“It’s so transparent!” is the number one compliment I keep hearing from customers, with whom I’m doing Agile software development for the first time. Because the planning tools are shared and accessible by everyone, it’s visible at a glance where the project is right now:
- which features are complete,
- which are yet to be completed,
- are we on schedule?
Transparency is not necessarily a feat unique to Agile. It could just as well be used with any other project management approach. In this case, however, it’s natural and pretty much effortless, because:
- the team works jointly with the customer (Agile Manifesto), and
- we’re communicating in a common language - the business language of the customer (User Stories).
Use this as an argument with customers reluctant to try an Agile approach. Make sure they understand that they will have full insight into the project’s progress and that they may opt out at any moment, still expecting to receive results in a potentially releasable state.