Getting Real Customers to Submit Proposals for Agile 2011

22 Dec

Catherine Louis and Shane Hastie are the stage organizers for the Working with Customers stage at the Agile 2011 conference in August.

It would be fantastic to hear from real customers who work with Agile teams; tell us your stories, what works, what doesn’t, what would you change, how do you get the best results for your customers, what are the challenges you’ve faced and how have you overcome them? Tell us about the good, the bad and the ugly and what lessons other teams and organizations can take from your experiences.

The “Working with Customers” stage explores the interactions between the customer community and Agile development teams, focusing on the non-technology functions as well as the Agile development teams themselves.

We see the “customer” as a many-headed Hydra ranging from executives and managers who sponsor and pay for projects, to internal “users” (horrible term – are they addicted to our software?) to the ultimate customer who purchases or consumes our product.  Even the end consumer comes in varied flavours – eg on a website often the funding comes from advertising revenue but the primary functionality is to provide a service or product to a member of the public who visits the site.

Questions we are exploring include:

  • What does “working with customers” mean when you have an Agile team delivering to multiple customers and multiple end-users? (For example in  Telecomms or Financial Services)
  • Do Agile customer relations incite different sales and marketing techniques?  If so what are they, and what does this look like?
  • How are Agile contracts structured to support collaborative flexibility and progressive elaboration between customers and business?
  • What is the level of interaction between Agile sales and Marketing teams and Agile developments teams, do they work as one team, can they work as one team, should they work as one team?
  • How engaged are the development teams with the end consumers of the services and products we produce? What does this interaction look like and how is this different from traditional “waterfall” development?
  • How is “pull” created with the varied customer communities and how does this change the interaction with the Agile development team?
  • How does the work-life balance change when the Agile teams are working across varied customer communities? Is this more stressful or less?
  • Does an Agile development team working across customer communities promote increased innovation?
  • How do you reconcile conflicting customer goals through collaboration? What are the conversations, tensions between customer communities, customer facing teams, and the Agile team?
  • What happens when you work with customers and deliver in a regular cadence, and what happens when they like what you deliver versus when they do not?
  • How do you ensure that the Agile team gets feedback from the whole spectrum of customers?
  • How closely coupled should the Agile project delivery cadence be with the marketing release cycle?

Presentations which feature feedback from CUSTOMERS of Agile development shops are the oness we truly want to hear in this stage.

Please look at the stage description here.

Please submit your proposals online here – we really want to hear from you!

Important deadlines are:

Earlybird submissions:                10 January 2011

Just-in-time submissions:            14 February 2011

Program Finalized:                     18 April 2011

Posted by Shane Hastie


Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Agile 2011


2 responses to “Getting Real Customers to Submit Proposals for Agile 2011

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