While agile methods may not fit every project, every project that uses agile automatically gets a boost in customer experience, satisfaction, and engagement. This is a substantial benefit that most businesses crave! Check out these 5 ways that agile, if done correctly, can improve customer relationships and propel your business forward.
- Customer involvement is elevated and primary. With agile projects, the customer or their representative is a regular part of the team. If your customer cannot supply someone to work with the team daily, at least get them to agree to some core time together with the team. This is essential for both doing agile right and achieving the benefits. With elevated importance to the project, the customer's wish becomes your command. Any time they want to change the product, they can. And with the customer having the primary say in how the project progresses, how can you lose?
- Involvement is the #1 tool to buy-in. With a significant investment in the direction of the project, the customer will be engaged and active in setting direction. This means that buy-in to plans and outcomes should be a given. Who is going to say they don't want to follow a direction that they have participated in setting?
- Incremental value delivery. Perhaps the most important benefit is that the customer will receive value in increments. Done right, agile provides customers with the highest value possible with each sprint. This can be used to their advantage by bringing products to market quickly or helping to overcome business challenges quickly, even if incrementally.
- Feedback received for every sprint. Many traditional projects can go on for months, deliver, and then find out the customer received something they did not want or need. With agile, the result of the sprint is demonstrated for the customer for feedback. At most three weeks may be lost if something is incorrect. Plus the customer as product owner will feel more engaged and good about the result. At the end of every sprint, the customer will have input into improvements through the retrospective and be able to shape priorities through maintenance of the product backlog and sprint planning.
- Collaboration improves relationships. By nature, agile projects done correctly involve a lot of collaboration. Collaboration itself increases engagement of the team, including the product owner, and strengthens their relationship. Collaboration also helps encourage innovation and productivity.
By ensuring the customer is invested in the agile method through the role of product owner, customer engagement and satisfaction is increased through collaboration and direct involvement in the project. If the customer understands the method and works well with the team, you are almost assured of another project.
What to learn more about customer engagement and satisfaction with agile? Check out these related articles:
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