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Industry Insight

Staying Agile: Delivering Maximum Value to Customers

While it may not be readily apparent, how a clinical collaboration platform vendor approaches project management can have a big impact on the quality and overall success of the product for its users.

Traditional project management follows a very linear, predefined plan. Projects start at the first phase and only progress when everything in the previous phase has been completed. This rigid structure can quickly lead to delays, cost overruns and a product that doesn’t meet the needs of customers, especially with the dynamic requirements of software development.

Agile software development aims to solve these problems by providing a model that gracefully handles changes and minimizes their impact on resources. It enables teams to work more collaboratively, release new product enhancements sooner, get feedback faster and maintain the focus on customers.

Why should a health system consider partnering with a clinical collaboration platform provider that uses an agile approach to software development? Here are a few reasons:

Project priorities are ranked according to what is most important to a customer’s business. Breaking the highest-ranked tasks into small chunks and then building working versions of the product in short cycles ensures the product enhancement or update delivers maximum value to customers.

It’s common in software development to churn out a software product and find that the product delivered is not what was expected. The focus should be on delivering a product that solves the problem for which it was  designed. The ability to embrace changes at any point in development to help the team build the right product is essential.

By prioritizing and delivering features incrementally, agile practices deliver just enough functionality along with high quality to meet customer needs. Introducing a small amount of change with each release also prevents  product problems. The iterative development cycle helps identify and respond to issues early.

Active participation and collaboration among teams and customers in agile development create a tight feedback loop. Daily updates let the development team organize around work completed, future work and project  roadblocks. Regular review sessions on new features allow feedback to be incorporated before a product enhancement or update is released.

With more traditional project management approaches, the customer may only be involved at the beginning and end of development. Instead of avoiding changes in requirements, agile development welcomes frequent feedback and changes to ensure that a customer’s business remains competitive. A clinical collaboration partner’s goal is to deliver useful product enhancements and updates to customers fast and efficiently.

Using an agile approach to project management allows developers to adapt quickly in the changing landscape of healthcare communication. Download Insight