on improved customer functionality. When the dev team can quickly introduce new capabilities in code, see how customers react to that functionality, improve on the capabilities, and then codify the new processes, they can delight their customers, beat the competition, and gain new insights about their own business. Rapidly iterating on how the business consumes and leverages data is ripe for this sort of innovation, and architecting for an agile data tier is one of the most critical focus areas for enabling agility in customer functionality.
As DevOps has matured, the time and temperature are right for transparency more broadly outside of internal walls — across the IT ecosystem. Shared automation tools can allow enterprises to make established processes a repeatable and reliable shared resource to all teams, internal and external. Providing shared access to automated processes for check-out/check-in, code integration, test data management, provisioning and configuration, code release, and more will save valuable time and expedite service delivery. Embracing this collaborative approach and being more agile can help deliver systems faster and with more targeted functionality.
Director, Product Line Management, Ciena
DELIVER BENEFITS FASTER
Lean and agile development are the underpinnings of the DevOps approach — waste reduction for more efficient teams is one of the primary results. Efficiency and repetition of best practices lead to shorter development cycles, which allows teams to be more innovative and responsive, thereby increasing the pace of delivering benefits to the customer. Scaling lean and agile principles to scores of teams and across the entire product and software delivery life cycle is at the heart of the DevOps approach.
DevOps Evangelist, IBM DevOps
IMPROVED CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION
Constant communication and collaboration with customers and across the business is by far the biggest advantage of being agile. Successful collaboration drives better relationships, which drives better products, and ultimately drives the bottom line.
VP of Products, Test & Development, SmartBear
IMPROVED CUSTOMER SERVICE
At a macro-level, agility gives an organization the ability to be more responsive to their customers needs.
Chief Evangelist, Moogsoft
The greatest advantage to being agile for a development team, DevOps team, or IT organization is to serve the customer better and to create competitive advantage. Agility is at the heart of the digital transformation every company in every industry is facing today.
President of Digital Business Automation, BMC Software
REAL VALUE FOR THE CUSTOMER
Agile is about capturing user experience early and often. If done right, the biggest advantage is a solid foundation that creates applications that are not only quickly iterated but provide real value for the users. By eliminating the guessing of what users want/need you reduce the churn, redo, and time wasted during iterations.
Author and Strategist, iSpeak Cloud
Value creation is the singular reason why any business exists. All organizational capabilities, including having Agile SW development processes or DevOps practices are there in service of value creation. DevOps and agile development, when done right, allow for fast feature introductions and rapid error reductions. Faster feature introductions make the business more competitive and more responsive to the customer. Rapid error reduction also serves the customer interest, ultimately creating a better experience and a more efficient enterprise. As such, the greatest advantage of being agile and having DevOpS is a faster, smoother path for creating value for the customer through better products and services with fewer headaches and disappointments.
Agile methodology tells teams to iteratively produce what has maximum impact on customers, but truly successful integration of agility is often driven by alignment to customer delight across people, process, and technology. Providing scalable ways to deliver quickly and reliably, especially practices and platforms that help them maintain focus on the customer's goals in every iteration, focuses their efforts on what delivers real value.
Developer Advocate, Perfecto Mobile
STRATEGIC ADVANTAGE IN THE MARKET
It depends on what you mean by "Agile." If you mean the top advantage of complying with the letter and spirit of the Agile Manifesto, then then top advantage is better customer centricity for your software initiatives. However, following Agile is not a particularly good way of becoming a more agile organization, as it's more likely to lead to purpose-built software than inherently flexible software. However, if the question really means to ask the top advantage of being an agile organization, then the answer is better innovativeness that leads to strategic advantage in your marketplace, especially in dynamic business environments.