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Your Client Wants What

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Presentation for ICCA Boston on October 29, 2008. …

Presentation for ICCA Boston on October 29, 2008.

Abstract:

The facts are all stacked against us as consultants: 30+% requirements churn for projects, with 50+% of projects completing late or failing entirely and a market mindset of instant gratification. How do small consulting companies compete in today’s environment without having to take incredible risks along the way? This is the key question facing leaders of small firms. Clients are getting harder to find in an economic climate that is eroding so we have to make every client count! To do this effectively is going to require changing the way we do business. One potential solution is use of agile practices and principles to drive an agile process.

This presentation will explore the principles and practices that drive the agile process. In particular it will look at how using an agile approach can help mitigate risk for small consulting businesses. It will also explain the potential client benefits from using an agile approach. When the vendor is providing exceptional value to the client a long-term relationship can be established which benefits both parties. From the perspective of a small consulting company these relationships are the most valuable not just from a revenue perspective, but also as references and for word-of-mouth lead generation. This presentation will describe how having an agile approach in your toolbox may be enable you to unlock additional opportunities.

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  • 1. Your Client Wants What?Don’t Worry, Be Agile
    Presentation Copyright © 2008, Agile For All, LLC. All rights reserved.
    Presented byBob HartmanAgile For All303-766-0970bob.hartman@agileforall.com
  • 2. Before We Start
    Cell phones, pagers, PDA’s, etc. to silent
    If you have a question, please ask it. Don’t wait! It is better to answer the question while we are still in the same area than to go back.
    Your Client Wants What?
    2
  • 3. Introductions
    3
  • 4. Bob Hartman (Agile Bob)
    30+ years of software industry experience
    Certified Scrum Practitioner
    Bachelor and Masters degrees in Computer Science
    Roles included Tester, Developer, Dev Manager, QA Manager, Product Manager, Project Manager, VP…
    Started with agile in 1999
    bob.hartman@agileforall.com
    303-766-0970
    Your Client Wants What?
    4
  • 5. Who are you?
    Type of consultants we have here
    Agile experience
    AboutMe
    Your Client Wants What?
    5
  • 6. Outlining the problem
    6
  • 7. Sound familiar?
    Your Client Wants What?
    7
  • 8. What the client thinks
    Fixed Price
    Minimum Time
    SUCCESS!
    Your Client Wants What?
    8
  • 9. But to do that…
    we need accurate
    requirements up front
    Your Client Wants What?
    9
  • 10. Not realistic because client really wants…
    CHANGES!!!
    At end of
    project
    During
    project
    Even after
    delivery!
    Your Client Wants What?
    10
  • 11. By the way, don’t change the schedule!
    Your Client Wants What?
    11
  • 12. The reality of the problem
    Squeezed time
    Fixed price
    FAILURE!
    Changes
    Your Client Wants What?
    12
  • 13. How we normally react
    13
  • 14. At first we react like this…
    Your Client Wants What?
    14
  • 15. Then we regroup and say…
    No problem. This willjust cost more money
    What do you
    mean, no???
    OK, we’ll split the cost
    Your Client Wants What?
    15
  • 16. And we end up saying…
    Gulp! You’re right. You are an important client so we’ll make the changes for free.
    Your Client Wants What?
    16
  • 17. The result
    You make less profit, AND you feel like you had to beg to get even that!
    Your Client Wants What?
    17
  • 18. What Can we do?
    18
  • 19. We could find better clients
    Your Client Wants What?
    19
    Know what
    they want
    Can pay for
    the changes
    Yeah, riiiiight!
  • 20. We could change our mindset
    Your Client Wants What?
    20
    Not knowing
    everything is ok
    Just charge more
    to make up for it
    Your bid will
    stand out
    Unfortunately
  • 21. Or… we could change our process
    Your Client Wants What?
    21
    Should encourage feedback and allow changes!
  • 22. How Agile Can Help
    22
  • 23. Delivers the right software
    Your Client Wants What?
    23
    Highest value software
    gets completed first
  • 24. Accommodates change
    Your Client Wants What?
    24
  • 25. Mitigates risk
    Your Client Wants What?
    25
  • 26. Doesn’t rely on luck to deliver on time
    Your Client Wants What?
    26
  • 27. When done properly we will end up…
    building the highest value software…
    with high quality…
    as fast as possible.
    Your Client Wants What?
    27
    $$$$$
  • 28. Specific Agile Practicesfor Consultants
    28
  • 29. Work from a ranked feature list
    Your Client Wants What?
    29
    Highest priority items first!
    Less time spent on junk
  • 30. Changes the status quo
    Your Client Wants What?
    30
    Question: What percentage of software features are NEVER used?
  • 31. Meet customer expectations
    When does the customer know what they really want in a product?
    How can we help them know earlier?
    Exactly! Work in iterations to allow this.
    Demo working software every iteration
    Re-rank work after every iteration
    Use a retrospective each iteration for improvement
    You MAY be able to deliver less functionality at an earlier point in time and save a lot of work!
    Your Client Wants What?
    31
  • 32. Build slices of functionality not layers
    All work in each iteration should slice all the way through every layer of the feature. It is less expensive to refactor than it is to overbuild!
    Your Client Wants What?
    32
  • 33. Layers vs. slices
    Your Client Wants What?
    33
    Slices = less
    work to do
    Layers = All
    work done
    Which is easier to change?
  • 34. Expectations
    34
  • 35. Common myths about agile
    You will release more software faster
    You will release the highest value software as quickly as possible
    More code will NOT be written in less time, but when you are continuously releasing high value software it APPEARS that you are going faster
    Agile doesn’t need any documentation
    The phrase to keep in mind is “just enough, just in time” and this applies to most agile myths
    The developers run the show in agile
    The developers follow the rule of finding the highest priority task to work on and doing that
    The Product Champion role defines the priorities, not the development team
    Your Client Wants What?
    35
  • 36. What others are seeing
    Your Client Wants What?
    36
  • 37. VersionOne Survey Results (2008)
    Survey asked people: Please try to estimate SPECIFIC IMPROVEMENTS you have actually realized from implementing Agile practices.
    Source: VersionOne 2008 State of Agile Development Survey
    NOTE: All 2008 data is within 2% of 2007 data implying these numbers are not one-time anomalies
    Biggest causes of company-wide agile failure:
    Company philosophy or culture could not be overcome – 23%
    Lack of experience with agile – 21%
    Your Client Wants What?
    37
  • 38. Agile is a Proven ApproachSome Agile Companies (there are MANY more)
    Your Client Wants What?
    38
  • 39. Be careful!
    39
  • 40. #1 cause of agile failure
    A dysfunctional Product Champion! (poor prioritization)
    Your Client Wants What?
    40
  • 41. We need to avoid this!
    The Customer wanted a swing…
    The Customer got a swing
    Your Client Wants What?
    41
  • 42. #2 cause of agile failure
    Lack of automatedtesting!
    Your Client Wants What?
    42
  • 43. Lack of automation causes delays…
    Vicious Cycle:
    Testing is overloaded with work
    Result: Testing occurs long after coding
    Result: Developers don’t get immediate feedback
    Result: Developers create more defects
    Result: Testing has more work. Systems have more defects.
    Result: Feedback to developers is delayed further. Repeat cycle.
    Regression Deficit Disorder
    Technical Debt
    Quality suffers
    “Release it now!”
  • 44. Practices for high quality
    Automated testing
    Nightly build
    If the build breaks team commits to fix it first
    Continuously generating tests
    Developers using test-driven development
    Code is not done until it passes unit tests and acceptance tests
    Tests are written FIRST, then the code!!!
    Have tests live with the requirements so everything stays in sync through changes
    Your Client Wants What?
    44
  • 45. #3 cause of agile failure
    Not giving it enough time to succeed!
    Don’t fall into this trap!
    Your Client Wants What?
    45
  • 46. What is enough time?
    Requires at least 3 iterations
    1st iteration is usually very rough
    2nd iteration will be much better
    3rd iteration gets to near the new norm
    Process is self-correcting – use that to your advantage
    Make decisions and correct them the next day if it becomes necessary
    Try something in the process and correct through retrospection if necessary
    Learn from history – don’t commit to more work than was completed in prior iteration
    Your Client Wants What?
    46
  • 47. Case study
    47
  • 48. The problem
    Consultant asked to bid on a project with time, scope and quality fixed for the project
    Consultant paid 33% up front, the rest upon delivery of the software, but in stages
    All companies were bidding on basically how much it would cost them for resources during the project, plus profit (sunk cost + profit)
    No advantage for being more creative
    No advantage for higher quality
    This particular consultant usually charged higher prices because they were creative
    Your Client Wants What?
    48
  • 49. The big question…
    Your Client Wants What?
    49
    Given this consultant’s model of charging more for their creativity, how do they make money on this one?
    (don’t just say “be agile”
    give some specifics)
  • 50. Their solution
    They asked the client if there was any advantage to delivering an earlier revision of the software with primary features all working
    It turned out there was! Client’s customers could effectively use (and would pay for) a partial release as long as certain features were present
    Client willing to pay more for an earlier delivery of part of the software, plus they were willing to pay part of it on delivery of the earlier release
    Consultant investment is less because of early payment (which allows a lower bid to win the business!)
    Overall profit is higher because the client was willing to pay more in order to receive early orders
    Let’s look at this graphically…
    Your Client Wants What?
    50
  • 51. Initial investment model
    Your Client Wants What?
    51
    Paid at final delivery of product
    Software delivered
    Finally start making some money!
    Cost
    Time
    Start with money in the bank (33% paid up front)
    Cost of development
  • 52. Actual investment model
    Your Client Wants What?
    52
    First software delivery
    Paid at final delivery of product
    Final software delivered
    Make profit
    Cost
    Time
    Start with money in the bank (33% paid up front)
    Cost of development
  • 53. Comparison
    Your Client Wants What?
    53
    Original total investment (sunk cost)
    New total Investment
    Cost
    Time
    Cost of development
  • 54. Agile Resources
    54
  • 55. Websites
    www.agileforall.com (me!)
    www.agilealliance.org
    www.apln.org (Agile Project Leadership Network)
    www.scrumalliance.org
    Your Client Wants What?
    55
  • 56. Message groups
    Yahoo! Groups
    scrumdevelopment
    leandevelopment
    agileprojectmanagement
    everydayAgile
    leanagilescrum
    pmiagile
    Also many LinkedIn groups
    Agilistas, Scrum Practitioners, Agile Alliance, …
    Your Client Wants What?
    56
  • 57. Books
    Your Client Wants What?
    57
  • 58. Conference
    Agile Development Practices Conference
    November 10-13 in Orlando Floridawww.sqe.com/agiledevpractices
    Your Client Wants What?
    58
  • 59. questions?
    59
  • 60. Thank you!
    Sign up for mailing list (1 message per month)
    See more about me and my company
    at www.agileforall.com
    60

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