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RE: [scrumdevelopment] Multiple Customers in one Sprint - questio ns

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  • Trainor, Charlie
    Deb, Excellent question. I d say it depends . If you have two customers for the same basic product, then Brad s answer applies - you either need a product
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2003

      Excellent question. I'd say "it depends".

      If you have two customers for the same basic product, then Brad's answer
      applies - you either need a product manager to make the decisions, or you
      need to involve both customers in the decision making process. It's good to
      get the customers together in a room if possible, because then they see the
      bigger picture; a change suggested by one may actually benefit the other,
      and in any case they will have some exposure to each others' needs, which
      makes it more palatable when their requests are not always acted on
      immediately. I've seen this work well for both feature planning and also
      prioritizing defect fixes. Obviously this is much easier to do for internal

      However, if I understand you correctly, you are actually working on
      different products, so each customer doesn't really care about the other
      except that they are competing for attention. (I'm assuming there isn't
      enough steady work to justify multiple teams.) Then it is purely a matter
      of business priorities. Somehow you need to prioritize requests based on
      the ratio of business value to effort. You might get direction from
      management on these priorities; failing that, you can try to estimate them
      yourself (you'll need the customers to supply the estimated value). You may
      want to ensure at least some work gets done for each customer each sprint -
      to keep their involvement going. As Brad's article mentions, the decision
      making process must be made visible to the customers so they don't feel
      unjustly treated.

      - Charlie

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Deb [mailto:deborah@...]
      Sent: 2003/09/09 1:44 PM
      To: scrumdevelopment@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [scrumdevelopment] Multiple Customers in one Sprint - questions

      I'm using Scrum in a "support and development" group, where one
      Sprint could conceivably produce different software products for two
      different groups - say, Sales and Finance.

      In looking ahead, this seems problematic in terms of efficient use of
      resource time for Sprint Planning/Demo/Review meetings. Either we'd
      Plan/Demo/Review all Customers' work (and alternatively bore one and
      then the other Customer) or we'd need to have two sets of these
      meetings, each focused on a given Customer. I'd think the latter
      would be better, as wasting Customer time does not make a good case
      for Scrum's efficiency.

      Something feels strange here. I'd guess it's better for a Sprint to
      be serving a single Customer... and we could run two parallel
      Sprints, each focusing on one Customer. But this scenario would occur
      when work for one customer does not fill a whole sprint...

      Can anyone share their insight on this or point me to an
      article/discussion pertinent to multi-customer sprint planning?


      (oh, the conundrums we encounter in the REAL world of Scrum! :-)
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