The Cost of Change

Change has become a critical part of the game when it comes to development. And while I’m not a developer and I don’t work in IT, I am a consumer, and a marketer, and I realize exponentially, the need for speed. And change. And I believe that the sooner you can crack the speed+change equation (in a smart way, of course), the sooner you = success.

To begin, a definition of agile development. (Because while I do think these theories and practices apply to everything from romantic relationships to business models, I’m trying to keep this post readable and relatively short, so let’s focus on development.)

Agile development: refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

Makes sense, right? Take out “development” and I think you would agree that these are pretty basic principles in marketing. Buzz words even: Collaboration. Cross-functional. Iteration. Of course better products and experiences are created when these principles are embraced and practiced. But what does it really mean when they’re not? What is the cost of change? Or reversely, what is the cost of same?

“One of several reasons why agile techniques are so effective, is that they reduce the feedback cycle between the generation of an idea…and the realization of that idea. This not only minimizes the risk of misunderstanding, it also reduces the cost of addressing any mistakes.” (Ambysoft)

Essentially: the longer you wait to address change- the more it costs. (Again, relatable to your relationship with your wife or girlfriend, so dudes, you might as well start communicating already because counseling is pricey…and the longer you wait, the more you’ll sessions you will need to attend)

So how can we avoid running up the bill? Read Write Web does a nice job summing up a smart game plan, (paired with my version, in italics):

1) Remember, the customer is always the top priority: Software or Web-based services go through constant iterations to assure that the customer is getting the highest quality product. (Listen to your consumers- early on- ask them to find the kinks, the holes, etc.)

2) Change is part of the game: The process is fully flexible so changes can be made quickly. Testing is done constantly. (Get comfortable with change. Plan for it.)

3) The process is improved all the time: The Agile methodology process is reviewed continuously to better its efficiencies. (Constantly evaluate and better your approach and process. I promise; it’s not already perfect.)

And that’s all for today folks. Thanks for reading.

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