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Re: Recovering from Customer In Absentia

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  • azami@speakeasy.net
    Interpretation 1 - the customer is always right, and this just goes to show why you need the customer on-site. You ve spent 60% of the project pursuing the
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 1, 2001
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      Interpretation 1 - the customer is always right, and this just goes to
      show why you need the customer on-site. You've spent 60% of the
      project pursuing the wrong requirements.

      Interpretation 2 - the customer doesn't have any concept of actual
      business value, and is only interested in bells and whistles rather
      than real functionality. Bad customer! No cookie for you! The
      customer is either a moron or a marketer.

      I think XP says that you shouldn't nay-say the customer. The customer
      is the authority on requirements, and know much more about what has
      business value than you do.

      In my experience with commercial projects (non-XP) the customer (the
      marketing department) would come up with what look like really inane
      requirements. Things like letting the user change the fonts and
      colors used in the display screens of an administrative tool being
      more important than either simplifying the use of the tool or
      increasing its monitoring capabilities. The unfortunate fact of the
      matter was that although actual users would not really benefit in any
      way from the fonts and colors feature, marketing and sales would get a
      big advantage from it. It makes for prettier screen shots and
      snazzier demos, and it gives them a way to graphically distinguish the
      new version from the old so that visitors won't skip the booth just
      because it looks like the same stuff they had last year.

      A game that works would probably be more fun to play. A game with
      great screen shots would probably sell more copies, especially if
      accompanied by a strong marketing campaign.

      I think if you want to do XP, you do the stories the customer tells
      you are most important. As far as educating the customer about
      the relative importance of graphics and funcitionality? Well, you're
      doing short iterations, right? When the customer plays with a pretty
      game that doesn't work, maybe she'll change the priorities in the next
      iteration. And if she doesn't, then it just goes to show that she was
      right and you were wrong.

      -MAD
      azami@...

      --- In extremeprogramming@y..., "Larmore, Edward" <elarmore@r...>
      wrote:
      > Two friends and I have been working on a pilot XP project. It is a
      game
      > called "Eder's Cage", a variation of "Shut the Box".
      >
      > Our customer showed up, after a 3 session absence (we just finished
      our 5th
      > session). He then ranked user stories, emphasizing the graphics
      aspect of
      > the
      > game over implementing the rules of the game. Which is the exact
      opposite
      > of what we've been doing in his absence. What do we do? I can think
      of 3
      > choices:
      > 1. Stop our momentum on implementing the rules, and do it in the
      order he
      > wants.
      > 2. Blow him off completely, and do it the way we know is right.
      > 3. Try to convince him to change his ranking, as graphics without
      rules
      > doesn't really provide him any business value. (I like this one
      best).
      >
      > Any thoughts?
      >
      > BTW, I'd be happy to email source code and logs of our progress to
      anyone
      > who's interested. (I'd include them here, but this group strips off
      > attachments).
      >
      > -Ed Larmore
      > R a t i o n a l
      > the e-development company
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