Today, Agile stands among the most prevalent product management methods, given its flexibility and evolutionary pattern. However, as agile practices have become more widely adopted, the processes utilized to develop products have considerably changed.

Now, product people and development crews team up much more closely. Dev experts have become multi-functional, incorporating UX designers, testers, architects, and programmers. Moreover, products are developed with iterative-incremental procedures, such as Scrum.

Further, a rising number of companies have shifted away from organizing around projects and have begun embracing a product-driven approach.

So, what makes Agile so successful, and why are product managers solely banking on it, or are utilizing it along with other frameworks? Read along to know more.

Superior Product Quality:
The quality of the products has improved with the application of agile product management practices, including test-driven development, emergent design, and continuous integration. This has let companies adapt to the product faster and respond to customer feedback more efficiently.

Improved Customer Experience:
In Agile, the customer is constantly engaged in decision-making which results in improved customer retention. However, in the conventional waterfall-based approach, the customer is only involved in the planning stage and doesn’t influence implementation, impacting adaptability and flexibility.

By keeping the customer in the know and making modifications as per their feedback, companies can deliver value to the customers and ensure the end product is indeed based on their demands.

Decreased Time-to-market:
Agile product lifecycle management helps companies release new products and features more swiftly. This enables the product owners to successfully cash in on the opportunity and, in some situations, enjoy the early-bird advantage. When customers enjoy such benefits because of the company’s improved performance, they’ll come back to them for other projects.

Better Requirements:
With Agile at their disposal, product managers alone are no longer responsible for cropping up with the exact requirements. Instead, the dev team actively participates in the product backlog optimization process and helps spot the necessary tweaks, and gathers new product backlog items.

This requires the team members’ expertise and creativity, creates a mutual understanding, enhances the quality of the requirements, strengthens collective ownership, and eventually leads to better products.

Transparent Development Progress:
Companies can have a clearer view of their product development progress and make tweaks early if necessary — now the progress is based on working software instead of an in-depth, Gantt chart-driven project planning. This reduces the risk of finding out late that the product cannot be dispatched on time or that some aspects were executed improperly.

Better Alignment:
Development teams and shareholders are better aligned with the help of regular collaborative workshops, such as sprint reviews. This develops a mutual understanding and results in a more significant commitment — asking people about their viewpoints and including them in making product decisions improves the odds that the individuals will advocate the decisions.

Motivated Productive Teams:
Self-organizing development teams are more productive and motivated than their traditional counterparts. They can determine the amount of work to be completed in a defined period, settle on how the team members cooperate, and decide who implements a particular portion of work.

As the team strength is limited, Agile delivers a setting where teams are closely knit and can have flexible team formations.

Envisioning the Future:
So, where do we move further? How will product management turn up over the coming two decades, and which role will agile approaches play — if any? Without having a crystal ball in our hands, we reckon that Agile methods will continue to empower product management along with other influences that have come up over the past couple of years, including Lean startup business modeling.

While there’s still lots of work to be done, the future of product management and Agile seems optimistic.

A survey says that 87% of the product knowledge gained by the product managers is on-the-job experience. This marks a skill gap that adequately lacks formal training. However, as many learning platforms today offer professional courses to become data-driven product managers, it can be a master skill in prospecting the future.

In this need of the hour, premiere business institute IIM Lucknow (IIML) and WileyNXT have come up with an Executive Program in Data-driven Product Management to meet the requirements. Miles Education is the official channel partner. This product management course covers the three most important training needs — Product Understanding, Marketing, and Strategy Development across the Product Lifecycle.

The course is entirely experiential and outcome-based learning, integrating Data Analytics and Design Thinking concepts and their applications in scaling customers in a market-centric business.

To know more, visit Miles Education.

Author's Bio: 

Miles Education is a premiere skilling & training institute. The focus for Miles Education has always been to up-skill students and professionals to help them be future-ready and enable their career progression.