Agile is all about bringing value to the customer, whether that customer is internal or external. What makes Agile so great is the ability to change the plan. This plan, if done right, is rooted in what the customer wants. What the customer needs. And although there are trade-offs in the development process (lose some features to ship faster, for example), the foundational “spec” written by the product manager helps keep the intent of the product intact.
Matt Heinz states that:
As more and more companies shift to an agile development methodology, it’s more important than ever for a customer advocate to be a daily part of that team. It can be the product manager, but there’s no reason it can’t be the development team directly. You’ll be far better off having the people writing the code also understand exactly how the customers think, how they act, and why they’ll buy.
While I agree with Matt that it’s essential to have a Customer Advocate within the team, I’m not so sure I’m on the same page to say that the developers are the best representative for this. It can work, but I would say that having a definitive person in a role that intimately understands the customer is what matters most.
Agile Customer Advocate Tips
- Intimately aware of the customer needs
- Is frequently receiving feedback from the customer base
- Works closely with the Product Owner
- Works closely with the development team as needed
[HT: Heinz Marketing]