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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Getting the REAL Customer - was Re: More n ewbie questions...

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  • Steven Gordon
    All good points. Ken s story could also be interpretted as delivering what the customer really needed in the short term even though it was contrary to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 3, 2003
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      All good points.

      Ken's story could also be interpretted as delivering what the customer
      really needed in the short term even though it was contrary to the overall,
      long-term corporate plan. This is yet another corporate political pitfall,
      where it is unclear as to whether IT should be enforcing the corporate 5
      year plan or the customer should be responsible for knowing the direction
      the company wants to move it and taking responsibility for the compliance
      tradeoffs.

      I have seen the same kinds of issues occur when IT is given the
      responsibility to create architectural standards and enforcement them. In
      many cases where this happens, corporate customers end up developing their
      own low-quality, point solutions to avoid the hassles, costs, and time
      delays that working with IT imposes in this kind of climate.

      I doubt any development methodology can fix these kinds of political
      problems.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Deb [mailto:deborah@...]
      Sent: Sun 8/3/2003 7:30 AM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Cc:
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Getting the REAL Customer - was Re: More
      newbie questions...

      --- In scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com, "Ken Schwaber"
      <ken.schwaber@v...> wrote:
      > I worked with a one-year fixed budget project. The department head
      was
      > delighted with the functionality. The IT management felt that she
      had
      > unwisely spent the money on short term enhancements and not derived
      the best
      > value. The question is, who is right. The customer? or the auditor?
      > Ken
      >

      Ah yes. The "who is the Customer?" question.

      I wonder if this is not one of the biggest roadblocks to Scrum
      success - not talking to (not being allowed to talk to) the "real"
      customer. If we don't get access to the right Customer
      representatives, don't we risk building more shelfware?

      If we deliver the requirements of group A as software to group B, we
      become political pawns... this happened in a large crown corporation
      where our requirements came from HR for a system that would move HR
      work out onto the corporation's department heads... as an analyst
      (and a consultant), I had no idea that HR was not mandated by the
      receiving parties to define requirements... the resulting system was
      unintelligible to the end users. I realised too late that we'd been
      made the agent of a significant organisational change, imposed on the
      receiving managers in the guise of a new system. Sigh.

      We must also be prepared to live with the organisational flak if we
      deliver to the real customer exactly what they want, but other parts
      of the organisation disagree - it sound like Ken's story above is one
      such instance.

      We deliver software to Customers, that's what we do. Organisational
      priorities and politics probably are best left outside the project,
      if we can.

      Does anyone have any success stories about getting the real customer?

      deb



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