The real goal of agile development

The real goal of agile development is “To achieve results on time as promised”

It sounds obvious, but it’s been a long time since agile development became popular, and I also participated as a product owner, looked sideways at the support activities of agile coaches, and had some experience, but I often see this goal is lost.

Specifically, we often see that agile development has an unclear output for the deadline. Therefore, some people recognize that agile development has the advantages of development flexibility, but it has the disadvantage of not achieving results on time, and we often receive such opinions. Isn’t that a mistake?

Originally, whether it is waterfall or agile, the development method is different. In the end both ways should commit output to the promised date and result to the members of the steering committee.

So why is “agile development = cannot promise a goal” ?

This is often due to the premise of a variety of limited resources in the field. For example, even if it’s clear that the number of development members is not enough or members skills in the middle of development, you can’t increase or change members due to cost and required skill. Even if tools are not sufficient, you can’t change the tools due to company security. With such a premise, even if you see behind in the process of agile development towards your goals, you can make improvements with limited resources, but you can’t do much more. Therefore, inevitably, it becomes impossible to commit to the final result.

Agile development is just one of the development methods, and it’s originally one of the elements in a big project. To complete the project, you must meet the deadline and produce output. To that end, not only you introduce agile development, but you need to prepare people, goods, and money to reach our goal. If you look at the burndown chart and the work is behind schedule, you can add human resources, introduce more effective tools, spend money on it, and so on. If nothing is done, it is naturally impossible to recover it with a delay from the plan. When introducing agile development, I feel that you don’t often talk about it from such a viewpoint.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Jeff Sotherland. At that time, Jeff was also concerned about this point. When it comes to agile development, there are many people who feel the benefits of the development method, Scrum and Sprint, but they are misunderstood that they do not commit the results and may not introduce it. He is also had a clear opinion that whether it was waterfall or agile commit to output.

How is agile development around you incorporated into the project? If you are focusing only on development methods, you may be more aware of the essence of agile development if you review it from this perspective.