I am working on a website project for a large e-commerce site that is suffering from delay that can be mostly attributed to the client.
The client is requesting significant resource at our end (4 developers, 2 testers, 1 pm). We develop in a Kanban-style approach and wish to release every 3 weeks.
Whilst we complete between 6 and 10 user stories in the release timeframe, the client usually manages to do UAT on 1 or 2 only, frequently requesting changes - that we have a policy to accept.
The client is requesting backlog work to be started when resource is available. After 3 releases we now sit on a huge mountain of work that we deem ready for client approval.
I usually try to keep the inventory of unfinished work low, but in this case it keeps growing. We now regularly have issues with conflicts when merging feature branches to our release, costing us time and money that is not agreed with the client.
The situation has been raised with the client time and time again, to no avail. Our higher management is not willing to put too much pressure on the client, yet we have KPI's on estimates vs. cost that are heavily impacted by difficult merges. Our estimates were quoted to the client with a velocity factor of 1.5, we currently average at 2.8, making the team unprofitable.
I really would love to know how others in a similar situation have dealt with this.