How do you sell Agile to your customer?
"One of our biggest customers preferred the traditional way of doing projects. This boiled down to writing a massive requirement document, estimating the hours the work, and translating that to a fixed budget. We would then set a deadline and get to work."
And this is understandable. From the perspective of the customer, this gives them the guarantees on budget, date, and scope they need to sell the work internally and to their own management, who in turn demand similar guarantees.
The irony of course is that, despite these guarantees, the scope inevitably changed during the work anyways. After all, those new ideas emerged if we wanted to or not. And in many cases, we simply made incorrect assumptions in the requirement document that we based our estimates on. So we had to move deadlines, request additional budget, and frequently covered overly optimistic hour estimates on our part with our own money.
As a wise person once told me after a feverish attempt to sell Scrum to them: “don’t sell me the hammer, sell me its benefits”. This was an important learning moment for me as I realized that I was explaining how it benefitted us, but not necessarily the customer. So what benefits does Agile offer to the customer?
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