curved line

Ep. 44: How business agility increases revenue


Business agility increases revenue by getting a high-quality products into market faster.

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podcast recording


Today we're going to talk about increasing revenue. What's the potential impact we can have on the bottom line by focusing on revenue growth. One of the clearest ways in which business agility helps us there is by helping us get high-quality products into the market faster.

This week takeaways:

  • Put high-quality products into market faster
  • Create rapid feedback loops
  • Capture the opportunity quickly

We love to hear feedback! If you have questions, would like to propose a topic, or even join us for a conversation, contact us here:


[00:00:00] Peter Maddison: Welcome to Definitely Maybe Agile podcast with Peter Madison and David Sharrock. Discuss the complexities of adopting new ways of working at scale. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Definitely, Maybe Agile. Today, we continue our series on how business agility impacts your bottom line. What's on the cards today, Dave?

[00:00:21] Dave Sharrock: We've talked about reducing operational expense. The other aspect. I mean, really, there's only three ways that you can meaningfully impact that bottom line and we can reduce expenses. We can increase revenue, or we can increase profitability. Right. And so, we're going to talk today about increasing revenue. How can we, as an agile organization, not an agile delivery team, but an agile organization. What's the potential impacts we can have on the bottom line by focusing on revenue.

[00:00:48] Peter Maddison: Right. And one of the clearest ways in which business agility helps you there, is by helping us get high quality product into market, faster. You have heard us talking about the fact that it's not just about speed, but the importance of the high quality. It's not just efficiency, we want effectiveness too. We need to ensure that we're building the right thing at the right time. And it's a high-quality product that we're putting out into market.

[00:01:12] Dave Sharrock: Well, let me pick up on the high-quality piece. I think, it's perhaps not fully recognized all the time when we look at revenue growth. One key things is, customers that love the product, and certainly when I have conversations with Product Owners or when I have a conversations with clients about the products they love, there is always an element or an expectation of exceptional quality. Now, exceptional quality obviously depends on the product that we're using. But basically, we need a product that does what it says on the can. Right, it does what it says on the tin. And we know what's expected of it. It works in a way that is not riddled with these little, small micro experiences, that really needle us when we're clients or customers using those products.

[00:01:53] Peter Maddison: Exactly. And it's important as well that when we put these products out there, that we can do this quickly, because we want to be able to get that feedback. We want to be able to understand whether the opportunity is there. What is it that people like about the product? Is this doing what we expect it to? Where are those potential defects? Where are those things that are wrong, that are irritating the customers? We want to make sure that we can resolve those fast. Because these are things that directly increase revenue. If we can make sure that we're putting out something that is of high-quality and we're getting into market faster ahead of the competition, then that will improve the revenue and the amount of products that you can sell.

[00:02:33] Dave Sharrock: If I then move over to the second point that you made, and you just mentioned it again there, which is the speed with which we can get products out of the door. And again, there's a lot of talk about this. If you remember many, many years ago, there was a well-known heuristic: that for every, whatever, it was a hundred milliseconds that you were able to reduce page downloads time by, you could get a 1% lift in, revenue generated by that page. Assuming it's some sort of an e-commerce platform.

Understanding of speed is shifting a lot. More towards being able to get into the market with the right product swiftly and responding to say, product launches, or events that are happening that allow you to be recognized as being at the right place at the right time by your customer. If I think of one of the most impactful transformations I've been involved, in where the benefits were measured and able to be measured in the tens of millions of dollars range, it was about one of the aspects that was being able to get merchandise into the marketplace and then into, therefore the hands of the customers much, much more quickly than their competitors we're able to. And that speed of being able to move things through, into the customer's hands has a significant impact on, where people go to shop, basically.

[00:03:48] Peter Maddison: There's also the other side of this, which we'll be touching out in later episodes. It also allows you to be able to say, "Okay, I tried this", and I can see whether or not it succeeded. I can fail faster.

I can say, "Okay, I don't want to continue down that path”. Or “this isn't a product that's going to work for me". Or I can try many different things. And I can assess which of these better, and I can learn faster. And that rapid learning, too is something that, which enables us to work out which products we should leave in market, and which products are going to have a greater impact on that revenue. And invest more time and energy in those, which will help, grow our space in the market.

[00:04:25] Dave Sharrock: Yeah. And simplicity comes in there, right? The art of "of things not done", or also the art of "things turned off", because the features just aren't doing it for our customers.

Great. How would you summarize what we've just talked about? Increasing revenue? Obviously, a lot of organizations want to do that. How does business agility lead the way?

[00:04:42] Peter Maddison: So, business agility, I think we've talked about this in the terms of the high quality, allowing us to put high-quality products into market faster. Allowing us to create rapid feedback loops for those products as we put them into market too, so that we can understand what's working and what isn't working. This is allowing us to focus our energy on the products that are actually generating the revenue. That in turn, allows us to capture the opportunity quickly. It means that we can be there with the right product at the right time to capture the opportunity, grow our revenue and build our companies and our organizations faster. Would that sum it up? Is there anything that you'd like to add?

[00:05:23] Dave Sharrock: Yeah, this is a really interesting one, because unfortunately in the few minutes that we have here, it feels like we're talking at an esoteric high level. You know, some senior VP will dictate this as the mandate for 2022. Where we see it, I'm speaking for myself. I'm sure for you as well, Peter. Where we see this is at the Team level and the Product Owner level, and the impact is something that you can really see on a Sprint by Sprint or release by release. The teams, discussing it and seeing it and understanding it. And there's work to get there, but when you have those conversations, they start chipping that away. The opportunities kind of come thick and fast. If they're able to set the systems up and the mindset up, in the right way.

[00:06:04] Peter Maddison: And if you can get that alignment and that understanding between those two layers. Between the strategic, the high level, and what's occurring in terms of the implementation, the execution, that helps guide those decisions. It helps allow that flexibility, and that's what those two pieces connect. So, I think that's a very good point.

[00:06:23] Dave Sharrock: Yeah. I mean, funding! This is the bit that I'm speaking of when you say that middle bit there. One of the things when you start seeing opportunities coming out for revenue growth is you need access to the funds to be able to unlock those. Whether it's marketing spend, whether it's attention from a development team. So that's that middle layer there. Where's the flexibility there that allows an organization to be able to chase the real opportunities that start bubbling up once they're attuned to looking for them.

[00:06:51] Peter Maddison: Exactly. With that we're going to sum it up for today and you can send us your feedback at and we'll look forward to seeing you next time. Thank you, Dave.

[00:07:01] Dave Sharrock: Thanks again, Peter.

[00:07:03] Peter Maddison: You've been listening to Definitely, Maybe Agile. The podcast where your hosts, Peter Madison and David Sharrock, focus on the art and science of digital, agile, and DevOps at scale.