@johncutlefish's blog

Check out Iterate.fm, my podcast with friend and coworker Tareq

Your Customers Don’t Care If…

Published: February 28, 2017

1 UotwyMbFZS0LT1sEPs4pmg

Your customers don’t care…

  • if you call it an epic, user story, task, subtask, or to-do
  • if your ticket statuses are updated by end-of-day
  • how (or if) you estimate your stories
  • about your team’s “Adherence to Scrum Rules or Actual Stories Completed
  • about how you format your user stories
  • about how your individual contributors receive “credit” for their work, or whether they meet their output commitments
  • whether you scale with SAFe, or LeSS, or Nexus, or GROWS, or DAD, or “The Spotify Method” Your customers DO CARE about your ability to continuously deliver value, and to adapt to their changing needs.

Oftentimes we put doing the method, practice, or tool ahead of delivering value to our customers. We strive to do “it” well, without asking whether “it” actually benefits our customers (and our teams). Consultants sell “it”, authors write about “it”, we implement “it” or do an “it” transformation, and then pat ourselves on the back for being kickass it-ilists. Mission accomplished.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m feel blessed to have so many “its” at my disposal! However…

We should hire these methods, practices, and tools to help us deliver more value to our customers. Figure out what works, and do it. Yet often the needs we seek to fulfill are purely internal. The practices act as trust and safety proxies. They buffer departments and silos, let teams interface with the “business”, give the illusion of accountability, add a veneer of measurement, and temper the fear that things aren’t under control.

So the next time you’re debating the details of a certain “it”, step back and think about your customers and your frontline teams. Is the “it” doing its job?