Agile Customer Validation Vision

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  • site. It also provides feedback on how a customer may use the software within other environments. In addition, it aids in human interface and ease-of-use feedback.
  • Frequency—typically initiated where there is enough working software for the customer to concisely install and exercise. Because of the customer commitment, this usually occurs only once within a release and typically toward the latter part of the release.
  •  Who participates—very committed customers selected via customer profiles.

Example of an Agile Customer Validation Vision
Below is an example of a simple, working ACVV. In this case, the product in development is on premise.

Identify key customers via the customer profiles and share the customer profiles with team. In addition, the following validation activities will occur:

End-of-Sprint Review : We will hold two separate validation sessions at the end of each sprint to gain customer feedback. The first session is for customers in the product field, and the second is for customers in the healthcare field.

Alpha: During sprints four and six, we will provide a hosted alpha environment to key customers with Internet access, focusing on usability. We will provide four use cases for the customers to walk through based on the functionality where we want the most feedback.

User Acceptance Testing : During sprint eight, we will provide a product installation kit so that customers may validate the installation and configuration process (ideally in a production environment) and then focus on usability.

Once you have established the ACVV, it is important to share it with the team so that everyone is aware of the vision and the importance of the validation activities.

Summary
Teams should make the most of validation activities on an agile project. Agile prizes validation activities because they ensure that we are building something the customer actually values. Ultimately, this can lead to more revenue for the company. Establishing an ACVV for your product allows for you to identify the right customers, establish the most effective combination of validation sessions throughout the project, and motivate customers to attend the validation sessions. With just a little bit of vision, this can be a powerful and effective way to get the most of from your validation effort.

About the author

Mario  Moreira's picture Mario Moreira

<strong>Mario Moreira</strong> is a Columnist for the CM Journal, a writer for the Agile Journal, an Author, an Agile and CM expert for CA, and has worked in the CM field since 1986 and in the Agile field since 1998. He has experience with numerous CM technologies and processes and has implemented CM on over 150 applications/products, which include establishing global SCM infrastructures. He is a certified ScrumMaster in the Agile arena having implemented Scrum and XP practices. He holds an MA in Mass Communication with an emphasis on communication technologies. Mario also brings years of Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Requirement Management, facilitation, and team building skills and experience. Mario is the author of a new book entitled “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470746637?tag=cmf06-20&amp;camp=213761&amp;cre... Configuration Management for Agile Teams</a></strong>” (via Wiley Publishing). It provides an Agile Primer and a CM Primer, and how to adapt CM practices for Agile Teams. Mario is also the author of the CM book entitled, “<strong><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Software-Configuration-Management-Implementation-R... Configuration Management Implementation Roadmap.</a></strong>” It includes step-by-step guidance for implementing SCM at the organization, application, and project level with numerous examples. Also consider visiting Mario’s blog on CM for Agile and Agile adoption at <a href="http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/">http://cmforagile.blogspot.com/</a>.
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