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XP in sales

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  • Dan Bunea
    Hi, Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the customers.
    Message 1 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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      Hi,

      Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few
      days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
      customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that everyone needs to be
      involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers, need to know
      about it very well. He asked:

      What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
      going to cost me?

      I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
      development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
      can get a better opinion here.

      Thanks,
      Dan Bunea
      http://danbunea.blogspot.com



      --
      Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
    • Dave Rooney
      ... Dan, That sounds like a good start. The key word is collaboration - sit down with the new customer and discuss what it is they re looking for. Get some
      Message 2 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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        Dan Bunea wrote:
        > Hi,
        >
        > Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few
        > days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
        > customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that everyone needs to be
        > involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers, need to know
        > about it very well. He asked:
        >
        > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
        > going to cost me?
        >
        > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
        > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
        > can get a better opinion here.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Dan Bunea
        > http://danbunea.blogspot.com
        >

        Dan,

        That sounds like a good start. The key word is collaboration - sit down
        with the new customer and discuss what it is they're looking for. Get
        some stories, estimate them, get the customer's priority. Do this in
        conjunction with the sales people.

        Dave Rooney
        Mayford Technologies
        http://www.mayford.ca
      • Ron Jeffries
        ... Do you and the sales people know how to do an XP Release Plan? Ron Jeffries www.XProgramming.com If not now, when? -- The Talmud
        Message 3 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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          On Friday, March 3, 2006, at 12:10:15 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:

          > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
          > going to cost me?

          > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
          > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
          > can get a better opinion here.

          Do you and the sales people know how to do an XP Release Plan?

          Ron Jeffries
          www.XProgramming.com
          If not now, when? -- The Talmud
        • Paul Grew
          Hi, has anyone read this book http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prefactoring/ is it just about BDUF or is there any useful content? cheers Paul
          Message 4 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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            Hi,
            has anyone read this book http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prefactoring/ is
            it just about BDUF or is there any useful content?

            cheers

            Paul
          • Ron Jeffries
            ... Based on having just read Chapter 2, I think I ll probably get and read the whole book. I expect, based on chapter 2, to think that he is recommending
            Message 5 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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              On Friday, March 3, 2006, at 5:00:38 AM, Paul Grew wrote:

              > has anyone read this book
              > http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prefactoring/ is
              > it just about BDUF or is there any useful content?

              Based on having just read Chapter 2, I think I'll probably get and
              read the whole book. I expect, based on chapter 2, to think that he
              is recommending rather rather more work and formality than I would,
              for projects as simple as the Lawnmower Repair and CD Rental store.

              I really wish he hadn't put the word "extreme" in the subtitle three
              times. That seems to me to be inappropriate, for a number of
              reasons, given the content I've read so far.

              Ron Jeffries
              www.XProgramming.com
              Agility is not an inescapable law of purity
              but a pragmatic principle of effectiveness. -- Marc Hamann
            • Jason Nocks
              ... My group gets developers involved during the sales effort. We view much of Sales to be about communication and planning with the prospective customer. I
              Message 6 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                On Friday 03 March 2006 3:10 am, Dan Bunea wrote:
                > Hi,
                >
                > Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few
                > days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
                > customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that everyone needs to be
                > involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers, need to know
                > about it very well. He asked:

                My group gets developers involved during the sales effort. We view much of
                Sales to be about communication and planning with the prospective customer. I
                think a lot of XP is very helpful there. Rather than "selling XP", we're
                "doing XP" during the sales effort. Plus, a lot of pattern interrupts and
                trying to help the prospective customer to open up in a what is traditionally
                a rather guarded situation.

                > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                > going to cost me?

                Great question. I run into what seems like a similar situation quite often
                (although it's not the first thing anymore). My company does a lot of custom
                consulting. Someone from the customer role almost always wants an idea of
                budget and/or timeframe. Since we hear the questions a lot, I'm trying to
                find better ways to get fromt the customer what they really need along these
                lines and how can I get better at providing that.

                Have you read "Agile Estimating and Planning" (ISBN 0131479415), by Mike Cohn?
                I just started reading it maybe a few weeks back. I think there's some good
                advice there to help with situations like this.

                > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
                > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
                > can get a better opinion here.
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Dan Bunea
                > http://danbunea.blogspot.com

                --
                Cheers,
                Jason Nocks

                Bliki:
                http://wiki.sourcextreme.org/index.php/Bliki:Jason
              • Keith Ray
                it s a lot of advice on good design, compatible with iterative/incremental development. http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/blog/2005/10/06/#UnpalatableAdvice ...
                Message 7 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                  it's a lot of advice on good design, compatible with
                  iterative/incremental development.

                  http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/blog/2005/10/06/#UnpalatableAdvice

                  On 3/3/06, Paul Grew <paul.grew@...> wrote:
                  > Hi,
                  > has anyone read this book http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prefactoring/ is
                  > it just about BDUF or is there any useful content?
                  >
                  > cheers
                  >
                  > Paul
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                  >
                  > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                  >
                  > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >


                  --

                  C. Keith Ray
                  <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/blog/index.html>
                  <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/xpminifaq.html>
                  <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/resume2.html>
                • William Pietri
                  ... I think this question is so hard because it is at least two questions together, and just from the questions you can t tell what is being asked. If you
                  Message 8 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                    Dan Bunea wrote:
                    > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                    > going to cost me?
                    >

                    I think this question is so hard because it is at least two questions
                    together, and just from the questions you can't tell what is being
                    asked. If you break it up, it's easier to deal with. Here are some of
                    the possible things I hear in that:

                    1. What's a ballpark estimate for my project?
                    2. I have a certain budget to spend. What can I get for that?
                    3. If we start work and the estimate is wrong, what happens then?
                    4. I want a fixed price right now that you guarantee.

                    Three of these are reasonable questions. The fourth isn't a question at
                    all: it's a desire that is natural but unreasonable. If you are dealing
                    with number 4, you will need to educate the client. McConnell's "Rapid
                    Development" has a great chapter on estimation with some cartoons and
                    graphs that I have found very helpful in doing a 20-minute Estimation
                    101 class.

                    One way to answer either of the first two questions is with a planning
                    game. The raw output of that planning game may need to be modified to
                    fit the sales cycle, but that should be pretty obvious.

                    The third question is partly a business question, and that part XP
                    doesn't answer. One or both will take a risk on this, and there are a
                    lot of ways you can structure that.

                    To the extent the client is taking the risk, you should make it clear to
                    them that XP makes their risk much, much smaller. It gives them working
                    systems early. It lets them see weekly progress. It lets them start the
                    project sooner. It allows them to change the upcoming schedule without
                    penalty. And it puts them in much, much better control of tradeoffs
                    between scope and schedule.


                    Does that help, Dan?

                    William


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Paul Grew
                    Ron, Keith, thanks for the feedback.. i ll add it to my pile ... -- Paul Grew www.SpectrumFish.co.uk
                    Message 9 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                      Ron, Keith,

                      thanks for the feedback.. i'll add it to my pile


                      Keith Ray said:
                      > it's a lot of advice on good design, compatible with
                      > iterative/incremental development.
                      >
                      > http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/blog/2005/10/06/#UnpalatableAdvice
                      >
                      > On 3/3/06, Paul Grew <paul.grew@...> wrote:
                      >> Hi,
                      >> has anyone read this book http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prefactoring/
                      >> is
                      >> it just about BDUF or is there any useful content?
                      >>
                      >> cheers
                      >>
                      >> Paul
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >> To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                      >>
                      >> To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      >> extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                      >>
                      >> ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                      >> Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >
                      >
                      > --
                      >
                      > C. Keith Ray
                      > <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/blog/index.html>
                      > <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/xpminifaq.html>
                      > <http://homepage.mac.com/keithray/resume2.html>
                      >
                      >
                      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                      >
                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                      >
                      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      --
                      Paul Grew
                      www.SpectrumFish.co.uk
                    • John Somsky
                      Dan, Our situation may be different than yours, so this advice may not apply, but I thought I would tell you what we do. We are a small company selling
                      Message 10 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                        Dan,

                        Our situation may be different than yours, so this advice may not apply, but
                        I thought I would tell you what we do.

                        We are a small company selling "commercial off the shelf" (COTS) software.
                        No software customization or implementation software services are required
                        for deployment. Our software is a suite of integrated modules that can be
                        purchased and deployed separately or together. Our software is also sold
                        using an annual subscription model.

                        When we develop a module we only include the features that are absolutely
                        required for basic functionality or to make the sale. For us a rough guess
                        might be 40% of our features defined for a module fall into this category.
                        There are another 60% which we know will be required by some customers,
                        desired by others, or might be cool to another customer.

                        During the sales process they try out our software. They communicate with
                        us extra feature they would like to have. We usually pick a small feature
                        or two, implement that, and deploy it to their evaluation environment within
                        the first couple of weeks. We make a new commercial release every 3-6 weeks
                        and we can usually have their required features created well before they are
                        ready to deploy.

                        We also explain to the customer our development philosophy. Sometimes we
                        use the XP phrase, other times not. We just explain that we don't try to
                        guess at the extra features customers might need. We instead wait for the
                        actual customers to tell us their requirements. That way our development
                        effort is optimized to the customers we have, rather that the total possible
                        market. We also let our customers prioritize the enhancements they have
                        requested. We give them the stories along with the estimates. Sometimes we
                        give them a quota of X points they can choose. Other times we balance the
                        prioritization across all of our customers to make sure they are all seeing
                        improvements every few months.

                        It also helps that our software is sold on an annual subscription basis.
                        This has a low cost of entry, and they understand that we make continuous
                        improvement to our software which they have the rights to deploy at no extra
                        charge.

                        The short release cycles and low rate of defects that result from applying
                        XP have allowed us to change the way we sell our software. Our customers
                        really like our responsiveness. In fact, without this flexibility, a
                        company of our size probably could not be competitive.

                        I don't know if any of this applies to you, but this is what we have found
                        helpful.

                        John Somsky
                        Grand Avenue Software

                        > -----Original Message-----
                        > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan Bunea
                        > Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 2:10 AM
                        > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                        > Subject: [XP] XP in sales
                        >
                        > Hi,
                        >
                        > Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few
                        > days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
                        > customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that everyone needs to be
                        > involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers, need to know
                        > about it very well. He asked:
                        >
                        > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                        > going to cost me?
                        >
                        > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
                        > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
                        > can get a better opinion here.
                        >
                        > Thanks,
                        > Dan Bunea
                        > http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --
                        > Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
                        >
                        >
                        > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                        >
                        > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-
                        > unsubscribe@...
                        >
                        > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Cory Foy
                        ... What s wrong with that mechanism? If a customer comes to me and asks me for a price to build an app, the first thing I m going to ask is what the app is.
                        Message 11 of 26 , Mar 3, 2006
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                          Dan Bunea wrote:
                          > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                          > going to cost me?
                          >
                          > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
                          > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
                          > can get a better opinion here.

                          What's wrong with that mechanism? If a customer comes to me and asks me
                          for a price to build an app, the first thing I'm going to ask is what
                          the app is. She might tell me that it is Foo. I ask her to define Foo.
                          And so on until we are at a place where we can estimate.

                          One thing that I've seen help is when companies define repeatable steps
                          for this. So, when the customer asks how much, you can show them what it
                          takes to tell them how much.

                          I also find that people who want to know "How much" can't answer "What
                          is it, exactly?"

                          However, someone at the NFJS [1] conference today brought up that they
                          have to do cost estimations for budgetary purposes /before/ the project
                          starts. They rely on Yesterday's Weather to ballpark the estimate. And
                          Bruce Tate reminded us that one option is to estimate in
                          ${favorite_static_typed_language} time and to do it in
                          ${favorite_dynamic_typed_language}.

                          Cory

                          [1] http://www.cornetdesign.com/2006/03/nfjs-conference-day-1.html
                        • Dan Bunea
                          Hi Ron, The answer is yes. We have worked together on planning (planning game - releases and iterations) before. They are happy with it, but what they seem to
                          Message 12 of 26 , Mar 4, 2006
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                            Hi Ron,

                            The answer is yes. We have worked together on planning (planning game
                            - releases and iterations) before. They are happy with it, but what
                            they seem to be worried is the first contact with new customers (that
                            are used to a more waterfall approach, with tons of documents before
                            anything is done). The building thrust phase where they have to get
                            the clients to work with us, where we need to compete with much larger
                            companies, with "names".

                            The last sample is a client, that wanted his application (that we
                            built in 2004) extended. It was built in a waterfall manner, getting
                            all the requirements before and thus lots of things were missed. Our
                            representative went there and they together built a list of things
                            wanted, and made a first prioritization and then that list was sent to
                            us, who estimated each and sent back the list. The customer then
                            picked about 60% and on monday we're starting work. But this was a
                            client that trusted us already, that knew we deliver, so the worries
                            are for those that do not have the same confidence.

                            That's where I need more "backup".

                            Thanks,
                            Dan





                            On 3/3/06, Ron Jeffries <ronjeffries@...> wrote:
                            > On Friday, March 3, 2006, at 12:10:15 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:
                            >
                            > > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                            > > going to cost me?
                            >
                            > > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
                            > > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
                            > > can get a better opinion here.
                            >
                            > Do you and the sales people know how to do an XP Release Plan?
                            >
                            > Ron Jeffries
                            > www.XProgramming.com
                            > If not now, when? -- The Talmud
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                            >
                            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                            >
                            > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >


                            --
                            Dan Bunea
                            http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                          • Dan Bunea
                            Hi Jason, Thanks for the advise. We are trying to be agile as much as possible, all together, but we have some borders unfortunately. We develop in Romania,
                            Message 13 of 26 , Mar 4, 2006
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                              Hi Jason,

                              Thanks for the advise. We are trying to be agile as much as possible,
                              all together, but we have some borders unfortunately. We develop in
                              Romania, some of the clients are in the UK, so we need to cope with
                              the overhead of that, however, we are in direct contact all the time
                              with the customers, going there, them coming here, on phone, skype, on
                              IM etc. But this is done after getting the contract mostly although we
                              are involved in the prediscussions with the customers also, so being
                              less involved in the trust building phase makes me put this question
                              here.

                              Thanks,
                              Dan


                              On 3/3/06, Jason Nocks <nocksj@...> wrote:
                              > On Friday 03 March 2006 3:10 am, Dan Bunea wrote:
                              > > Hi,
                              > >
                              > > Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using XP, a few
                              > > days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
                              > > customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that everyone needs to be
                              > > involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers, need to know
                              > > about it very well. He asked:
                              >
                              > My group gets developers involved during the sales effort. We view much of
                              > Sales to be about communication and planning with the prospective customer. I
                              > think a lot of XP is very helpful there. Rather than "selling XP", we're
                              > "doing XP" during the sales effort. Plus, a lot of pattern interrupts and
                              > trying to help the prospective customer to open up in a what is traditionally
                              > a rather guarded situation.
                              >
                              > > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                              > > going to cost me?
                              >
                              > Great question. I run into what seems like a similar situation quite often
                              > (although it's not the first thing anymore). My company does a lot of custom
                              > consulting. Someone from the customer role almost always wants an idea of
                              > budget and/or timeframe. Since we hear the questions a lot, I'm trying to
                              > find better ways to get fromt the customer what they really need along these
                              > lines and how can I get better at providing that.
                              >
                              > Have you read "Agile Estimating and Planning" (ISBN 0131479415), by Mike Cohn?
                              > I just started reading it maybe a few weeks back. I think there's some good
                              > advice there to help with situations like this.
                              >
                              > > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the stories,
                              > > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing), but maybe I
                              > > can get a better opinion here.
                              > >
                              > > Thanks,
                              > > Dan Bunea
                              > > http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                              >
                              > --
                              > Cheers,
                              > Jason Nocks
                              >
                              > Bliki:
                              > http://wiki.sourcextreme.org/index.php/Bliki:Jason
                              >
                              >
                              > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                              >
                              > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                              >
                              > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                              > Yahoo! Groups Links
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              --
                              Dan Bunea
                              http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                            • Dan Bunea
                              Hi Willian, ... Thanks for the complete answer. All clients tend to be pushy, going for the 4 question. It is a defensive mechanism most of us use in everyday
                              Message 14 of 26 , Mar 4, 2006
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                                Hi Willian,


                                On 3/3/06, William Pietri <william@...> wrote:
                                > Dan Bunea wrote:
                                > > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how much is this
                                > > going to cost me?
                                > >
                                >
                                > I think this question is so hard because it is at least two questions
                                > together, and just from the questions you can't tell what is being
                                > asked. If you break it up, it's easier to deal with. Here are some of
                                > the possible things I hear in that:
                                >
                                > 1. What's a ballpark estimate for my project?
                                > 2. I have a certain budget to spend. What can I get for that?
                                > 3. If we start work and the estimate is wrong, what happens then?
                                > 4. I want a fixed price right now that you guarantee.
                                >



                                > Three of these are reasonable questions. The fourth isn't a question at
                                > all: it's a desire that is natural but unreasonable. If you are dealing
                                > with number 4, you will need to educate the client. McConnell's "Rapid
                                > Development" has a great chapter on estimation with some cartoons and
                                > graphs that I have found very helpful in doing a 20-minute Estimation
                                > 101 class.
                                >


                                > One way to answer either of the first two questions is with a planning
                                > game. The raw output of that planning game may need to be modified to
                                > fit the sales cycle, but that should be pretty obvious.
                                >
                                > The third question is partly a business question, and that part XP
                                > doesn't answer. One or both will take a risk on this, and there are a
                                > lot of ways you can structure that.
                                >
                                > To the extent the client is taking the risk, you should make it clear to
                                > them that XP makes their risk much, much smaller. It gives them working
                                > systems early. It lets them see weekly progress. It lets them start the
                                > project sooner. It allows them to change the upcoming schedule without
                                > penalty. And it puts them in much, much better control of tradeoffs
                                > between scope and schedule.
                                >
                                >

                                Thanks for the complete answer.

                                All clients tend to be pushy, going for the 4 question. It is a
                                defensive mechanism most of us use in everyday life. It is very common
                                to run away from products that do not have their prices visible, since
                                we automatically assume that they will be more costly that we can
                                afford.

                                I will try to emplasize to our sales people the necessity to come up
                                with a better way to explain that risks are minimized dramatically
                                with an agile approach, and also costs. Possibly this way they can be
                                more efficient in building the initial trust.

                                Thanks,
                                Dan

                                > Does that help, Dan?
                                >
                                > William
                                >
                                >
                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                >
                                > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                >
                                > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >


                                --
                                Dan Bunea
                                http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                              • Ron Jeffries
                                ... Dan, I guess I m not understanding quite what the problem is. Are your sales people imagining that they have to give your prospects a price BEFORE they
                                Message 15 of 26 , Mar 4, 2006
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                                  On Saturday, March 4, 2006, at 7:49:55 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:

                                  > The answer is yes. We have worked together on planning (planning game
                                  > - releases and iterations) before. They are happy with it, but what
                                  > they seem to be worried is the first contact with new customers (that
                                  > are used to a more waterfall approach, with tons of documents before
                                  > anything is done). The building thrust phase where they have to get
                                  > the clients to work with us, where we need to compete with much larger
                                  > companies, with "names".

                                  Dan, I guess I'm not understanding quite what the problem is. Are
                                  your sales people imagining that they have to give your prospects a
                                  price BEFORE they know what is needed? That seems a bit tricky -- do
                                  your competitors somehow set prices before they know what they have
                                  to do?

                                  Or is the problem really something else, such as that your company
                                  does not as yet have a track record that can be referred to? In that
                                  case, I'd probably want to talk about the value of seeing the
                                  software every couple of weeks, and the ability to stop whenever the
                                  customer wants, to keep risks low, and the ability to change their
                                  minds ...

                                  So ... maybe tell us a bit more about what your sales people are
                                  really thinking?

                                  Ron Jeffries
                                  www.XProgramming.com
                                  The work teaches us. -- Richard Gabriel
                                • Henrique Borges
                                  ... Somehow, I have the impression that Waterfall-style development actually do this. After very few meetings, collecting requirements, my competitors guess
                                  Message 16 of 26 , Mar 4, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    > Dan, I guess I'm not understanding quite what the problem is. Are
                                    > your sales people imagining that they have to give your prospects a
                                    > price BEFORE they know what is needed? That seems a bit tricky -- do
                                    > your competitors somehow set prices before they know what they have
                                    > to do?

                                    Somehow, I have the impression that Waterfall-style development
                                    actually do this.

                                    After very few meetings, collecting requirements, my competitors
                                    "guess" the effort it will take then, add a few slack for the risks
                                    involved and present a "Project Proposal" with major features and
                                    deliverables, price and date constraints. Only then the client sign
                                    off for the project. After that, my competitors strive (most of the
                                    time without success) to keep the planed scope, date and cost.

                                    If I'm understanding correctly, Dan is referring to that "Project
                                    Proposal" phase where prices are, sorry for the word, guessed.

                                    Maybe during the first project "Pre-sale" phase, your sales people
                                    could do something like a project proposal showing your prospect what
                                    they could expect from the project, with the major features that they
                                    expect to be developed, the necessary resources to be allocated, and
                                    the first estimates (not constraints) of time and cost.

                                    I think this proposal can compete with Waterfall-style ones. But
                                    better than the Waterfall-style development, as Ron said, I would
                                    stress the values of the frequent delivery of tested software, the
                                    ability to stop whenever they want and the ability to change their
                                    minds about the features. I think this is far better than tons of
                                    documents.

                                    --
                                    Henrique Borges
                                  • Dan Bunea
                                    Hi Ron, It seems that Henrique has helped me a great deal here. Our competitors usually use waterfall, and they guess prices and lenght in time for
                                    Message 17 of 26 , Mar 5, 2006
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hi Ron,

                                      It seems that Henrique has helped me a great deal here. Our competitors
                                      usually use waterfall, and they "guess" prices and lenght in time for
                                      development withought really analysing the product to be developed, assuming
                                      incredible risks.

                                      On the other hand, the customers like to have a price with as little
                                      involvment as possible, as fast as possible, and they are given this by our
                                      competitors, which usually are much bigger names then us. It has happened
                                      that someone has told our sales representative, that we're trying to hide
                                      the real cost and we will go for ever and ever with the project, and ask for
                                      more and more money, and he will be have to pay as the product won't be
                                      finished. My response was that he's actually in the control of what's being
                                      done, "steering" direction, and seeing progress all the time, and planning
                                      for a few month releases on which he'll have the cost up front, but he had
                                      already made his decision against us.

                                      Then we have the sales staff, somehow confused by the new
                                      approach, that need real guidance, step by step, in much detail.

                                      Thanks for all, I am forwarding all these responses to them, and will
                                      probably discuss all these together one of these days,
                                      Dan

                                      On 3/5/06, Henrique Borges <henriqueborges@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > > Dan, I guess I'm not understanding quite what the problem is. Are
                                      > > your sales people imagining that they have to give your prospects a
                                      > > price BEFORE they know what is needed? That seems a bit tricky -- do
                                      > > your competitors somehow set prices before they know what they have
                                      > > to do?
                                      >
                                      > Somehow, I have the impression that Waterfall-style development
                                      > actually do this.
                                      >
                                      > After very few meetings, collecting requirements, my competitors
                                      > "guess" the effort it will take then, add a few slack for the risks
                                      > involved and present a "Project Proposal" with major features and
                                      > deliverables, price and date constraints. Only then the client sign
                                      > off for the project. After that, my competitors strive (most of the
                                      > time without success) to keep the planed scope, date and cost.
                                      >
                                      > If I'm understanding correctly, Dan is referring to that "Project
                                      > Proposal" phase where prices are, sorry for the word, guessed.
                                      >
                                      > Maybe during the first project "Pre-sale" phase, your sales people
                                      > could do something like a project proposal showing your prospect what
                                      > they could expect from the project, with the major features that they
                                      > expect to be developed, the necessary resources to be allocated, and
                                      > the first estimates (not constraints) of time and cost.
                                      >
                                      > I think this proposal can compete with Waterfall-style ones. But
                                      > better than the Waterfall-style development, as Ron said, I would
                                      > stress the values of the frequent delivery of tested software, the
                                      > ability to stop whenever they want and the ability to change their
                                      > minds about the features. I think this is far better than tons of
                                      > documents.
                                      >
                                      > --
                                      > Henrique Borges
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                      >
                                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                      >
                                      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >


                                      --
                                      Dan Bunea
                                      http://danbunea.blogspot.com


                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Ron Jeffries
                                      ... The story above makes me think that you are bidding an incremental X money per iteration response to a customer who wants a fixed price. It is not
                                      Message 18 of 26 , Mar 5, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        On Sunday, March 5, 2006, at 4:43:35 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:

                                        > It seems that Henrique has helped me a great deal here. Our competitors
                                        > usually use waterfall, and they "guess" prices and lenght in time for
                                        > development withought really analysing the product to be developed, assuming
                                        > incredible risks.

                                        > On the other hand, the customers like to have a price with as little
                                        > involvment as possible, as fast as possible, and they are given this by our
                                        > competitors, which usually are much bigger names then us. It has happened
                                        > that someone has told our sales representative, that we're trying to hide
                                        > the real cost and we will go for ever and ever with the project, and ask for
                                        > more and more money, and he will be have to pay as the product won't be
                                        > finished. My response was that he's actually in the control of what's being
                                        > done, "steering" direction, and seeing progress all the time, and planning
                                        > for a few month releases on which he'll have the cost up front, but he had
                                        > already made his decision against us.

                                        The story above makes me think that you are bidding an incremental X
                                        money per iteration response to a customer who wants a fixed price.
                                        It is not necessary to do that.

                                        The reason I asked whether you know how to do an XP Release Plan is
                                        that this can be done at the very beginning of the project. The best
                                        way -- and it's a good sales approach as well, I'd think -- is to
                                        have reps from the technical team sit down with the customer, draw
                                        out the stories (requirements). Then the team estimates the stories,
                                        asking the customer questions about them. When the estimates are
                                        done, the team uses their experience and estimated velocity to say
                                        how long the project will take.

                                        During the process, if I were in a sales situation, I'd want the
                                        sales person to be making note of each case where the technical team
                                        asked questions of the customer and changed their estimate or
                                        audibly changed their design view of the system. In a subsequent
                                        sales meeting, or a later part of this one, the sales person would
                                        then be in a position to summarize those situations something like
                                        this:

                                        Mr Customer, I noticed some interesting things in this session,
                                        situations where our approach has extra value to you. For example,
                                        when we were talking about the Flying Widget feature, the team had
                                        at first thought that was a four-point story but conversation with
                                        you told them it was only a two. Without that conversation, our
                                        bid would have had to be higher, and we might not have provided
                                        what you really need.

                                        If you're talking with organizations who merely come in, do a
                                        superficial look at what you want and then guess a price and a
                                        solution, there's always uncertainty. Whether they raise their
                                        price to cover those contingencies, or whether they make it up by
                                        charging extra for changes, you can be sure you'll be paying the
                                        price.

                                        We work closely with you all through the project, to ensure that
                                        there's clear understanding between us on what you really want,
                                        and to keep your costs as low as possible. And remember, our
                                        approach shows you a working program all the time. You'll know how
                                        we're doing and will be in a position to guide the project to
                                        success.

                                        (Blah blah more sales stuff)

                                        > Then we have the sales staff, somehow confused by the new
                                        > approach, that need real guidance, step by step, in much detail.

                                        Yes, no doubt they do. And to do the planning well, the technical
                                        team need training and practice as well. Based on what Kent Beck had
                                        the C3 team do a decade ago, and what we wrote in /XP Installed/,
                                        and our experience since then, Chet and I have been teaching
                                        planning and estimation tutorials at the Agile conferences for
                                        years, and presenting the material for our clients. Perhaps you and
                                        some of your gang could attend one of our conference sessions.
                                        There's also good material in Mike Cohn's /Agile Estimating and
                                        Planning/ book, and don't forget Beck and Fowler's /Planning XP/.

                                        If I were going into the contract programming business, I'd work up
                                        a sales approach around the ideas of XP and Agile planning. I'd
                                        involve technical estimators early; I'd describe the burn charts
                                        we'd provide; I'd explain our approach to change; and so on. I'd do
                                        this with gentle comparisons to the way other companies work,
                                        raising the customer's confidence in our way and their concerns
                                        about how a company that just guesses could possibly do a decent job
                                        for them.

                                        I'd work with the staff to practice and hone our approach to
                                        estimation and planning and sales, so that we'd continue to get
                                        better and better. I'd get training for the people, and I'd work
                                        with customers, to get feedback on how we're doing. I'd work with
                                        prospects who didn't buy our service, to find out why they didn't,
                                        what we could have said -- and to find out how satisfied they are
                                        with what they got from the other company. And I'd do that all the
                                        time.

                                        That's what I'd do if I were a sales guy. I'm not -- it's hard work
                                        that needs to be done well.

                                        Ron Jeffries
                                        www.XProgramming.com
                                        Wisdom begins when we discover the difference between
                                        "That makes no sense" and "I don't understand". --Mary Doria Russell
                                      • Victor
                                        Thank you to all participants in this thread for your valuable contributions. It has been very interesting to follow it. Victor ... From: Ron Jeffries
                                        Message 19 of 26 , Mar 5, 2006
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Thank you to all participants in this thread for your valuable
                                          contributions. It has been very interesting to follow it.

                                          Victor

                                          =====================================

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Ron Jeffries" <ronjeffries@...>
                                          To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Sunday, March 05, 2006 7:14 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [XP] XP in sales


                                          > On Sunday, March 5, 2006, at 4:43:35 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:
                                          >
                                          > > It seems that Henrique has helped me a great deal here. Our competitors
                                          > > usually use waterfall, and they "guess" prices and lenght in time for
                                          > > development withought really analysing the product to be developed,
                                          assuming
                                          > > incredible risks.
                                          >
                                          > > On the other hand, the customers like to have a price with as little
                                          > > involvment as possible, as fast as possible, and they are given this by
                                          our
                                          > > competitors, which usually are much bigger names then us. It has
                                          happened
                                          > > that someone has told our sales representative, that we're trying to
                                          hide
                                          > > the real cost and we will go for ever and ever with the project, and ask
                                          for
                                          > > more and more money, and he will be have to pay as the product won't be
                                          > > finished. My response was that he's actually in the control of what's
                                          being
                                          > > done, "steering" direction, and seeing progress all the time, and
                                          planning
                                          > > for a few month releases on which he'll have the cost up front, but he
                                          had
                                          > > already made his decision against us.
                                          >
                                          > The story above makes me think that you are bidding an incremental X
                                          > money per iteration response to a customer who wants a fixed price.
                                          > It is not necessary to do that.
                                          >
                                          > The reason I asked whether you know how to do an XP Release Plan is
                                          > that this can be done at the very beginning of the project. The best
                                          > way -- and it's a good sales approach as well, I'd think -- is to
                                          > have reps from the technical team sit down with the customer, draw
                                          > out the stories (requirements). Then the team estimates the stories,
                                          > asking the customer questions about them. When the estimates are
                                          > done, the team uses their experience and estimated velocity to say
                                          > how long the project will take.
                                          >
                                          > During the process, if I were in a sales situation, I'd want the
                                          > sales person to be making note of each case where the technical team
                                          > asked questions of the customer and changed their estimate or
                                          > audibly changed their design view of the system. In a subsequent
                                          > sales meeting, or a later part of this one, the sales person would
                                          > then be in a position to summarize those situations something like
                                          > this:
                                          >
                                          > Mr Customer, I noticed some interesting things in this session,
                                          > situations where our approach has extra value to you. For example,
                                          > when we were talking about the Flying Widget feature, the team had
                                          > at first thought that was a four-point story but conversation with
                                          > you told them it was only a two. Without that conversation, our
                                          > bid would have had to be higher, and we might not have provided
                                          > what you really need.
                                          >
                                          > If you're talking with organizations who merely come in, do a
                                          > superficial look at what you want and then guess a price and a
                                          > solution, there's always uncertainty. Whether they raise their
                                          > price to cover those contingencies, or whether they make it up by
                                          > charging extra for changes, you can be sure you'll be paying the
                                          > price.
                                          >
                                          > We work closely with you all through the project, to ensure that
                                          > there's clear understanding between us on what you really want,
                                          > and to keep your costs as low as possible. And remember, our
                                          > approach shows you a working program all the time. You'll know how
                                          > we're doing and will be in a position to guide the project to
                                          > success.
                                          >
                                          > (Blah blah more sales stuff)
                                          >
                                          > > Then we have the sales staff, somehow confused by the new
                                          > > approach, that need real guidance, step by step, in much detail.
                                          >
                                          > Yes, no doubt they do. And to do the planning well, the technical
                                          > team need training and practice as well. Based on what Kent Beck had
                                          > the C3 team do a decade ago, and what we wrote in /XP Installed/,
                                          > and our experience since then, Chet and I have been teaching
                                          > planning and estimation tutorials at the Agile conferences for
                                          > years, and presenting the material for our clients. Perhaps you and
                                          > some of your gang could attend one of our conference sessions.
                                          > There's also good material in Mike Cohn's /Agile Estimating and
                                          > Planning/ book, and don't forget Beck and Fowler's /Planning XP/.
                                          >
                                          > If I were going into the contract programming business, I'd work up
                                          > a sales approach around the ideas of XP and Agile planning. I'd
                                          > involve technical estimators early; I'd describe the burn charts
                                          > we'd provide; I'd explain our approach to change; and so on. I'd do
                                          > this with gentle comparisons to the way other companies work,
                                          > raising the customer's confidence in our way and their concerns
                                          > about how a company that just guesses could possibly do a decent job
                                          > for them.
                                          >
                                          > I'd work with the staff to practice and hone our approach to
                                          > estimation and planning and sales, so that we'd continue to get
                                          > better and better. I'd get training for the people, and I'd work
                                          > with customers, to get feedback on how we're doing. I'd work with
                                          > prospects who didn't buy our service, to find out why they didn't,
                                          > what we could have said -- and to find out how satisfied they are
                                          > with what they got from the other company. And I'd do that all the
                                          > time.
                                          >
                                          > That's what I'd do if I were a sales guy. I'm not -- it's hard work
                                          > that needs to be done well.
                                          >
                                          > Ron Jeffries
                                          > www.XProgramming.com
                                          > Wisdom begins when we discover the difference between
                                          > "That makes no sense" and "I don't understand". --Mary Doria Russell
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                          >
                                          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                          extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                          >
                                          > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >
                                        • Dan Bunea
                                          Thank you Ron for your very concise and helpful response. It has a very good example in it that will back me up when we will discuss about sales again this
                                          Message 20 of 26 , Mar 6, 2006
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Thank you Ron for your very concise and helpful response. It has a very
                                            good example in it that will back me up when we will discuss about sales
                                            again this week.
                                            Dan


                                            On Sun, 5 Mar 2006 07:14:15 -0500, Ron Jeffries
                                            <ronjeffries@...> wrote:

                                            > On Sunday, March 5, 2006, at 4:43:35 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:
                                            >
                                            >> It seems that Henrique has helped me a great deal here. Our competitors
                                            >> usually use waterfall, and they "guess" prices and lenght in time for
                                            >> development withought really analysing the product to be developed,
                                            >> assuming
                                            >> incredible risks.
                                            >
                                            >> On the other hand, the customers like to have a price with as little
                                            >> involvment as possible, as fast as possible, and they are given this by
                                            >> our
                                            >> competitors, which usually are much bigger names then us. It has
                                            >> happened
                                            >> that someone has told our sales representative, that we're trying to
                                            >> hide
                                            >> the real cost and we will go for ever and ever with the project, and
                                            >> ask for
                                            >> more and more money, and he will be have to pay as the product won't be
                                            >> finished. My response was that he's actually in the control of what's
                                            >> being
                                            >> done, "steering" direction, and seeing progress all the time, and
                                            >> planning
                                            >> for a few month releases on which he'll have the cost up front, but he
                                            >> had
                                            >> already made his decision against us.
                                            >
                                            > The story above makes me think that you are bidding an incremental X
                                            > money per iteration response to a customer who wants a fixed price.
                                            > It is not necessary to do that.
                                            >
                                            > The reason I asked whether you know how to do an XP Release Plan is
                                            > that this can be done at the very beginning of the project. The best
                                            > way -- and it's a good sales approach as well, I'd think -- is to
                                            > have reps from the technical team sit down with the customer, draw
                                            > out the stories (requirements). Then the team estimates the stories,
                                            > asking the customer questions about them. When the estimates are
                                            > done, the team uses their experience and estimated velocity to say
                                            > how long the project will take.
                                            >
                                            > During the process, if I were in a sales situation, I'd want the
                                            > sales person to be making note of each case where the technical team
                                            > asked questions of the customer and changed their estimate or
                                            > audibly changed their design view of the system. In a subsequent
                                            > sales meeting, or a later part of this one, the sales person would
                                            > then be in a position to summarize those situations something like
                                            > this:
                                            >
                                            > Mr Customer, I noticed some interesting things in this session,
                                            > situations where our approach has extra value to you. For example,
                                            > when we were talking about the Flying Widget feature, the team had
                                            > at first thought that was a four-point story but conversation with
                                            > you told them it was only a two. Without that conversation, our
                                            > bid would have had to be higher, and we might not have provided
                                            > what you really need.
                                            >
                                            > If you're talking with organizations who merely come in, do a
                                            > superficial look at what you want and then guess a price and a
                                            > solution, there's always uncertainty. Whether they raise their
                                            > price to cover those contingencies, or whether they make it up by
                                            > charging extra for changes, you can be sure you'll be paying the
                                            > price.
                                            >
                                            > We work closely with you all through the project, to ensure that
                                            > there's clear understanding between us on what you really want,
                                            > and to keep your costs as low as possible. And remember, our
                                            > approach shows you a working program all the time. You'll know how
                                            > we're doing and will be in a position to guide the project to
                                            > success.
                                            >
                                            > (Blah blah more sales stuff)
                                            >
                                            >> Then we have the sales staff, somehow confused by the new
                                            >> approach, that need real guidance, step by step, in much detail.
                                            >
                                            > Yes, no doubt they do. And to do the planning well, the technical
                                            > team need training and practice as well. Based on what Kent Beck had
                                            > the C3 team do a decade ago, and what we wrote in /XP Installed/,
                                            > and our experience since then, Chet and I have been teaching
                                            > planning and estimation tutorials at the Agile conferences for
                                            > years, and presenting the material for our clients. Perhaps you and
                                            > some of your gang could attend one of our conference sessions.
                                            > There's also good material in Mike Cohn's /Agile Estimating and
                                            > Planning/ book, and don't forget Beck and Fowler's /Planning XP/.
                                            >
                                            > If I were going into the contract programming business, I'd work up
                                            > a sales approach around the ideas of XP and Agile planning. I'd
                                            > involve technical estimators early; I'd describe the burn charts
                                            > we'd provide; I'd explain our approach to change; and so on. I'd do
                                            > this with gentle comparisons to the way other companies work,
                                            > raising the customer's confidence in our way and their concerns
                                            > about how a company that just guesses could possibly do a decent job
                                            > for them.
                                            >
                                            > I'd work with the staff to practice and hone our approach to
                                            > estimation and planning and sales, so that we'd continue to get
                                            > better and better. I'd get training for the people, and I'd work
                                            > with customers, to get feedback on how we're doing. I'd work with
                                            > prospects who didn't buy our service, to find out why they didn't,
                                            > what we could have said -- and to find out how satisfied they are
                                            > with what they got from the other company. And I'd do that all the
                                            > time.
                                            >
                                            > That's what I'd do if I were a sales guy. I'm not -- it's hard work
                                            > that needs to be done well.
                                            >
                                            > Ron Jeffries
                                            > www.XProgramming.com
                                            > Wisdom begins when we discover the difference between
                                            > "That makes no sense" and "I don't understand". --Mary Doria Russell
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                            >
                                            > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                            > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                            >
                                            > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                            > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >
                                            >



                                            --
                                            Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
                                          • Jason Nocks
                                            ... ... This resonates a lot with some of what I ve been doing in a Sales Role for SourceXtreme, a company in the contract programming business. There s
                                            Message 21 of 26 , Mar 7, 2006
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              On Sunday 05 March 2006 7:14 am, Ron Jeffries wrote:
                                              > On Sunday, March 5, 2006, at 4:43:35 AM, Dan Bunea wrote:
                                              <snip>
                                              >
                                              > If I were going into the contract programming business, I'd work up
                                              > a sales approach around the ideas of XP and Agile planning. I'd
                                              > involve technical estimators early; I'd describe the burn charts
                                              > we'd provide; I'd explain our approach to change; and so on. I'd do
                                              > this with gentle comparisons to the way other companies work,
                                              > raising the customer's confidence in our way and their concerns
                                              > about how a company that just guesses could possibly do a decent job
                                              > for them.

                                              This resonates a lot with some of what I've been doing in a Sales Role for
                                              SourceXtreme, a company in the contract programming business. There's a lot
                                              of stuff that sounds like "educate the customer" here.

                                              > I'd work with the staff to practice and hone our approach to
                                              > estimation and planning and sales, so that we'd continue to get
                                              > better and better. I'd get training for the people, and I'd work
                                              > with customers, to get feedback on how we're doing. I'd work with
                                              > prospects who didn't buy our service, to find out why they didn't,
                                              > what we could have said -- and to find out how satisfied they are
                                              > with what they got from the other company. And I'd do that all the
                                              > time.

                                              Yes, yes, yes. Very well put Ron. Mind if I quote you in a Bliki entry at some
                                              point? As best as I can tell, this is exactly what we are trying to do in my
                                              group when we are in a Sales Role. We've had much better results when we take
                                              this approach.

                                              One thing that's pretty surprising to me is that "educating the customer" has
                                              turned out to not get the best results. We've found excellent results by
                                              focusing on the customers problems, helping them figure out what they really
                                              want by starting to do it (or at least plan like we are actually doing it),
                                              rather than explaining how we do it. And "it" is XP Planning, XP Stories,
                                              small spikes, etc. Plus some extra techniques to help break through some
                                              guards people put up when they think someone might try to sell them
                                              something.

                                              We actually have a well-defined Sales process we've been trying to follow. We
                                              are continually refining our understanding of what it really means and how to
                                              do it better. It's pretty similar to XP in terms of values, etc. At the heart
                                              of it, it's what Ron is describing in the paragraph above. I'd call it Agile
                                              Sales, for lack of a better term.

                                              And some of the XP practices help us to do Sales better and seemlessly
                                              transition from Sales to Development Roles. On the other hand, I also feel
                                              that some of the things we've learned from the Sales Role have helped us do a
                                              better job communicating with the customer when we are in a Developer Role.

                                              Again, if you don't have Mike Cohn's book, and you'd like to improve your
                                              ability to estimate and plan XP-style, I can't recommend it enough.

                                              > That's what I'd do if I were a sales guy. I'm not -- it's hard work
                                              > that needs to be done well.

                                              To me, doing Sales well also requires being very focused on communication and
                                              getting feedback from the customer. Things that we are also trying to improve
                                              in some of the people on our team that also fill the Developer Role (myself
                                              included).

                                              > Ron Jeffries
                                              > www.XProgramming.com
                                              > Wisdom begins when we discover the difference between
                                              > "That makes no sense" and "I don't understand". --Mary Doria Russell

                                              Cheers,
                                              Jason Nocks

                                              Bliki:
                                              http://wiki.sourcextreme.org/index.php/Bliki:Jason
                                            • Kent Beck
                                              Dan, When we built our house, the first thing we wanted to know was how much it was going to cost. Our contractor said, That s pretty much up to you. Custom
                                              Message 22 of 26 , Mar 7, 2006
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                                                Dan,

                                                When we built our house, the first thing we wanted to know was how much it
                                                was going to cost. Our contractor said, "That's pretty much up to you.
                                                Custom homes cost approximately $100/sq ft, although they can cost up to
                                                three times that." And so began a conversation that lasted as long as they
                                                were building the house.

                                                How would you respond if the client asking, "How much is this going to
                                                cost?" was the opening gambit in an extended conversation, not a demand for
                                                a fixed-forever number?

                                                One of the big advantages of XP (and this applies to Paolo Perotta's earlier
                                                post) is that it gives you the opportunity to build a strong, mutual,
                                                trust-based relationship with your clients. If you work transparently and
                                                accountably, sharing responsibility for the project with your client, you
                                                can learn to trust each other and work in your shared best interest. Before
                                                going this route, I would want to make sure that the whole team is committed
                                                to accountability, honesty, integrity, and transparency. You can't fake it.

                                                That's how I would sell an XP project--we want to earn your trust and to
                                                learn to trust you. Our prices are competitive with the other offers you
                                                will receive, because we don't have any hidden charges. We fix defects in
                                                the software for five years for no additional fee. Change requests are not
                                                extra as long as the work fits into the team's capacity for the contracted
                                                period. The same "battle" is going on in the mortgage market in the
                                                US--apparently "low cost" providers with lots of hidden charges vs higher
                                                fees quoted honestly and transparently. Once you've signed a "low-cost"
                                                mortgage and seen fees totaling 2-3% added after you're committed to
                                                signing, you know the value of the honest quote and are willing to pay for
                                                it.

                                                Whether you make a particular sale or not, though, you have the satisfaction
                                                of trying to work with integrity in your customer's best interest as well as
                                                your own. If you go this route, I would love to hear from your sales people
                                                how it went.

                                                Take care,

                                                Kent Beck
                                                Three Rivers Institute

                                                > -----Original Message-----
                                                > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan Bunea
                                                > Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 12:10 AM
                                                > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Subject: [XP] XP in sales
                                                >
                                                > Hi,
                                                >
                                                > Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using
                                                > XP, a few
                                                > days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
                                                > customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that
                                                > everyone needs to be
                                                > involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers,
                                                > need to know
                                                > about it very well. He asked:
                                                >
                                                > What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how
                                                > much is this
                                                > going to cost me?
                                                >
                                                > I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the
                                                > stories,
                                                > development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing),
                                                > but maybe I
                                                > can get a better opinion here.
                                                >
                                                > Thanks,
                                                > Dan Bunea
                                                > http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                                              • Ron Jeffries
                                                ... Kent ... I share your views here on how it ought to be. I m even fairly confident that I could have a conversation such as you describe here, and win the
                                                Message 23 of 26 , Mar 7, 2006
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                                                  On Tuesday, March 7, 2006, at 3:45:31 PM, Kent Beck wrote:

                                                  > How would you respond if the client asking, "How much is this going to
                                                  > cost?" was the opening gambit in an extended conversation, not a demand for
                                                  > a fixed-forever number?

                                                  > One of the big advantages of XP (and this applies to Paolo Perotta's earlier
                                                  > post) is that it gives you the opportunity to build a strong, mutual,
                                                  > trust-based relationship with your clients. If you work transparently and
                                                  > accountably, sharing responsibility for the project with your client, you
                                                  > can learn to trust each other and work in your shared best interest. Before
                                                  > going this route, I would want to make sure that the whole team is committed
                                                  > to accountability, honesty, integrity, and transparency. You can't fake it.

                                                  > That's how I would sell an XP project--we want to earn your trust and to
                                                  > learn to trust you. Our prices are competitive with the other offers you
                                                  > will receive, because we don't have any hidden charges. We fix defects in
                                                  > the software for five years for no additional fee. Change requests are not
                                                  > extra as long as the work fits into the team's capacity for the contracted
                                                  > period. The same "battle" is going on in the mortgage market in the
                                                  > US--apparently "low cost" providers with lots of hidden charges vs higher
                                                  > fees quoted honestly and transparently. Once you've signed a "low-cost"
                                                  > mortgage and seen fees totaling 2-3% added after you're committed to
                                                  > signing, you know the value of the honest quote and are willing to pay for
                                                  > it.

                                                  Kent ... I share your views here on how it ought to be. I'm even
                                                  fairly confident that I could have a conversation such as you
                                                  describe here, and "win" the bid. I can understand -- and I'm sure
                                                  that you can also -- that someone else going into the situation
                                                  might not be so confident. And I suspect that some prospects, who
                                                  were expecting a fixed price, would be taken aback.

                                                  Folks want to "limit their exposure", by getting a maximum figure.
                                                  And they do expect to "hold the development company" to that figure
                                                  and to the delivery of whatever is wanted, within it.

                                                  I've not had any experience selling a contract of that kind, and it
                                                  sounds like you haven't either. I hope that our combined and similar
                                                  suggestions will encourage people to enter into the conversations
                                                  necessary to bid projects in XP style, and, with you, I hope that
                                                  they'll tell us about their experiences. That said ...

                                                  > Whether you make a particular sale or not, though, you have the satisfaction
                                                  > of trying to work with integrity in your customer's best interest as well as
                                                  > your own. If you go this route, I would love to hear from your sales people
                                                  > how it went.

                                                  I suspect we both know that while integrity may be central to our
                                                  being, it can be cold comfort when the revenue isn't coming in. I'm
                                                  confident that a company entering into this conversational approach
                                                  to the contract, and the business, will prevail often enough to be
                                                  successful. I'm also pretty sure that they'll feel fear going into
                                                  this approach, with which they're largely unfamiliar.

                                                  Again, I hope our advice will be part of their getting the
                                                  confidence they need to give it a try.

                                                  Ron Jeffries
                                                  www.XProgramming.com
                                                  The practices are not the knowing: they are a path to the knowing.
                                                • Dan Bunea
                                                  Hi Kent, ... Based on this trust we ve been able to deliver lots of products to our clients. However, this trust has been gained previously as we have a set of
                                                  Message 24 of 26 , Mar 8, 2006
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                                                    Hi Kent,

                                                    On Tue, 7 Mar 2006 12:45:31 -0800, Kent Beck <kentb@...> wrote:

                                                    > Dan,
                                                    >
                                                    > When we built our house, the first thing we wanted to know was how much
                                                    > it
                                                    > was going to cost. Our contractor said, "That's pretty much up to you.
                                                    > Custom homes cost approximately $100/sq ft, although they can cost up to
                                                    > three times that." And so began a conversation that lasted as long as
                                                    > they
                                                    > were building the house.
                                                    >
                                                    > How would you respond if the client asking, "How much is this going to
                                                    > cost?" was the opening gambit in an extended conversation, not a demand
                                                    > for
                                                    > a fixed-forever number?
                                                    >
                                                    > One of the big advantages of XP (and this applies to Paolo Perotta's
                                                    > earlier
                                                    > post) is that it gives you the opportunity to build a strong, mutual,
                                                    > trust-based relationship with your clients. If you work transparently and
                                                    > accountably, sharing responsibility for the project with your client, you
                                                    > can learn to trust each other and work in your shared best interest.
                                                    > Before
                                                    > going this route, I would want to make sure that the whole team is
                                                    > committed
                                                    > to accountability, honesty, integrity, and transparency. You can't fake
                                                    > it.
                                                    >

                                                    Based on this trust we've been able to deliver lots of products to our
                                                    clients. However, this trust has been gained previously as we have a set
                                                    of clients, that continually give us work (large companies usually needing
                                                    this and that to automate different business processes specific to them),
                                                    so that trust has been gained in the years of working together, the
                                                    learning curve was steeper in some cases but we have delivered projects
                                                    that they use every day. Probably because of that confort, we're know less
                                                    about approaching new clients.

                                                    > That's how I would sell an XP project--we want to earn your trust and to
                                                    > learn to trust you. Our prices are competitive with the other offers you
                                                    > will receive, because we don't have any hidden charges. We fix defects in
                                                    > the software for five years for no additional fee. Change requests are
                                                    > not
                                                    > extra as long as the work fits into the team's capacity for the
                                                    > contracted
                                                    > period. The same "battle" is going on in the mortgage market in the
                                                    > US--apparently "low cost" providers with lots of hidden charges vs higher
                                                    > fees quoted honestly and transparently. Once you've signed a "low-cost"
                                                    > mortgage and seen fees totaling 2-3% added after you're committed to
                                                    > signing, you know the value of the honest quote and are willing to pay
                                                    > for
                                                    > it.
                                                    >
                                                    > Whether you make a particular sale or not, though, you have the
                                                    > satisfaction
                                                    > of trying to work with integrity in your customer's best interest as
                                                    > well as
                                                    > your own. If you go this route, I would love to hear from your sales
                                                    > people
                                                    > how it went.
                                                    >
                                                    > Take care,
                                                    >
                                                    > Kent Beck
                                                    > Three Rivers Institute

                                                    I knew and explained these concepts, about the honesty that comes with XP
                                                    working style, but now with your advice, Ron's and others I and all here
                                                    have managed to see that this approch is the right one.

                                                    Thank you,
                                                    Dan

                                                    >
                                                    >> -----Original Message-----
                                                    >> From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                    >> [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Dan Bunea
                                                    >> Sent: Friday, March 03, 2006 12:10 AM
                                                    >> To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                    >> Subject: [XP] XP in sales
                                                    >>
                                                    >> Hi,
                                                    >>
                                                    >> Although I do belive we have made remarcable progress, using
                                                    >> XP, a few
                                                    >> days ago someone from sales asked me about How do you seel XP to the
                                                    >> customers. Since I believe in collaboration, and that
                                                    >> everyone needs to be
                                                    >> involved, the sellers as the first line with a new customers,
                                                    >> need to know
                                                    >> about it very well. He asked:
                                                    >>
                                                    >> What do I do when the first thing the client wants is how
                                                    >> much is this
                                                    >> going to cost me?
                                                    >>
                                                    >> I tried to explain the shopping cart mechanism (defining the
                                                    >> stories,
                                                    >> development team estimating the cost, customer prioritizing),
                                                    >> but maybe I
                                                    >> can get a better opinion here.
                                                    >>
                                                    >> Thanks,
                                                    >> Dan Bunea
                                                    >> http://danbunea.blogspot.com
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                                    >
                                                    > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                                    > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                                    >
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                                                    > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >



                                                    --
                                                    Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/
                                                  • Kent Beck
                                                    Ron, From the contents of your message I don t think we share the same view. When you say that integrity is cold comfort , I am certain we don t agree. Yes, I
                                                    Message 25 of 26 , Mar 9, 2006
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                                                      Ron,

                                                      From the contents of your message I don't think we share the same view. When
                                                      you say that integrity is "cold comfort", I am certain we don't agree. Yes,
                                                      I need money (very badly right now in fact), but giving up my integrity for
                                                      money is "cold comfort". No one is going to win all their bids, not even
                                                      sleazeball liars who quote unreasonably low prices and more than make it up
                                                      on exhorbitant charges for change requests and bug fixing. When you abandon
                                                      your standards to get business, you always lose.

                                                      There is nothing magical or special about me that lets me sell with
                                                      integrity. Anyone can choose to. I have made contracts in just the way I
                                                      described and others have reported similar experiences to me. Selling is
                                                      unpredictable, for example whether you will win this particular contract.
                                                      When you are selling business relationships you want some level of
                                                      compatability with the client. Not all clients would be good matches. Better
                                                      to find that out at the onset.

                                                      Selling from a position of integrity takes less bravado and provides its own
                                                      confidence. The consequence you can count on is being able to sleep nights
                                                      with your integrity intact. If that costs me a little fear sometimes, I'll
                                                      pay. I'm told it gets easier with practice. There is plenty of fear for the
                                                      client in the old style of bidding jobs as well. The customer's fear that
                                                      they will not get what they need from you (based on their past experiences
                                                      with contractors) is one of the biggest barriers to selling your services.
                                                      This seems like a good opportunity to embrace change.

                                                      Sincerely yours,

                                                      Kent Beck
                                                      Three Rivers Institute

                                                      > -----Original Message-----
                                                      > From: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                      > [mailto:extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ron Jeffries
                                                      > Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 3:07 PM
                                                      > To: extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com
                                                      > Subject: Re: [XP] XP in sales
                                                      >
                                                      > Kent ... I share your views here on how it ought to be. I'm even
                                                      > fairly confident that I could have a conversation such as you
                                                      > describe here, and "win" the bid. I can understand -- and I'm sure
                                                      > that you can also -- that someone else going into the situation
                                                      > might not be so confident. And I suspect that some prospects, who
                                                      > were expecting a fixed price, would be taken aback.
                                                      >
                                                      > Folks want to "limit their exposure", by getting a maximum figure.
                                                      > And they do expect to "hold the development company" to that figure
                                                      > and to the delivery of whatever is wanted, within it.
                                                      >
                                                      > I've not had any experience selling a contract of that kind, and it
                                                      > sounds like you haven't either. I hope that our combined and similar
                                                      > suggestions will encourage people to enter into the conversations
                                                      > necessary to bid projects in XP style, and, with you, I hope that
                                                      > they'll tell us about their experiences. That said ...
                                                      >
                                                      > > Whether you make a particular sale or not, though, you have
                                                      > the satisfaction
                                                      > > of trying to work with integrity in your customer's best
                                                      > interest as well as
                                                      > > your own. If you go this route, I would love to hear from
                                                      > your sales people
                                                      > > how it went.
                                                      >
                                                      > I suspect we both know that while integrity may be central to our
                                                      > being, it can be cold comfort when the revenue isn't coming in. I'm
                                                      > confident that a company entering into this conversational approach
                                                      > to the contract, and the business, will prevail often enough to be
                                                      > successful. I'm also pretty sure that they'll feel fear going into
                                                      > this approach, with which they're largely unfamiliar.
                                                      >
                                                      > Again, I hope our advice will be part of their getting the
                                                      > confidence they need to give it a try.
                                                      >
                                                      > Ron Jeffries
                                                      > www.XProgramming.com
                                                      > The practices are not the knowing: they are a path to the knowing.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      > To Post a message, send it to: extremeprogramming@...
                                                      >
                                                      > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to:
                                                      > extremeprogramming-unsubscribe@...
                                                      >
                                                      > ad-free courtesy of objectmentor.com
                                                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                    • Ron Jeffries
                                                      ... I don t abandon my standards to get business, as your statement above, I hope just due to awkward phrasing, seems to imply. Perhaps the term cold comfort
                                                      Message 26 of 26 , Mar 9, 2006
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                                                        On Thursday, March 9, 2006, at 1:17:29 PM, Kent Beck wrote:

                                                        >From the contents of your message I don't think we share the same view. When
                                                        > you say that integrity is "cold comfort", I am certain we don't agree. Yes,
                                                        > I need money (very badly right now in fact), but giving up my integrity for
                                                        > money is "cold comfort". No one is going to win all their bids, not even
                                                        > sleazeball liars who quote unreasonably low prices and more than make it up
                                                        > on exhorbitant charges for change requests and bug fixing. When you abandon
                                                        > your standards to get business, you always lose.

                                                        I don't abandon my standards to get business, as your statement
                                                        above, I hope just due to awkward phrasing, seems to imply.

                                                        Perhaps the term "cold comfort" means something different to you
                                                        than it does to me. The term means "limited consolation". To me it
                                                        means that while I do hold integrity very highly, it doesn't keep me
                                                        warm at night nor food in the larder. I wouldn't give up my
                                                        integrity, but in times of no money, I don't think I would get much
                                                        comfort from knowing that I had held on to integrity. More than I
                                                        would had I given it up, but I have felt how scared and powerless
                                                        one feels in times of no money, and I wasn't comforted much by
                                                        knowing I had done the right thing.

                                                        I continue to think our views on the matter of selling are rather
                                                        similar, because as far as I can tell we would do much the same
                                                        things for much the same reasons. I could, of course, be wrong.

                                                        Ron Jeffries
                                                        www.XProgramming.com
                                                        Perhaps this Silver Bullet will tell you who I am ...
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