11

In reality this isn't a difficult customer. This is a customer. The issues arise from the fact that neither you nor he was clear about the scope going in. He provided a form to quote and you did it. I imagine that the form was fairly vague and didn't address scope changes, final acceptance, review cycles, cost for changes, etc. So the first thing for ...


9

I use MoSCoW prioritisation with clients (Must, Should, Could, Won't) and build developments around that. If the client would cancel the release if 'X' feature wasn't delivered, or if there is no workaround, then 'X' feature is a must. Therefore the MVP is then defined by the list of 'Musts' in the prioritisation.


6

Here are some pitfalls I've seen with the MoSCoW model. Managers are worried that their requirements will fall into "should" or "could", and won't get done, so they make up reasons why their requirement is a "must". This ends up delaying business-critical functionality. (This is usually caused by, or exacerbated by, bad KPIs at an organizational level. I'm ...


6

Your problem arises from the fact that the customer has no limits to request reviews in you application, so he doesn't make the necessary effort to review what he really wants, because you'll do it anyway later if he asks to. You can settle an agreement before the project starts that each iteration will have two or three reviews accepted. Each additional ...


6

Soliciting requirements is a iterative process, starting at an abstract level and diving down as you iterate. It is a data pull from the stakeholders; so it is about asking a ton of questions, several different ways, and becoming more tactical as you go along. Since it is a data pull, the techniques are not rocket science. It involves surveys, interviews, ...


5

TL; DR User acceptance testing should be done as a separate process outside the sprint whenever possible. It can be incorporated within the sprint, but there are a number of caveats and lots of potential for in-sprint scope creep. Define "Acceptance Testing" Acceptance testing means different things in different organizations. In some companies, it means "...


5

This sounds like bit of a hairy situation, as stated this is your boss' friend. I don't know the full background of the company (does your boss own it? Is it a large software firm? etc). However, it does sound like that your development practices, and in general the project coordination being done prior to it getting to the developer's lap is lacking quite ...


5

As pointed before, the best thing to avoid this situation is planning in advance, setting the number of reviews and the cost of extra ones. Setting a deadline is not only good for customers, as they get the results when they expect, but also good for you, as they will know that your time is valuable and you will be spending it on something else after that ...


4

I'm not sure we've answered the OP's question: How do you prevent a situation where you have to produce work-product work first and get client feedback before getting on the right track to meet their needs? If I understand the problem correctly, the OP is working with the client to develop the initial requirements for the project (pre-initiation). The ...


4

The answer to this is in your contract. How are you contracted with the customer? If time & materials, the customer pays. If cost plus fixed fee, the customer pays but you pay too in terms of your fee margin. If fixed fee, you pay. Not only do you need to understand the payment terms, but also assumptions and exclusions agreed to in the contract. ...


4

At the initial scoping phase of the project you need to understand what the client wants and what users want. Your project management skills will be tested in trying to balance both sets of requirements and deliver a product both are happy with. To understand your client's requirements use the techniques that other answers have proposed including what you'...


4

What you are discussing is a funnel for a customer feedback loop to iterate on your product. The good news is that lots of lean startup advice exists to help and guide you solve this problem. For an in-depth view of The Lean Startup and the measurements and metrics you should track to improve your product you can start with the Eric Reis book, Lean ...


3

The greatest advantage is when you bring in a variety of stakeholders and talk through their different opinions on what needs to be done. Treat MoSCoW as a tool to help facilitate the discussion and document the consensus. This will help to get broad buy-in around what the product needs to be comprised of, hopefully avoiding rework downstream. Contrary to @...


2

Would not delve in graphic design issues, since my aesthetic feeling may not be shared by others. As for eliciting customer's requirements, there are a few considerations: How do you structure and dimension your product space? a) Structure: what attributes of the product do you consider overarching and largely constraining your design? For instance, for ...


2

The short answer for me is to always have user stories. I come at this with a software dev background, many Product Managers don't have a background in development and cannot think in units of dev work. However, they can work with us on defining who are the end users, and what will they be doing with the end product. Once we can come up with a list of likely ...


2

A definite advantage is it's simplicity, you shouldn't need prior knowledge or training to understand the concept. It uses human language to prioritise and define requirements rather than a specific scale, or measurement. Although the obvious counter argument is that it can be too simplistic, and doesn't provide enough information on what should be ...


2

I think if your goal is to measure customer satisfaction, then it is irrelevant what your product owner thinks. It would make no sense to ask the product owner about customer satisfaction, in case he is the one responsible to make the customer happy. Why? Because in case he does not talk about such things with his customer, he just has assumptions about it. ...


2

Role boundaries and swim lanes apply not only tasks and areas of decision making but also lines of accountability. And there's a difference between accountability and responsibility. In my view, the product owner is the sole owner of accountability to the end-user stakeholder. It is not shared, IMHO. The developers do own some responsibility to the ...


2

The simplest way to determine the feature set of an MVP is by asking yourself of EVERY feature, "is this required in order to provide the minimum amount of value to the end user?". The whole concept of MVP is to get something out as quickly as possible to start validating your hypotheses by learning with real user data. Therefore you should only include the ...


2

In order to reduce waste and build an efficient MVP, you want to attack outcome they value the most. Something that important but they aren’t satisfied yet with current solution. This is how you filter down what matters and what is not before allocate more resources to actually build the thing. There is no point to solve / test something they already ...


2

I will assume what the "VIP" want fall somewhere between what you think and what the PO believes. I'll add some facts to that assumption: the VIP do not truly know what they want - not granulary anyway. Also, they will surely change the minds about some of the details? In Scrum and other iterative approaches, the feedback from Sprint Review will make it ...


1

Probably too late for your use, but this was a fun exercise. You asked: "Modern quality management requires customer satisfaction, prefers prevention to inspection and recognises management responsibility for quality. Explain, with examples, why each of these is important for quality management. What problems would you expect if these aspects of quality ...


1

I would try to use the instruments Scrum provides out of the box: Sprint Review and Sprint Retrospective. How Sprint Review can help: Since VIP People are the stakeholders of the software you develop, they should participate in Iteration Demo. Having those people on Demo you can ask them for the immediate feedback on whether the consider the delivered ...


1

As someone who has worked years on both sides of the counter, my experiences and two cents: From the vendor's view Avoid fixed-price contracts at any cost (sorry for the pun). But seriously, they can break your neck when your costs are galloping off and you can't make prices spiral up. Build and keep a small core of experienced developers. They can train ...


1

Very, very subjective. To sell anything to anyone you need to understand the context in which it will help them. What pain points are they having? Those are the things you want to target with your pitch. Much easier to sell water once you know the client is thirsty. Having said that, PMI have a good whitepaper that outlines some of the points you could ...


1

Review the terms of your contract, or have your Contracts Management group do so, if you have such a group. There is often language in a contract of this nature specifying the payment terms for any additional hours or overage expenses. Make sure the contract allows for you to request the customer pay a part of the additional expenses, before you request ...


1

Each story must have (a list of) crystal clear acceptance criteria, at the latest agreed on in the sprint planning. Then all team members now how to finish the story and a rejection by PO should not come as a surprise. If it were a surprise you should make better acceptance criteria and or ask more questions (also during the sprint) to the team and PO. NB ...


1

I am surprised no one mentioned agile methodologies (SCRUM etc) - imho, it would be much easier for both sides if customer could provide constant feedback and receive results every 2 weeks or so


1

Maybe I've missed it in other answers, but I think one of the key pieces is to gain a better understanding of what the client is actually trying to achieve at a high level. Measureable goals Increase overall market size? Take users away from competitors? Prevent current users from leaving? Be seen as the best solution in the space? whatever else they are ...


1

"How do you prevent a situation where you have to produce work-product work first and get client feedback before getting on the right track to meet their needs?" You can't in a lot of cases. But from what I've read/understood of your question, it all comes down to risk management. You said: What is more one of our customers when we started to ask ...


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