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What does “Delivering Results” mean in an Agile context?

A few days ago, I broke down the key dimensions associated with an Agile Project team in an attempt to explain Agile to managers but I purposely excluded the concept of RESULTS in order to remain focus on the key dimensions. As such, the main reasons why an organization would choose to go Agile haven’t been specifically addressed in my previous post.

Image from dullhunk

Working software over comprehensive documentation - Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Yes, working software is the goal of the project team but the ultimate goal of the organization remains to maximize return on investment (ROI). The next logical question should be “What does maximizing return on investment (ROI) mean in an Agile context?”

In my opinion, maximizing ROI in an agile context means:

  • Paying the right price for the developed software while getting the most business value – the right price means the cost associated with the labor without significant overhead costs;
  • Developing a competitive advantage by adapting to changes in the environment while quickly and incrementally developing the results in order to capture the market opportunities;
  • Increasing customer satisfaction by giving them the product they need, when they need it;
  • Allowing project team members to develop their skills while having fun.

Too many times, maximizing ROI simply means increasing throughput and/or decreasing cost – no matter what. Delivering results in an agile context should not limit its focus on the very short term but also take into consideration a longer term investment in the capabilities of the team members.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Leo #

    Hi Martin!

    Maximizing ROI doesn’t simply mean delivering business value? All the rest is implicit (fun, competitive advantage, customer satisfaction, etc.) That’s why we priorize based on this concept that is so difficult to define…

    I would also add that it applies to all projects: Agile and Traditionnal ones.

    April 5, 2010

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