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Significance of Customer Involvement in Agile Methodology

Significance of Customer Involvement in Agile Methodology
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 22 Sep 2022

Given the increasing reliance of business functions on software, developers are required to deliver high-quality functionality that works as expected. And if this is not achieved, it results in the wastage of valuable organizational valuable time and resources. Modern agile project management methodologies help solve this problem by involving the customer in the software development life cycle.

There was a time when the project manager or the software developer used to plan and deliver a project all by themselves. However, there were many cases where projects were either not properly completed or took too long. Agile software development methodologies were motivated by the need to mitigate such concerns. In agile development approaches, the project starts with the identification of the users’ needs and is developed in small releases. These releases are used and reviewed by the customers themselves, who can provide relevant feedback.

Stakeholder involvement is one of the critical aspects of all agile projects. The project team should include the key stakeholders – the client, the business analysts and the product owner in addition to the project manager (e.g., Scrum master) and the technical team members (i.e., developers). Their involvement facilitates better communication and alignment between the different roles.

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Any project is successful only after the customer has thoroughly reviewed and approved its functioning. This is why agile methodologies like Scrum, Extreme Programming (XP) and Development and Operations (DevOps) mandate the customer’s involvement in the production and review of releases. Agile software development companies strive to develop a unique culture where every developer gets a dedicated account manager on the customer side as their sole point of contact. Account managers ensure that shared goals across teams are clear, which leads to minimal conflict over traditional roles such as business analyst or project manager. Agile methodologies boost effective cooperation and collaboration between team members and stakeholders. This collaboration ensures that the end product satisfies user needs.


The Benefits of Customer Involvement

Most agile software development methodologies are based on the idea that the most effective approach to creating software is to involve the customer in every step of the process. The benefits of this customer involvement include:

  • Cost-Effective Product quality: Customers provide feedback on whether the product meets their needs and expectations. This feedback helps make changes early in the process, i.e., when they require less time and effort to implement.
  • Timely delivery: As changes are made throughout the project, customers can be involved at each step to see the progress made toward their goals. They also have a better understanding of what’s left to be done once some features have been completed. This helps prevent situations where the work done is something that nobody wanted or needed. The latter is a common problem in traditional waterfall models for software development.
  • Continuous flow of requirements: Agile practices encourage frequent interactions between customers and developers throughout the project lifecycle. This allows for adjustments as new ideas emerge instead of waiting until late in development before making any changes. The latter is a bad practice that usually results in significant rework and delays after the initial release of the software.
  • Faster acceptance of the software release: Customer interaction provides valuable feedback on what the customers like or dislike about the software as it is being developed. This helps developers identify and eliminate bugs before they become part of the released product. It also maximizes the chances that the customer will accept the final product.
  • Avoidance of scope creep: As agile projects are completed in iterations, customers can validate whether each iteration has met their needs or whether additional functionality is needed. If any additional functionality is required, it can be added at that time instead of waiting until the end of the project. It is usually much more challenging to add new features and functionalities at the end of the project without disrupting other work that has already been completed.
  • Alleviating misunderstandings and semantic gaps: When involved in a project, customers are more likely to give more precise requirements and specifications that help clear any misunderstandings regarding what must be implemented. The customer understands how their requirements will be implemented by developers, and developers understand what they must do to deliver those requirements. This leads to better communication between both parties, which results in the smooth functioning of the project.
  • Fostering Trusted relationships with the customers: Customer involvement fosters trust between the customer and the software development team. The customers are involved throughout the project lifecycle. This helps the customers understand their project’s progress and allows them to regularly and timely express their concerns.


Nowadays, agile methodologies are widely used among software development companies. They help maintain close customer involvement through all its stages. This helps in delivering high-quality products sooner to customers. If the customer is satisfied with the product, they are likely to recommend it to others. The bigger the scale of users, the more popularity the product will get. Hence, focusing on customer cooperation and inclusion is a winning strategy for any business that promotes agile projects.

There are many good reasons to involve the customer in the agile process, like having the correct business stakeholders define requirements and characteristics right from the start. It’s also a good way for the agile team to ensure that their efforts are relevant to their end-users. For these reasons, customer engagement is essential and should be actively pursued as part of every agile development project.

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