User and Client Satisfaction in Agile Development

Agile software development affects working with users and user centred design. In our series of papers comparing agile with other development processes we did a paper based on a survey to IT professionals in Iceland. One of the interesting questions was what these people put emphasis on in their work. Do they emphasize clients’ satisfaction, user satisfaction, customer satisfaction or maybe all of the three?  The main results show that both user and client satisfaction is emphasized by professionals using Agile, but for professionals using other processes such as their home-grown process or the traditional waterfall approach, the focus is user satisfaction.

We could also see that in Agile it was more common to gather feedback from users than in other software development processes. When asked about how often the participants gather feedback from stakeholders including uses customers, clients, colleagues and friends one can see that those using agile frequently consulted colleagues or friends (66% 1-3 times a month or more often). Fifty percent of them consulted uses at least once a month, but only 20% consulted customer, see table below.

feedback from stakeholders

One should note that the survey involved a relatively small number of participants (N=42), and thus can be seen as an exploratory work that can inform our future work.

If you are interested in reading, you find the paper here

Abstract: The emphasis on User Centred Design (UCD) in agile systems development processes (Agile) has been studied from various perspectives. The context of Agile strongly affects the possibilities for IT professionals to conduct user-centred activities in their work. In this paper, we describe a survey study comparing the responses from professionals using Agile processes and other software development processes. Specifically, we explore the values and perspectives that professionals emphasise in their work, whether feedback is gathered from stakeholders, and how frequently feedback is gathered. The main results show that both user and client satisfaction is emphasised by professionals using Agile, but for professionals using other processes such as their home-grown process or the traditional waterfall approach, the focus is user satisfaction. The survey involved a relatively small number of participants (N=42), and thus can be seen as an exploratory work that can inform our future work