Home > agile > Listen to your onsite customer

Listen to your onsite customer

Recently we have been rolling out a project at work which has been in the planning stages and worked on for about 6-8 months off and on. Once the main development had started we made sure that we had regular updates with the main stakeholder. This involved a meeting once a week to show our progress discuss what they liked and didn’t like and which changes they would like to make.

The project is now ready for deployment and we are meeting a lot of resistance from the business. Our main customer seemed pleased with the product and was happy as the iterations when by, however the actual end users seem much less pleased.

I heard recently that if you don’t succeed, make sure you learn from your failure, I assume that some sort of middle ground will eventually be found and that the project will be delivered, but there are a couple of things that I will be taking away from this project.

  1. Make sure that the drops of your code are seen by as many people as possible, especially the people who will be working with the project every day
  2. Early design and mock-ups to let customers know the planned UI are very useful, I have heard good things about Balsamiq for putting together mock designs quickly
  3. Make sure you are prepared to listen to what the customer wants from the very start, rather than letting the design be dictated by the technology

Much of the work I do is with services and apps without a UI so I don’t need to worry about the human interaction, the next time I do I will be ensuring that I and my team will not be making the same mistakes again

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  1. August 29, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    Interesting situation. It seems like there were a lot chiefs involved on the clients end and it didn’t included the decision-makers. Was this the case?

  2. Kev Hunter
    August 29, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    The problem stemmed from the fact that the on-site customer did not have the agreement of the other users, But when do you draw the line with how many testers you get involved?

    In retrospect early code drops would have been a great help to us here to get buy-in earlier

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