BarcVox

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Agile Short: Customer Satisfaction

In this series, I am going to share my perspective on each of the 12 principles underlying Agile.

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

Customer satisfaction is not only the primary focus of this principle, it’s the first principle cited. This is the primary goal. One may unpack more meaning than customer primacy, such as customer-centricity, but make no mistake. This is not about you or your product team except in the capacity of serving the customer. For enterprise development, the customers are the end-users.

The rest of the principle guides us to the how—through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. This signals that we don’t want to wait for some big reveal. We want to deliver value. This is from the perspective of the customer, but when we consider value, this is a net figure. Delivering 1 unit of benefit for 10 units of cost does not fulfil the value commitment. Giving one with the left hand whilst taking away 10 with the right inherently doesn’t qualify as value delivery.

When we are being asked to deliver value—net value—, this is continuous improvement. OK, I recognise that this should say frequent intervallic value, but the gist is to generate a value stream. It’s also important to note.

Finally, note that while the product manager or product owner serves as a proxy for the customer or end-user, they are not the end-user, even if perhaps they are also end-users, but no commercial product has just one user, and internal corporate applications may happen to have a single user, but keep in mind that they are not likely to be the only user Finally, note that while the product manager or product owner serves as a proxy for the customer or end-user, they are not the end-user, even if perhaps they are also end-users. But no commercial product has just one user, and internal corporate applications may happen to have a single user, but keep in mind that they are not likely to be the only user—especially of you consider the future.

Not only customers and end-users need to be consulted directly, the Team should also have interfaced directly with them, too. This creates a connection with real empathy, which results in outputs better aligned to inputs.

The moral of this story is to talk with customers and end-users. Allow the Team to interact with these users as well, so they can empathise and truly get to know their customers. This results in outputs better aligned to inputs, which is in the end what we all want to achieve.

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