, but also related to CustomersFinalRole
On a large project developing a new product for eventual sale through a channel, WhoIsTheCustomer
? It appears that there are various sorts of GoldOwner
- IntellectualCapitalist? - caused the project to spring into being through sheer force of will, made it possible by inventing key technologies. Has a vision of what the product should be.
- Finance / CEO - is funding the project. The real GoldOwner.
- Product Marketing - is trying to do product design. Wants to create a product for a particular niche.
- Marketing for co-operating products - wants certain features in order to make their product work well with ours.
- Sales / Reseller - wants a set of bullet points, and some cool demos, in order to be able to make the sale.
- EndUserPurchaser? - someone who will be paying for the thing once it is made.
- EndUserAdministrator? - the person who will have to maintain the system, and answer questions locally.
- EndUser - the person using the system daily.
- EndUserCustomer? - the one who gains eventual benefit from the use of the system.
Do you appoint one person as the joint representative of all of these customer constituencies?
, the customer is the individual or group responsible for steering the project by defining UserStories
and feeding them to the team in the order of business value, as modified by the estimated cost of the story. TheCustomerSpeaksWithOneVoice
: the developers cannot, in XP, be required to resolve the customers' priorities for them. The customer team can be made up of any or all of the folks listed above. My own personal preference is for the customer to be made up of a team of folks who know things, led by a person with enough authority to break ties and make the sometimes difficult decisions of what to do and what to defer. -- RonJeffries
The type of customer proposed here does not align with the following quotes taken from OnsiteCustomer
"If the client won't give you full-time, top-flight members, beg off the project. The client isn't serious." -- TomPeters
, The Professional Service Firm 50, p. 106
"A real customer must sit with the team, available to anwer questions, resolve disputes, and set small-scale priorities." -- KentBeck
, p. 60
It makes no sense to take the 'top-flight members' of your marketing team away from their marketing work.
It seems unavoidable that the 'folks who know things' will be unavailable for significant amounts of time.
If you break a 100-person project into 10 to 16 XP teams, then the "customer" of some teams will be other teams. This is because some teams will produce technical infrastructure, including frameworks, used by other teams. -- JeffGrigg
If you're interested in the various sorts of roles customers can play, don't miss the WorkshopOnCustomerInvolvement