The Agile Product Development Trends 2021 are primarily based on a worldwide survey of more than a hundred industry leaders.
The aim of this survey is to analyze how digital champions are integrating Agile principles into their organization’s product development strategy during an uncertain business climate.
Agile product development plays a vital role in product management. In today’s Darwinian era, businesses are under continuous pressure to launch new products and improve customer experience, without compromising time to market.
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Our Agile Product Development 2021 survey presents the key product development trends that will shape the product development environment and help CXOs and PMs solve problems that beset the Agile product development teams.
What is Agile Product Development?
Instead of only focusing on efficiency, businesses must design successful product development methodologies for speed, experience, and adaptability — factors that define Agility — thereby enabling them to survive and thrive in today’s ever-evolving business environment.
In our survey, we asked industry leaders what is Agile product development for their organization. 68.6% of the leaders define Agile product development as a holistic approach that focuses on customers’ needs and is quick to respond to changes in the marketplace.
6 Key Agile Product Development Trends 2021
Net Solutions’ State of Agile Product Development survey highlights that despite the uncertain business environment, the COVID-19 pandemic acts as one of the propelling forces, pushing organizations to integrate Agile methodologies into their broader digitization agenda to drive the product development process.
The survey identifies six product development trends for 2021, exploring their benefits, challenges, and impact on the business landscape.
1. Agile Product Development Drives Performance
In today’s fast-paced and competitive digital era, where the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company has declined from around 75 years—just half a century ago—to less than 15 years, it is becoming a necessity for organizations to undergo a product development process transformation to compete effectively.
Businesses realize the fact that the Agile product development process delivers value, at speed. Almost all the surveyed organizations in our report highlight that they have adopted a lean and agile product development process or are experimenting with it.
Thus, embracing the agile approach to product development is one of the vital product development trends highlighted in our study.
However, when it comes to Waterfall vs Agile product development, unfortunately, there are still a few organizations that prefer the Waterfall method over the Agile product development process.
2. DevSecOps is a Must-Have
In Net Solutions’ State of Digital Transformation 2020 report, we found that digital security is one of the most prominent challenges organizations face on their road to digital transformation.
It is implicitly backed by the fact that almost 80% of the surveyed organizations in the Agile Product Development report have already begun applying DevSecOps in at least one of their teams to increase security and boost agility.
The COVID-19 knock on the product development industry’s door has reinforced the co-creation process’s strength, which includes working with external partners and customers. Thus, embedding security — one of the key Product Development Trends 2021 — in the DevOps pipeline helps ensure every digital product introduced in the market is secure and reliable.
3. Continuous Customer Satisfaction Improvement and Faster Product Delivery are the new backbones of Agile Product Development.
When an organization uses the DevSecOps Agile product development process, it works directly with the business users to deliver exactly what they need securely. The focus is on business needs, product mindset, and we see that projects get finished and move into production fast.
Bringing new ideas or services to the market allows businesses to validate these ideas and establish an early advantage.
Applying DevSecOps-Agile product development methodology allows organizations to respond quickly to market demands.
The bottom-line advantage is the ability to obtain continuous feedback and incorporate it speedily into application development. This, eventually, leads to increased customer satisfaction.
Net Solutions’ Agile Product Development report mentions that the organizations’ Agile technology investments’ most common expectations are continuous customer satisfaction improvement and faster product delivery — key product development trends for 2021.
4. Stability harmonizes with Agility
Businesses can add more value to their Agile product development process by adding two important factors: speed and stability. However, organizations are faced with the challenge of choosing between prioritizing speed and stability, which puts pressure on product development teams.
Our report showcases that most product development teams focus on a stable product over products delivered at speed, thereby making stability one of the key product development trends for 2021.
In our experience, an ideal agile product development team learns to focus on both the stability (efficient and reliable) and the speed (adaptive and nimble).
To achieve this balance, it is more than important to add the security factor into the agile product development life cycle at every step because DevSecOps-driven Agile teams spend 50% less time fixing their product’s security issues.
Net Solutions introduced its Digital Transformation Flywheel to help businesses gain the necessary momentum to accelerate their agile product development process while maintaining the right balance of speed and stability.
5. Product-Market Fit and Undefined Process are the Biggest Roadblocks to Agile Product Development
Following an Agile product development approach is not that easy as it is portrayed by many tech juggernauts like Google, Amazon, and Facebook. These companies make the Agile product development process look easy. However, the reality is that for most organizations, this process is challenging. And they end up making mistakes, some of which short-circuit the entire product development process.
Net Solutions’ report highlights a lack of product alignment with the target market and an ambiguous development process as the biggest roadblocks to Agile product development.
Have you ever imagined how to sell an air conditioner in Antarctica? You will have trouble selling it. The same rule applies for all the digital products/services — no matter how good it is, it will fail if you cannot solve the other half of the equation, i.e., finding the ideal target market for your product.
Most organizations begin to build a product with a sweet assumption that “everyone” will rush to buy their products or sign up for their services. Unfortunately, that’s not true. This is why finding the right target market for the product and a defined agile product development process are vital product development trends for 2021.
6. COVID-19 is an Instrumental Factor in Propelling Organizations to Adopt Agile Product Development Methodology
The pandemic has dramatically changed the customer’s mindset, which has transformed the entire business landscape. To effectively and efficiently handle the challenges that crop up along the way, businesses adapt quickly to the changing business environment by incorporating an Agile approach to product development.
According to Net Solutions’ Agile Product Development Report, more than half of the surveyed organizations’ teams have adopted Agile principles during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By embracing the Agile mindset, organizations are trying to break down silos and suspend slow-moving hierarchies: major roadblocks to agile product development.
In the digital business era, customers’ needs evolve so rapidly that they can no longer wait a year or more to incorporate suggestions. The turnaround has to be much more quick and seamless, which requires many organizations to change their tools, processes, and culture.
The product development trends 2021 highlighted in the Net Solutions’ Agile Product Development survey converge into a single trend: releasing DevSecOps & Agile-driven stable products, at speed with the target market and customer in mind.
No matter where you are in your product development journey, Net Solutions’ report shares some useful insights that will help you win this competitive product development race.