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Re: [XP] Convincing the business

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  • Sammy Larbi
    I think asking for a few minutes of their time each week (to demo what has been done) is very reasonable. (Say over lunch every Friday). I ve had success
    Message 1 of 49 , Jul 3, 2006
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      I think asking for a few minutes of their time each week (to demo what
      has been done) is very reasonable. (Say over lunch every Friday). I've
      had success with it, and invariably these "few minutes" turn into
      longer sessions, because once they see it, they want more or less or
      find problems with it. They start to get excited about possibilities.

      If they cannot commit to a few minutes a week just to see your progress,
      how much value do they place on their project? Perhaps you could even
      say something like "Can we have 30 minutes over lunch each Friday to
      make sure we're on the right track?" "No!" "Well, we'd hate to have a
      misunderstanding of the requirements and deliver the wrong product 5
      months from now. It really would help us out."

      -Sammy Larbi


      Bil Simser wrote:
      > I guess this is probably the biggest question that gets asked around here.
      >
      > Does anyone have a good summary or set of tips on how to convince the business that xp/scrum/iterative is a good thing and why they should invest. I can't win the scenario if they're not going to bite the apple.
      >
      > The setup is something like this. The business provides a liason who works with the BA to resolve questions about the problem domain and will do acceptance testing of the solution. The problem is that they dedicate say a week to testing at the end of the system. This is obviously too late so I'm looking to propose an iterative cycle of one month for each release where they spend a day. Over a 5 month project, this amounts to the same (and hopefully shorter) investment of time. What I want is to convince them not only to breakup their commitment like this (which they're pretty relucatant to do anyways) but also to provide feedback into the next iteration.
      >
      > So I'm looking for some tips on how to talk to these guys without being overly pushy. I'm consulting at the firm I'm at and the IT guys are all for Agile, but the biggest problem they see is the solidity that the business users are set on.
      >
      > Yes, this is a tough problem and I know there's no real boiled-down, step-by-step, corn-fed answer that can be applied to any situation. I'm just looking for some help on ways to approach the problem.
      >
      > Thanks.
      >
      >
    • duane.waninger
      There doesn t seem to be much advice in these posts to really help answer your question. I think Steven got it right when he said ... ========================
      Message 49 of 49 , Jul 11, 2006
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        There doesn't seem to be much advice in these posts to really help
        answer your question. I think Steven got it right when he said ...

        ========================
        The key to winning buy-in is to:
        - discover where the discernable pain is
        - suggest a few things that might ease the pain
        - discuss the tactics and strategies and tradeoffs of trying those
        things in various ways or combinations in their context
        - get them to just try one of those things for a short while to see
        if
        it helps (5 months is too long)
        - do your best to make it work
        - repeat
        =========================

        The Serenity Prayer say "... courage to change the things I can ..."

        My suggestion is to start small, with the things you can change. If
        you have buy-in from the IT guys, then start there. Change the
        development team dynamic. Move the development team to work in
        iterations. Start asking questions regarding requirements to the
        liaisons on a daily/hourly basis. Try to increase team
        productivity. Once you have some control on the things you can
        change, start talking about what you're doing to the liaisons. Drop
        Agile key words and phrases along the way. Nothing you try to say
        will convince anyone faster than proven results.

        When trying to change the organization you have to take a long-term
        view. Changing a organization, especially a large organization
        won't happen overnight. It might not even happen in your tenure
        with the organization. The best you can do is to teach the IT folks
        to use the methodology and let nature take its course.


        --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Bil Simser <bsimser@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I guess this is probably the biggest question that gets asked
        around here.
        >
        > Does anyone have a good summary or set of tips on how to convince
        the business that xp/scrum/iterative is a good thing and why they
        should invest. I can't win the scenario if they're not going to bite
        the apple.
        >
        > The setup is something like this. The business provides a liason
        who works with the BA to resolve questions about the problem domain
        and will do acceptance testing of the solution. The problem is that
        they dedicate say a week to testing at the end of the system. This
        is obviously too late so I'm looking to propose an iterative cycle
        of one month for each release where they spend a day. Over a 5 month
        project, this amounts to the same (and hopefully shorter) investment
        of time. What I want is to convince them not only to breakup their
        commitment like this (which they're pretty relucatant to do anyways)
        but also to provide feedback into the next iteration.
        >
        > So I'm looking for some tips on how to talk to these guys without
        being overly pushy. I'm consulting at the firm I'm at and the IT
        guys are all for Agile, but the biggest problem they see is the
        solidity that the business users are set on.
        >
        > Yes, this is a tough problem and I know there's no real boiled-
        down, step-by-step, corn-fed answer that can be applied to any
        situation. I'm just looking for some help on ways to approach the
        problem.
        >
        > Thanks.
        >
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