Don’t think about it – what’s the one word that springs to mind when you think of “Agile” in terms of application development? Write it down somewhere.
The above video is from this year’s OutSystems NextStep users conference where we asked Agile Platform users from around the world for the one word that they felt summed up Agile. Some of the responses: Change – Flexibility – Success – Efficiency – Time-to-market – Quick – Mandatory – Build-to-change – Web 2.0 – Faster – Quick – Success…Most are about speed and flexibility – but interestingly “Fit for purpose” and quality of application (measured for example, in terms of how well it delivers what the business needs) are not mentioned.
Why not? Is it just this set of people who responded this way? Does the Agile community at large think speed over quality?
I can’t speak for the rest of the Agile community but in terms of the OutSystems community, I suspect a number of things:
1) Waterfall has led to an expectation of extremely slow delivery…and so the excitement over rapid iterations and speed of delivery.
2) Having the business guys on the team throughout the process, coupled with rapid iterations means by default the results are high quality … and so quality is being taken for granted. Their main concern now is how to increase the number of projects that use the Agile approach without slowing things down.
3) They’re all using the Agile Platform (sorry, shameless plug) that enables rapid delivery of large-scale apps using Agile and SCRUM methodology and are very happy with the speed.
I’d love to hear what other practitioners in the Agile community think is their “one word” – but either way, I think one of the most important issues here is that we, as practitioners and people who are teaching newcomers about the benefits of Agile, remember that it’s not about quality OR speed – Agile is all about quality AND speed.
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