What does it mean to you, the customer, to work with an agile software development team?

Part of a team

It means you’re not just working with the team, you’re an integral part of the team. Being agile means understanding that the marketplace is constantly changing, and the product has to change along with it. In Agile Development, the customer provides the vision of the product and sets the priorities for development—otherwise known as the Product Owner.

In an agile environment, the team constantly checks in with you.

Feedback loops

This continuous feedback loop enables the team to respond to changing needs, and to avoid wasting time going down the wrong path. This process allows you to continually monitor progress, and have confidence that the product will be delivered and will meet your needs.

You always get to say what should be done next, and you decide when things are good enough.

Change management

Agile development teams embrace change.

They expect change, and they expect uncertainty. As the customer, you too will need to embrace change. You will see things you did not expect, and realize things you did not think of. An agile team will partner with you to make the continuous course corrections that will lead you to the ultimate goal of a successful finished product.

Agile Manifesto

Created by a variety of collaborators, the Agile Manifesto has served as guidance to what it means to work in an Agile environment. We’ve copied the principles for your reference below.

“We follow these principles:

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer
    through early and continuous delivery
    of valuable software.
  • Welcome changing requirements, even late in
    development. Agile processes harness change for
    the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • Deliver working software frequently, from a
    couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a
    preference to the shorter timescale.
  • Business people and developers must work
    together daily throughout the project.
  • Build projects around motivated individuals.
    Give them the environment and support they need,
    and trust them to get the job done.
  • The most efficient and effective method of
    conveying information to and within a development
    team is face-to-face conversation.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes promote sustainable development.
    The sponsors, developers, and users should be able
    to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence
    and good design enhances agility.
  • Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount
    of work not done–is essential.
  • The best architectures, requirements, and designs
    emerge from self-organizing teams.
  • At regular intervals, the team reflects on how
    to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts
    its behavior accordingly.”