Agile Methodologies make sense to me for software development. The Agile Manifesto is worth a quick look (and of course it is succint at only one page long).
Here is the gist of it:
- Do the simplest thing possible (don't over engineer a solution for problems that don't exist because there is a good chance YAGNI).
- Show measurable progress by delivering early and often. That means get a unit test to pass, or showing a screen to the customer as soon as possible.
While Agile was envisioned as a way to build software, the ideals can be applied to running the business: Dante - On Being Agile. I agree with this premise, even if the business visionaries don't realize they are "being agile". I've been in two software companies that started life as horizontal technologies (document management and project management), but morphed into vertically focussed solutions as soon as some customer success was realized (insurance claims processing and compliance respectively).
I think the trick is getting people on board with continual improvements with respect to tweaking the way you work with the client. You hear comments like "we've always done it that way - why should we change?". The thing is, your client is changing regardless of your involvement. Personally, I see change as an opportunity. An opportunity to improve the relationship with the client; and an opportunity to improve the value of your software to the client's business.