Friday, April 23, 2010

The story that users are not ready for agile yet!

In most of the agile methods, on the spot customer is a very important roll. And the user stories are decided by him. He provides real time business consultant to the team. But is he really always correct on making business decisions?

I haven't seen any discussion about this. All the materials I've read share the same sentences, the customer will decide which story will go into scope and in which sequence to be implemented, and so on and so on. But still, in a *lot* of companies, agile is just a normal word with no special meaning. IT are usually on the opposite side to the customers. The customers will try their best to push everything in, with the fear that they won't get anything if missed the chance. And normally in big companies, those who provide feature descriptions and use them, are not the same ones who provide money. So mostly it is a user, but not customer who is working with the team. He don't care about cost, he only needs features. Since he's not IT guy, he does not understand software has quality and needs to be maintained; he doesn't understand the more features in the more complicated the software is, the more bug will be. With the fear of getting nothing afterwards, he'd even imagine some feature to be implemented. Anyway, it's already paid, isn't it?

In one of my recent projects, I met such a case. The user needs a very special search feature. It's easy to implement. But there is a potential problem: by miss using it, it can bring a lot of load to database and application server. For this kind of search, DB must do full table scanning. We pointed out this and asked the user under which scenario this feature will be used, so we can figure out some strategy. And it turned out it's an imaginary feature. He *thought* it might be used in some future scenario.

So the team needs to remember that the on the spot user should sometimes be questions, especially when the team is in a transition period from traditional way to agile methods. The users are not used to the transform yet!

No comments:

Post a Comment