The third quarter marks a period of development where solutions or concepts are created, prototyped, tested and iterated. This process of trial and error helps designers to improve and refine their ideas. This is the area where agile started and has been most successful. I

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Four tell tale signs you have a healthy Development process:

  1. Healthy Overlap Between Phases
    Development should have a healthy overlap with design and delivery. That means the implementers are heavily involved in reviewing design decisions made with user personas and stories in mind.
  2. Healthy Correspondence with Product Owner
    The product owner is responsible for answering questions about the user during implementation. Healthy correspondence with this implementation generally indicates healthy consideration of alternatives and how they’ll affect the user.
  3. Questions Arise on Delivery
    Do the implementers raise questions on how new features will be delivered? This might be the links between implementation and infrastructure (upgrades, operation, management) or it could be user help and discovery.
  4. Output Relatively Predictable
    This is one of the hardest things a development manager has to do and it’s especially difficult in the early phases of a new product and/or team. That said, if you’re moving towards greater predictability, that’s a good sign.

Four tell tale signs you do not have a healthy Development process underway:

  1. Long Cycles
    In a dynamic environment, long cycles are tough because they protract the feedback loop, making it hard to know if you’re on the right track.
  2. Development to Specification
    If there’s a lot of discussion about whether something matched the specification versus made sense for the market, you know you need to change up your processes.
  3. Development is Closeted
    If no one that corresponds with the customer is involved in development, that’s a bad sign.
  4. Output Unpredictable
    Predicting output is hard, but it should become increasingly visible the longer you work on the same product with the same team.