Today’s Alertbox on discusses how Agile software development is improving the focus on user experiences, and provides summary data showing the internal organizational satisfaction with the methodology.

Here’s the data:

Project Methodology Integration of
User Experience
with the Method
Waterfall 2.5 2.9
Agile 3.1 3.7
Iterative 3.2 3.8

What is this saying?  Responses are on a scale of 1-5, with 5 “indicating the highest level of integration or satisfaction”.  It is comparing the different methodologies a development team can use, and how satisfied the teams were with the methodologies.

It shows that teams were much more satisfied with how much the customer was considered through the “Integration of User Experience” metric.  It also shows the team satisfaction is much higher using Agile.  I’m not really sure the distinction between Agile and Iterative in their research, as their methodologies are largely similar, but it’s clear which principles “win out”.  Both internal and external customers benefit from the approach.

More about Agile

Agile software development has many similarities to lean, and is one of the primary elements of the Lean-Agile method that NetObjectives uses.  You can see the similarities to lean in the principles of Agile development:

  • 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.