August 7, 2008

Hiding Customers

hiding customersSome product managers are control freak, and some are too cautious. Those are bad fishes in my opinion. Teams that work in agile style, developing new products must be working close with the customer.

There could be instances where a team is newly formed and folks do not have much know-how about the attitude, way of life etc. of customers. The bad fish PM if given this situation does the following:

1. Runs short sprints, like 1 week. And here is the bad part - he claims that since he doesn't have trust in the team, he can't afford to lose control.

2. Although the team has good and proven experience in software engineering (although not in the current domain), they are NOT allowed to talk to customers.

3. All requests from customers come via the PM. (ok, this could be fair). If developers have doubts or questions, they have to ask the PM, and he decides when and how to take those queries to customers.

4. He yells in some meetings "I know the customer, I know what he wants! Do what I say."

5. No single soul in the development team, yes no one, knows who is the customer. Forget about what customers do and where they are!

6. PM arranges a face to face workshop with customers and does not take any developers/testers along.

Do you think this team (which is composed of experienced guys who could be new to the system) can ever grow, emerge and delight the customer?


Anonymous said...

This is hard to believe , that in world of competition such bad fish exists. At this point , what comes to my mind is 'Google' environment...No wonder they are cruising as innovator and some company which houses such bad fishes sucks....

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