Scared Clients


Yesterday Simon Raess from Swiss UX design studio Ginetta presented design driven development approach that they use at their company to manage their projects. Simon has integrated a decade of research in usability, user experience, and agile, and coupled it with his experience as a product designer at Google to come up with a solid project methodology that aligns product people, designers, and developers along their common goal of making their clients happy. While Simon's presentation was very solid, a question quickly popped up what to do with clients who want to have fixed scope, time, and money, an anathema to agile approaches to development. The question of stupid/ignorant/old-fashioned clients who are preventing agile from general adoption pops up at every single agile meet-up (and I attended plenty of them), so it might be a time to accept clients as they are and change agile instead (that's why it's called agile in the first place - it's amenable to change).

With agile methods the clients are scared at the beginning of the project and with with waterfall approach the clients are scared at the end of the project when the illusion of control finally shatters. Unfortunately for the agile methods, contracts are signed at the beginning of the project, so agile practitioners should better come with ideas how to comfort their clients already at the start of the project if they want their business to flourish.

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