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Our project methodology is recently migrated from Waterfall Model to Agile, and the development and QA team is given proper training on that. Now, one of the Agile Strategies is "Small Feedback cycles". But our product owner is still giving feedback after 2-3 sprints. That in turn results to major functional changes in the application and sometimes we have to work on a particular module from scratch.

Is there a way to deal with this? How to do proper impact analysis before suggesting major functional changes? Or with large feedback cycles, is it better to use Waterfall Model only?

Is it required to train the customer about Agile methodology as much as it required to train the development and QA team about Agile?

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Is it required to train the customer about Agile methodology as much as it required to train the development and QA team about Agile?

Simple answer: Yes. Agile only works well if everybody involved takes part. And since agile is mostly about communication and involving the customer, it won't work if they do not take part. The product owner is part of the team.

It is possible to assign a proxy product owner that takes the role of the customer, if the decision makers are too busy or care too less to get involved. But she has to take responsibility and should understand the customer and their needs well enough to make decisions for them.

So you should first try everything to make the customer understand the process and the importance of feedback. Then actively get them involved. For starters, invite them to the sprint reviews instead of using asynchronous communication like email.

  • So basically, we have to get some onsite coordinator as a proxy product owner? – Senjuti Mahapatra Dec 22 '16 at 9:57
  • If everything fails, yes. But be transparent about it. And first ask yourself if you really tried everything to get the customer involved and make him part of the team. This is your job. – Fabian Schmengler Dec 22 '16 at 10:00
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Does the customer feel like this is working? As a customer I would want to work out a better system so I'm not paying to have you make corrections and redo things that could have been pointed out sooner.

You could try to make your sprints a little longer as long as it doesn't get too long. Also, there is no law that says one sprint must immediately follow the next one. If you finish a sprint and the client can't meet for 2 weeks, put development on hold.

They either make themselves available or live with the delays. Otherwise, they pay extra for things that could have been caught in shorter feedback loops. As long as they're understand and are willing to pay the extra money, at some point it's not your problem.

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