Jacqueline: Today’s letter is C. Our word for today is customer collaboration. Working collaboratively with customers is a key value within the agile and lean framework. To collaborate with the customer is something that should be constantly and consistently done throughout the software development lifecycle within the agile framework. Using agile tools to enhance the product will result in an elimination of unneeded work such as waste, keeping it lean and ensuring that the product vision is met and that you’re delivering high-value features throughout to help optimize your return on investment.
Listen to the Podcast – C is for Customer Collaboration
Let’s understand what each of those different words and phrases mean within the definition. Foremost, one of the things agile emphasizes is face-to-face communication. When we talk about the customer, by and large we’re talking about the product owner. This is what we call the person who is responsible for the decision on your agile product in regards to the solution and helping to prioritize and to identify and rank the business value. The product owner is an important role. It doesn’t mean that the product owner has to do it in isolation.
Another important part of customer collaboration is that the product owners have to start to get more familiar with what is involved with software development and software design. They have to learn to get comfortable with the decisions that have to be made, and they have to become comfortable with the language around business value and business value management. It’s not that someone is just named a product owner and they start showing up for meetings and can just start making decisions. They actually need to go through an orientation and be introduced, even coached, into agile. They need to have some experience. One of the things that I say, because of the importance of the product owner role, because they’re the key to customer collaboration, it’s oftentimes augmenting and supporting the product owner with an agile business analyst.