How did I set my Company on path of Agile
Truth to be told, I am no Agile Certified Coach myself. I am only Agile and Technology Enthusiast. In a more than a decade long career, all I did was code, design and build systems that work. Frankly speaking, that has always been my passion day in day out.
While working with startup from last couple of years, I have switched my hats multiple times. I had been a Technical Architect, I had been a pre-sales consultant, I had been delivery head, I had been in sales/marketing as well. Most of these trying to carry out in parallel as well. I have learnt quite a lot from each of these roles and the most important thing is how a technical team and customer thinks (and realized there is a huge chasm to cover)
Whenever I did pre-sales presentations, I found that customer was not excited enough that we used some state-of-the-art framework to build the solution or how we could do partitioning right on our databases or that we were able to use some ABC tool in our project architecture. But what excited them is that how quickly we were able to take our application live, how much money our client saved/made using our solution, how much traffic we were able to handle and how fast we were able to scale to demands.
This stuck a chord for me that customer does not care (or care enough) for the technical proficiency of the vendor. All he cares is the value he is getting out of the solution, how fast is he able to recuperate the money spent (and more than spent) from solution. This highlighted the vast gap between our customers and us. We never considered customer important enough to take him along on this journey with us. It was like throwing the solution over the wall missing that human touch which makes us all vulnerable and stronger together.
While I tried to identify why so many of our projects are just not able to cross that finishing line, why do we have so many arguments (to the extent of spoiling relationships) with our customer. I understood that what gratifies us as technology partner is not same what gratifies the customer.
We had to find a common ground for us to play. A place where customer is part of the journey, where he appreciates and acknowledges the work done by team, where team acknowledges that customer is an equal partner of the project success (and not of its failure only) and behave like a partner, who may have difference of opinion but they do what is best for the baby always.
Agile was something which stuck as golden goose to solve these problems. though in itself it cannot do anything but it did provide a framework for both customer and technical team.
A framework to collaborate, communicate effectively and share a common goal i.e. the success of the project!