Agile Manifesto: No customer collaboration at sprint review?

Agile Customer Collaboration

Intro

The third of the agile principles runs deep and is in my point of view a very important one:

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

AgileManifesto.org

It reads like this: While contract negotiation and paperwork are important please always prioritize customer collaboration.

The real world

It does sound very logical, doesn’t it? Of course, customer collaboration is important! And I do emphasize this with every breath I take since it’s such an important part.

But… Looking back at the teams I could observe, almost none of them had a real customer collaboration when we started our journey! In one example the Product Owner just decided by himself what to build and did almost forget about the customers/stakeholders he should be taking care of. In another example, a Scrum Team built a very important customer-facing application and practiced “Workbook Scrum” as much as possible – Besides they forgot to add the customer to the Sprint Review!!!

This is why I can’t stress this principle enough:

  1. Make sure you have a customer and know who it is (also here: not always the case)
  2. Collaborate with the customer actively, not only in the role of a Product Owner or during Sprint Review but especially when building something for the customer and the development team needs input or has a question. Worst case scenario: Only the PO knows the customer.
  3. Get regular feedback and make sure it is critical enough to get the best product possible

And the AI Feature says

This is what AI has to say about this principle from the Agile manifesto:

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