How to define your customer?

Icagile fundamentals online
Natascha Speets
Natascha Speets

Natascha is always on the looking for opportunities to help her clients become the best version of themselves. She does this by integrating her professional coaching skills in everything she does.

But first of all, what is an agile coach?

The “Agile Coach” is a trainer, a coach, a facilitator, and sometimes even a consultant for the entire Agile team, the organization even. An Agile coach adapts their coaching to the time and needs of the team and client, and to the context in which they interact. They will find themselves shaking up management, inviting it to break with organizational habits to help the organization, the teams and the stakeholders understand the need for Agile values and behavior to underpin everything they deliver and do.

What is agility and its relationship with the customer:

 

Agile methods are based on two pillars: flexibility and agility. An “agile” company is able to anticipate any possible change related to customer service. Thus, the tools will be adapted with precision and efficiency in order to maintain an optimized customer satisfaction. 

In the face of increasing customer demands and growing competition from start-ups and large technology players who want to cover more and more business areas, it is time for many traditional companies to invest more in agile ways of working, which includes our customer service and management.

Using the traditional waterfall approach, the project team receives the detailed specifications from the customer, then plans, coordinates, and executes the entire project until delivery to the customer on the scheduled date. The problem is that customer needs or requirements may have changed, the market may have changed, or a fad may have passed. As a result, the project is no longer suitable and the customer is not satisfied. Then the project team had to start over. You lose time and money, and your customer relationships suffer. Moreover, there is no guarantee that the scene will not be repeated in the second version.

By choosing an agile approach, you can avoid this disappointment. Why? Because customer satisfaction is the top priority. To this end, the dialogue with the customer is privileged throughout the project in order to consider the evolution of his needs and expectations in real time. Thus, the project team can react immediately, modify and adjust the project according to the customer’s requirements, because nothing is fixed.

Using agile methods, divide the project into sub-projects. Each sub-project is validated by the client until the final objective is reached, before moving on to the next phase. This flexibility provides room to maneuver in case of unforeseen events or changes. Best of all, you no longer waste time planning your entire project in detail in advance.

 

« An agile coach helps a team or an individual to adopt, improve agile methods and practices. A coach helps people rethink and change the way they think about development.»  Allan KELLY

 Identify, Clarify, Encourage, Evaluate, Support and Adjust are the keys to a satisfied customer

Customer involvement early on in the project…

What are the main principles of the method that help the client in his request ?

 

Test and learn

Test and learn is above all a state of mind that consists in learning from one’s mistakes. It is an approach that aims to test hypotheses beforehand, in order to learn from them. This experimentation serves above all to remove all uncertainties about consumer behavior in relation to a new product. Test & learn thus allows to answer progressively and with precision to a given problem.

The fail fast

In the adoption of agile methods, the fail fast consists in testing the adaptability of a hypothesis in order to limit the consequences of failure as much as possible. It thus advocates the usefulness of failures to create new trials that will ultimately lead to success. This approach was originally conceived for product development, but it can also be applied to other areas, with the same goal of ensuring customer satisfaction.

Integrate the customer into the team

The effectiveness of agile methods relies on the intense involvement of the customer in the whole process. In practice, the user shares his vision of the product with the features that can facilitate the customer experience. The cost estimation is also done in consultation with the customer in order to obtain an optimal quality/price ratio. So we could say, that in practice, the consumer is a valuable asset and integral part of the project team.

Encourage direct communication

The success of agile methods is mainly due to good communication between the stakeholders. This means face to face dialogues with a minimum of written material, even with remote collaborators. This allows not only to move forward in small steps with certainty, but also to reinforce the cohesion of the team, something which is very important when working in an agile way (reference to customer collaboration over…)  It also gives the opportunity to measure the motivation of the team to carry out the project.

 

About the "Agile Fundamentals Certification"

The “Agile Fundamentals” course is designed to enable anyone, regardless of their position in the company and their role in the Agile project, to understand the Agile approach to product development, and the cultural impacts that it may have on the entire organization, the mindset shifts that are needed to move away from traditional project management methods.

Ideal for business and technical teams, this course examines the roles and responsibilities of team members working with Agile. It examines the specific practices used in agile projects, explains the theory and concepts behind agile methodologies, and helps you work confidently and effectively in an agile environment. In addition, you will discover the value definition framework to ensure that you and your team are building the right product for the right customer at the right time. This is one of our new agile courses for individuals, teams and organizations looking for introductory agile training.