Agile Publishing: Twelve Tips for Agile Product Development
3. Be ruthless.
Cut any "nice to haves" until they become "must haves." If you can't immediately justify a feature, you don't need it. It will become either essential or unnecessary later.
4. Learn to love data.
Collect data wherever you can find it. Become strict about data. Only make decisions based on data. Data is what makes a successful product. It is easy to let your customers show you (though data collection) what they want and need. Trust this over opinion and individual preference.
5. Stay flexible. Stay current.
Plans should be based on data that you have available to you at each step along the way. If, after release, the data suggest a change in course, follow the data. Plans should be a road map, but as you gather new information, adapt to it. Few products end up exactly as they were conceived during the planning phase.
6. Leave nothing to chance.
Never fail to research an idea or topic. If you begin making decisions based on consensus, you've lost. The goal of agile product development is to always know what your options are. Many times we have to make difficult decisions that force us to compromise on a feature or a piece of functionality. That is okay. In fact, it's inevitable. The decisions you make may not always be optimal from various user perspectives, but the having the ability to make an informed decision is always optimal.
7. Find an equitable balance.
Decision making in an agile context should be about balance. It's important to find the balance between offering the best user experience and responding to your business needs. Sometimes business decisions trump user experience, and vice versa.
8. Establish a direct connection to your customers.
Digital products do best when companies establish and maintain a direct connection to their customers in various ways. For many publishers, the shift from B2B to B2C is a difficult one, but essential to success going forward. And remember, B2C is not just a sales thing. Forging and maintaining a direct and ongoing connection to people who purchase your products is an essential strategy for any business today.