Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

The very first principal is arguably most important and packs a lot of "how-to" or operational information from within.

"Our" - speaks to the idea of team. Team is everything in Agile and specifically within Scrum.

"Highest priority" - This helps the team understand that the team should not be focusing on process and methodology for the sake of checking those boxes. Instead, the first principal teaches the team to focus on activities that are more aligned with the true end goal of the business - a happy customer.

A satisfied customer - not a satisfied methodology, not a test plan, not exceptionally commented code, not great velocity, not a happy rock star developer, not a happy boss ... etc. Why does the business make a considerable investment to staff IT departments? Frankly, technical personnel are better served if they understand their own value relative to the business and relative to the customer paying all the bills. Agile will diminish the act of mindlessly shipping code out the door without ever reflecting on the concept of "value to the customer".

Agile is about the customer and only a healthy business can consistently serve the market.

Great! I'm sold! I'm in!

How?

Through early and continuous delivery of value Agile places a premium on time. Time is value to the market. Time is to be monitored and priorities are adjusted to align with competitive and market demands. Agile sets a delivery frequency which is normally every 2 weeks for software development. By focusing on work to be delivered in 2 week cycles the customer and the business stakeholders increase collaboration which eventually leads to a true partnership.

Agile lets the customer change their mind frequently. Within Agile Scrum the work that represents the customer demand is called a backlog. The backlog is essentially a grocery list of stack ranked priorities. As soon as the customer changes their mind, then the backlog can be re-prioritized and a new delivery schedule can be established.Over the course of a long delivery cycle the customer can now expect to receive smaller chucks of completed work items instead of having to wait until the very end of the engagement where all the work and value is delivered at once. Now, it is clear is see how Agile is able to delivery value both early and continuously.

About Author

Nick Maravich

Nick Maravich

I am software enthusiast and I have worked in Start-Ups and in large organizations. I am currently an Enterprise Agile Coach with a Healthcare Organization.