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144Re: Multiple customers

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  • jonas.b@home.se
    Dec 3, 2001
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      He must have thought that the ProductOwner was always an actual
      customer, now when I think of it. I didn't get a clear picture of how
      they managed their customers. Perhaps I should have investigated the
      issue a little more... But I wasn't absolutely sure of how the
      ProductOwner worked (now I know).


      --- In scrumdevelopment@y..., "Ken Schwaber" <ken.schwaber@v...>
      > I wonder how much floundering occurs at this company. Not knowning
      > specifics, I don't understand why they haven't resolved this
      problem. If you
      > have multiple customers dicatating different priorities, how do one
      or more
      > development teams work on a common product from a single code base?
      > errors and rework must be pretty impressive.
      > We've always worked with multiple customers who often have different
      > priorities and interests. The thirty day Sprint often makes them
      willing to
      > subsume their immediate desires to another, since they aren't
      waiting years,
      > only a Sprint before their interests are served. Scrum is common
      > Common sense says that a team can only work on one thing at a time -
      > otherwise how do they self-organize? Multiple teams may work on
      > functionality at a time, responding to different customer needs,
      but the
      > functionality has to have maximum coupling and minimum cohesion to
      > floundering between teams.
      > The product owner's job is to sort through the various needs of the
      > customers and prioritize the product backlog so that their wants
      and needs
      > are coherently represented as a queue of work. To save this
      person's sanity,
      > the only important prioritization is for the next several Sprints.
      I've had
      > customer review meetings (end of Sprint reviews) where multiple
      > review what was just completed. The Product Owner then conducts the
      > to help the various customers decide what they want next. Every
      thirty days.
      > It sounds like the person you interviewed has lost control of
      customer trust
      > and satisfaction.
      > Ken
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: jonas.b@h... [mailto:jonas.b@h...]
      > Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 6:01 AM
      > To: scrumdevelopment@y...
      > Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Multiple customers
      > This morning I interviewed a project manager at a multinational
      > corporation. I managed to restrain myself from bringing Scrum up
      > until the actual interview was over. I did not think I could
      > him to try Scrum out since the corporation use the same process
      > for all their projects. They experienced quite some problems with
      > software projects since the estimations were never satisfactory
      > (surprise, surprise) unlike the hardware projects. The model they
      > seems to be quite waterfall-like with projects running for at least
      > 12 months. So I presented the iterative part of Scrum, to divide the
      > project into Sprints. He said that it could be very useful to do so
      > when you're working against one customer. But he felt that because
      > they have sometimes up to 50 local companies as customers, which in
      > their turn could have as much as 50 end-customers. Therefore there
      > no way they could satisfy all the customers so he didn't believe in
      > the backlog-idea for their projects. Because I didn't see any chance
      > of turning him into a Scrum-convert and felt I had to show him some
      > respect I did not object.
      > But how do you handle multitudes of customers (i.e. not end-users)?
      > believe that the chaos in such cases is greater than ever. Do you
      > assign a person to be the ProductOwner who have to take all his
      > customers into account? Is it possible to have a group of people as
      > ProductOwner? I believe that the book says that one person shall be
      > the ProductOwner and that all the others had to convince him. Is it
      > possible to choose a person that everyone trust and can be a good
      > representation of all the customers?
      > Regards,
      > Jonas Bengtsson
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