Who Is The Customer

From LargeExtremeProgramming, but also related to CustomersFinalRole and CthreeProjectTerminated?

On a large project developing a new product for eventual sale through a channel, WhoIsTheCustomer? It appears that there are various sorts of GoldOwner / GoalDonor:

Q: Do you appoint one person as the joint representative of all of these customer constituencies? -- GarthDickie

A: In ExtremeProgramming, 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, ExtremeProgrammingExplained, 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 at XpTwoThousandAndOne. --ArieVanDeursen


View edit of November 13, 2007 or FindPage with title or text search