Ayende @ Rahien

It's a girl

Don’t give a chicken access to your schedule / feature set

A chicken, in this case, is the same chicken from the Pig & Chicken who wanted to open the eggs & ham place. This is a term used in agile a lot.

There are many teams who feel that being responsive to client demands is a Good Thing. In general, they are usually right, but you have to be very aware who is asking, and what stakes they have in the game. If they don’t own the budget for your team, they don’t get to ask for features and get a “sure thing” automatically.

Case in point, I was asked by another team in a totally different company what direction they should go for a decision that directly impact my software. I am using their stuff, and as such, they sought my feedback. The problem is that my recommendation was based on what I actually needed. They had two options, one of which would take a week or two, and would provide the basic set of services. The other would take several months to develop, but would allow me to create much better options for my users.

I think that you can guess what I ended up recommending, since from my point of view, there is absolutely no down side whatsoever. If they end up implementing the basic stuff, that is okay. If they implement the advanced stuff, that is great. At any case, my cost end up being zero.

I am a chicken in this game, and I want the biggest piece of meat (but make it non pig) that I can get, since I am eating on the house.

Whenever you let customer feedback into the loop, you have to take that piece into account. Customers are going to favor whatever it is that benefit them, that isn’t the same as whatever benefits you.

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Posted By: Ayende Rahien

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Comments

Scooletz
09/28/2011 09:59 PM by
Scooletz

Isn't it an old question about ROI, about how many customers you want to have etc.? 'Don't roll a dice' and make your moves along the way you made your own.

Ryan
10/06/2011 09:04 PM by
Ryan

I think the most important aspect of the process is digesting the customer feedback that is received within the context of the domain, other customers, and existing infrastructure.

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