Jakob Nielsen’s article on Agile User Experience Projects suggests that good implementation of usability in agile projects can be vanguarded by:
“Separate design and development, and have the user interface team progress one step ahead of the implementation team. That way, when it comes time to build something, it’s already been designed and tested. (And yes, you can do both in a week or two by using paper prototypes and discount user testing.)”
Out of our own experience, small software and design companies do not have the necessary funds to run a dedicated UX-team and by using the above mentioned approach, good design and usability can be achieved.