Agile vs. Waterfall – Convincing Clients

Dave Barrett, Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company provided this delicious recipe on how to convince clients for Agile.

“We can set a deadline if you like. In that case, we’ll spend the first month of the project working up a scope document and bouncing it back and forth between our two companies making revisions and additions until we hate each other. After that we’ll treat the SOW as gospel and fight like hell against any changes. Any additions to the scope will push the deadline back weeks at a time. Since you’re almost certain to add to the scope, this means that you’re doomed to miss the deadline even before you start. You won’t actually see any results until a day or two before the(revised) deadline, at which point you’ll almost certainly be disappointed because certain features won’t work the way you envisioned, or won’t be included because you never told us about them or didn’t know that you’d need them. We’ll then work up a new SOW for phase two of the project and rinse and repeat.”

“On the other hand, we can have short meeting tomorrow, identify the couple of features that seem to be the most important right now. Then we’ll get the Team going on it and show you what it looks like in a couple of weeks.Then you can pick the most important things that need to be done next and we’ll work on them right away. It may or may not be possible to get the system finished by your deadline, but the Team will always be focused on what you’ve determined are the most important aspects of the software all the way through the project. Our experience is that you’ll have working software faster with this process, you’ll waste less time and money building features that you don’t need, the features that you do get will work just the way you want them to and you’ll still like us at the end of the project.”

What do you think the customer will choose?

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