Why is Early and Frequent Feedback in Agile methodology important?

Frequent feedback is vital for Agile development teams to understand whether the team is going in the direction as expected. The product increment developed by Agile team will be subjected to stakeholder review and any feedback may be appended to the product backlog, which can prioritized at the discretion of the Product Owner. One of the best ways to provide frequent feedback is through Continuous Integration (discussed later).

  • During Waterfall development, each activity like design, development, testing is considered as a phase, but in agile all the activities is done in small chunks every iteration.
  • In waterfall, the customer can see the software working at the end of the project, and at that stage the changes are very costly and involve significant rework.
  • Instead, if the feedback is obtained at the end of every iteration, it may be very easy for the team to make up the feedback and go along.
  • It also serves as an important tool to adopt modifications in the application.
  • Highest business value features are delivered first to the customer by development teams through the use of early and frequent feedback.

It also in a way helps the team to measure its own capacity so that they do not grossly over commit thus building high degree of transparency into the planning process.

For example: As a team, how many story point we need to commit in this sprint? What do you think that can help us moving quicker? Is there anything that is really stopping us from moving forward?

The following are the benefits of early and frequent feedback:

  • Breaking all the requirements in small pieces of individual work items will avoid mistakes that may be too costly to fix later.
  • Customer availability for any questions to the team makes the product development robust, so that team exactly build what customer wants.
  • The team will be able to deliver at a constant and sustainable pace.
  • Sharing agile productivity metrics helps the team to understand the gaps better so that they can find ways to improve themselves.