Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile

Agile is an efficient software development framework for cross-functional teams and their customers. This course will show you the importance of early customer involvement, teach you how to gather feedback, and adapt your product to deliver value.
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jul 20, 2018
Duration
1h 2m
Table of contents
Description
Course info
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Jul 20, 2018
Duration
1h 2m
Description

At the core of involving your customers early in the project/product development process is a thorough knowledge of the agile framework and the importance of frequent communication. In Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional – Agile Fundamentals Path, you’ll learn how to distinguish between customer roles and engage with each one appropriately. First, you’ll learn what the main customer personas are. Next, you’ll explore how to involve them and gather feedback appropriately, Finally, you’ll discover how to categorize this feedback and fill your product backlog with prioritized tasks to adapt the product. When you’re finished with this course, you’ll have a foundational knowledge of the customer's influence on product development that will help you as you move forward in delivering value to your customers.

About the author
About the author

Milena Pajic has more than a decade-long career in IT industry, leading distributed teams and managing projects on the international level. Software developer by education, she dug deep into the code, earned significant hands-on experience and learned the rules of the game

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi all, my name is Milena Pajic. Welcome to my course Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Fundamentals path. I am a master of computer science, PMP certified professional, professional Scrum master, and a true Kanban evangelist. This course focuses on the importance of early and continuous customer involvement in product and project development. Some of the major topics that we will cover include defining main customer personas and their dynamics, benefits of customer involvement and pitfalls of omitting it, different feedback gathering techniques, and process of product adaptation. By the end of this course, you will have a solid foundation to plan and carry through frequent communication with your customers, choose the right feedback gathering technique, and reprioritize tasks in your product's backlog to deliver value. Speaking from my experience, customer engagement is sometimes easier said than done. So we'll follow the two development teams from the same company on their product development journey. I hope you'll join me to learn how to benefit from the early customer involvement and expand your skills.

Defining the Customer
Hi, my name is Milena Pajic and welcome to Defining the Customer, a module from the course Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Fundamentals path. In this module, you will learn which are the different roles of customers that influence the effectiveness of a project or product development so you can better understand their day to day activities and responsibilities. You'll also learn what the difference between sponsors, buyers, and users is and how these particular stakeholders represent the project or product interest. Next, you'll understand how the dynamics between them affects the progress of the development, making the whole team adapt to a change in order to deliver a product successfully into a competitive market. So, as we all know, only satisfied customers are the right customers that will make new purchase, recommend our product, and be loyal to the brand, right? Right. Then how come companies often misinterpret their feedback or simply exclude them from the development process? Sometimes it's a matter of a traditional approach to product development, sometimes the engineers lead the development in accordance with their beliefs, and sometimes the customers give ambiguous requirements and feedback. But once we clearly define the customer's side roles, we can put them in the context and set up communication channels with each persona adequately. What is also important here is that we know what the frequency of the communication is going to be like.

Involving the Customers
My name is Milena Pajic, and welcome to Involving the Customer, a module from the course Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Fundamentals path. In this module, you'll learn why early customer involvement is critical to overall project success and you'll understand the benefits of customer involvement, and you'll learn what the pitfalls are of omitting the customer engagement through the project duration. Let's just quickly jump back to 20th century to see how the perception of customer involvement evolved. In the 1980's, customer involvement was defined by Ives and Olson as the participation in the system development process by representatives of the target user groups. Then some authors saw customers, especially end users as inferior party with limited to no technical knowledge. They were denied of the opportunity to become crucially involved in the project or product development. The customer role was mainly informative and consultative and then started to evolve to participative. Included active contribution to project scoping and prioritization, giving inputs for prototypes, design, and product features. Luckily, today a much wider stakeholder group participates in the project or product development. The success factor of a software product heavily leans on whether it is able to fulfill the expectations of end users. In the previous module, we saw what kind of product Globomantics is developing. We met two buyers, Jane and Paul, our sponsor Mike, and heard the precise requirements for two projects.

Getting Feedback from the Customers
Hi, this is Milena Pajic. Welcome to Getting Feedback from the Customers, a module from the course Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Fundamentals path. In this module of the course, you'll learn why shipping a good software is not possible without talking to customers, and you'll see which techniques there are to solicit the feedback, and you'll be able to pick the right one depending on the project or product development stage. Finally, you'll learn how to use the derived conclusions to obtain product characteristics and performance indicators. In the previous module, we have seen how our teams started with the development process and which decisions brought them to trouble. As we followed the Gen-Z Team, we could see a well-established Agile process with frequent buyer interaction, and complete inclusion of the buyer into the development team. On the contrary, our second team thought that it's important to collect customer feedback after an iteration is complete.

Adapting the Product
Hi, this is Milena Pajic. Welcome to Adopting the Product, a module from the course Getting Your Customers Involved with ICAgile, part of the ICAgile Certified Professional Agile Fundamentals path. In this module of the course, you'll learn that change is a natural aspect of project or product development process. You'll learn how adaptation works in traditional and Agile environments, comparing both iterative and flow-based environment, and you'll understand in which environment changes exponentially get more expensive and which approach attempts to flatten the cost of changes through providing early feedback about their impact to the project's schedule and budget. In the real world, there are no perfect foresights, predictions of market changes, or end user feedback. There is no customer who knows exactly which enhancements they will need in a year, and above all, no one can communicate this all perfectly.