Improving Agility by Using Customers’ Definitions of “Quality” and “Done”
“Quality”… velocity, productivity, and efficiency? Improved performance? Few or no bugs? Meets stakeholder requirements? “Done”… we did what we planned? Fits business objectives? Coded, tested, documented, and deployable? Remember our customers? The people paying our salaries? Their satisfaction is supposed to be our *highest* priority. But we fall in love with assumptions about users. We burn weeks coding, testing, merging, and releasing product guesses. We move to the next project, interrupted later when we learn that customers aren’t finding much value or quality in that last release. You ignored the customers’ definitions of “quality” and “done” when you built and deployed features you *knew* wouldn’t be right for customers. Someone called garbage “done,” shipped it, and claimed we’ll “fix it later.” Not Agile or Lean! “Architecting for customers’ needs and tasks” and “being Agile” shouldn’t be the polar opposites they often are now. No matter what an Agile coach, scrum master, or stakeholder declares, the customer decides what is “quality,” “done,” and “good enough.” Learn how to change processes to improve agility, eliminate some Lean waste, and produce better customer outcomes.