Why Customers Love Agile and Customer Development


Last week I conducted a webinar for a software company in Portland, Oregon. My talk, “Innovation through Customer Development,” discussed the benefits of combining agile software development (Scrum) with customer development.

The webinar was pretty uneventful, with one exception: In addition to the development team, the company asked several customers to attend the talk.

I think that’s awesome, and I applaud my client for wanting to give his customers insight into these processes. Too often, when discussing customer development and agile development, we tend to talk about the internal benefits such as getting faster to market, reducing waste, self-organizing teams, and so on.

But customers are the ones who get the most significant value out of these processes. I believe that combining agile and customer development as part of the product development process can create products that truly delight customers.

Through agile and customer development customers get:

  • Products they care about
  • Features that solve real problems
  • Features that are in line with expectations and priorities
  • Faster updates
  • Higher quality and easier to use software with less feature bloat
  • Quick action when mistakes are made

In addition, if your customers have have been co-creating or collaborating in your product development process they have more skin in the game. They will feel a closer connection to your product and company.

Perhaps it’s time to extoll the virtues of agile and customer development to customers as well. In the end, delighted customers and promoters of your product are what it’s all about, right?