Towards continuous validation of customer value
Paper in proceedings, 2015
While close customer collaboration is highlighted as a distinguishing characteristic in agile development, difficulties arise in large-scale agile development where the product owner can no longer represent the different needs of a large customer base. While most companies use the role of a product owner to represent the customer base, experiences show that prioritizations that are made are far from optimal. Also, once the decision to develop a feature has been taken, companies stop to continuously validate if this feature adds value to the large customer base. As experienced in the case companies we work with, re-prioritization of feature content is difficult once development has started, resulting in R&D investments in development of features that have no proven customer value. In this paper, and based on our experiences from working with five B2B software development companies, we present a conceptual model in which qualitative and quantitative customer feedback techniques allow for continuous validation and re-prioritization of feature content. In this way, large-scale software development companies can significantly improve responsiveness to customers throughout the development cycle, while at the same time increase accuracy of their development efforts.