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Topics: Agile, Business Analysis/Requirements Management, Change Management
Best way to educate Agile to Customers ?
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When I come to know in the very first talk that, my Client is not any Agile process awared on. But seeing the volume of project and still the scope being defined while we speak, I have no other option than to propose any Agile mechanisms of project execution. What is the best intuitive way to educate my customer about Agile ?

I could impress some by with some example scenarios, but some of them always comes back and say that after first two weeks of sprint, you only did this much like that. Kind of, again I have to start explaining.... And then they say, so I am billing for all these reworks. The advantages are only seen in long run, not in a short lifespan. Am I right ?
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Let me say something that Mr Alan Davis said to me into a training: clients are buying the product of the process to create the product. Clients are buying the security that you will deliver something that will help them to achieve their objectives. After more than 30 years in the field I have to say that Mr Davis is right.
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Thats quite worthy and I really admire and acknowledge when the experience itself speaks (y) Thanks Sergio :)
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In other words, the clients are being the product, not the the process.
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Expanding on Sergio's point: one other way to explain it is that in Waterfall, the client "buys" an outcome. In Agile, the client "buys" talent. If your client is open to reviewing the differences, I would contrast how many aspects of delivery change (scope definition, planning, scheduling, stakeholder involvement, etc.). It may also be worthwhile to periodically show to the client the sprint schedule and overlay it with the delivery priorities the client has defined.
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1 reply by Binu Kumar
Nov 26, 2017 12:00 PM
Binu Kumar
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Well said ! Thats what I keep saying too Oliver, but somehow certain clients always stick on to the point of saying, I am paying extra for Agile practices like Sprint planning, retros, Demos, standups etc. I am still happy that some of them do understand its value and big impact on the journey forward. Some still not. So as you experts said, its definitely a security to customer of having : right resource, guaranteed deliveries, quick change in priorities & more importantly actually minimum loss of time and money ! Totally Agree
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Nov 26, 2017 11:53 AM
Replying to Oliver Schneidemann
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Expanding on Sergio's point: one other way to explain it is that in Waterfall, the client "buys" an outcome. In Agile, the client "buys" talent. If your client is open to reviewing the differences, I would contrast how many aspects of delivery change (scope definition, planning, scheduling, stakeholder involvement, etc.). It may also be worthwhile to periodically show to the client the sprint schedule and overlay it with the delivery priorities the client has defined.
Well said ! Thats what I keep saying too Oliver, but somehow certain clients always stick on to the point of saying, I am paying extra for Agile practices like Sprint planning, retros, Demos, standups etc. I am still happy that some of them do understand its value and big impact on the journey forward. Some still not. So as you experts said, its definitely a security to customer of having : right resource, guaranteed deliveries, quick change in priorities & more importantly actually minimum loss of time and money ! Totally Agree
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Nov 26, 2017 3:36 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Binu, other thing that help me a lot in this type of questions. Regarding you are stated about your clients they are expressing a problem. Problem is defined as a gap between the reality as perceived and the reality as desire. So, to solve a problem, you will work on the perception, on the desire, on both or what we usually do is working on the gap. In your answer to Oliver you are mentioned things tied to an specific method. That is not Agile. Agile is not a method or methodology, is not a life cycle, is not IT or software specific. But if you are talking about using a method based on Agile then your client must perceived something that is intrinsically to Agile: Value. As you know, people are willing to pay for something they considered valuable where "to pay" is not about spend money only. I faced the situation you describe lot of times.
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Couple things to consider, what the needs of the business are and complexity of the project. A lot can be lost when conversing using buzz words or technical project management jargon. Focus on the message and delivery. Your working using an agile approach using scrum, convey the team will be delivering incrementally with a value-driven delivery model with transparency and feedback loops. Scrum, sprints, reviews, etc., may bring more confusion than confidence.

I don't ask my mechanic how he is fixing the car, or would I understand if he did. I bring it to him with confidence and trust the job will get done. When they explain what is the issue/fix, I don't need fancy auto terminology, just a simple explanation in 'human' terms will be sufficient.
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I would like to add an important point that is Agile is a mindset shift, so it will take a while for the customer to realize the benefits of Agile and how it works, the question is how shall we handle the customer during the shifting.
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Nov 26, 2017 12:00 PM
Replying to Binu Kumar
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Well said ! Thats what I keep saying too Oliver, but somehow certain clients always stick on to the point of saying, I am paying extra for Agile practices like Sprint planning, retros, Demos, standups etc. I am still happy that some of them do understand its value and big impact on the journey forward. Some still not. So as you experts said, its definitely a security to customer of having : right resource, guaranteed deliveries, quick change in priorities & more importantly actually minimum loss of time and money ! Totally Agree
Binu, other thing that help me a lot in this type of questions. Regarding you are stated about your clients they are expressing a problem. Problem is defined as a gap between the reality as perceived and the reality as desire. So, to solve a problem, you will work on the perception, on the desire, on both or what we usually do is working on the gap. In your answer to Oliver you are mentioned things tied to an specific method. That is not Agile. Agile is not a method or methodology, is not a life cycle, is not IT or software specific. But if you are talking about using a method based on Agile then your client must perceived something that is intrinsically to Agile: Value. As you know, people are willing to pay for something they considered valuable where "to pay" is not about spend money only. I faced the situation you describe lot of times.

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