Yesterday I make a statement: if we want to have visible results, the first distinction that we have to do; is not to be oriented in the technology trend (or architecture or development roles) but instead try to create a context orientated to the business itself; in this team work you’ll fin customers and the agile team. And of course, very a important part of it are clients or customers.
Caution! we should not confuse these roles with the Product Owner we know of SCRUM. According to the Guide, PO is the main author of the User Stories, he manages the Product Backlog, he defines the priority of the stories, he defines the acceptance tests, and he approves the work carried out by the Agile Team. However, that is not a “real customer”; a true customer is involved in an early stage and he is the one who detects a problem or a need and which will use the final solution created by the team. In an Agile Team it is very important to involve a person with the knowledge of business from day one, but the question always remains: Is this person a real reflection of a client?
short experience has taught me that when more time working with these experts from business, more we begin to know the business and can improve our solution. The tradeoff is that these SMEs also begin to learn how an Agile Team and are adapting to the team practices. This is not bad, however it can be counter-productive if not is valid with the other “clients”.
My answer to this is: The solution to meet an end customer, does not go through involving all clients within the development team, but instead think to plan some type of activity to obtain feedback from them. The concept of Agile Customer implies that we work partially with an on-site Customer (that in the long run you end up making the Product Owner and if you have good luck this work is not in part but full time). As an addition to this concept I would like to add the following activities
- In a Sprint Review, integrate not only the familiar faces of the project; It tries to involve new people. At a previous session or at the beginning of the meeting, you spend time to explain the purpose of the Sprint Review and the dynamics of work; and he tries to get his feedback during the same.
- Remember the 2 fundamental premises related to dealing with customers
- Do not implement anything that has not been approved by a client
- Nobody can replace an end user of the application
Finally, remember that while change is a constant, a closed version depends on the capacity that we have to manage the expectations of our customers. Be honest and be solution a success.
References: If you want to know more about Microsoft Feedback Client you can see my posts here.
Saludos @ La Finca