Handing off a project to a client can be one of the most rewarding and nerve-racking experiences in the agile process. It is rewarding, because all of the hard work done on the project will hopefully be appreciated. It can be nerve-racking, because the team handing off the project never knows for certain that the project will be well-received.
It can be a difficult decision for the team to decide that a project is truly complete and ready to be handed off. For a more complete description about what constitutes a finished project in agile, refer to my earlier post on this topic. The development team wants to be sure that the finished project is exactly to the client’s liking, that the client will appreciate the work that the team has done. Agile development methodologies do make this process slightly less stressful, because the client (product owner) should be involved throughout the process. In a waterfall style project, the client will only see the end product, and could be unpleasantly surprised at how it turned out. An agile team will have collaborated with the client through many iterations of the project development cycle, and will be receiving updated input at regular intervals. This assures that the client will not be surprised by the completed project, and that the project will most likely be exactly how the client envisioned it(Jackson, 2012).
Though an agile team will ideally have collaborated with the client throughout the process, it is not always a given that the client will remember past decisions, or understand all that is said in a meeting. This is why it is very important to involve the client during the design and development process, so the end product is something that the client will be happy to accept. It goes without saying, that a team that designs software that is well received by a large majority of its clients, is a team that will have business in the future. I have learned that it is often better to ask questions during the development process, even questions that might seem trivial. It usually won’t hurt to ask extra questions of your client, about how exactly he or she would prefer the software to be. Conversely, not asking questions and assuming incorrect answers can lead to a “finished” project that is not “finished” in the eyes of the client. Though there are a number of challenges and risks that are assumed when handing off a project to a client, these risks and challenges can be mitigated by following the procedures of certain development methodologies, such as agile (Wells, 2012).
JACKSON, M. B. (2012). AGILE: A DECADE IN. PM Network, 26(4), 58-62. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofm&AN=74501495&site=ehost-live
Wells, H. (2012). How Effective Are Project Management Methodologies? An Explorative Evaluation of Their Benefits in Practice. Project Management Journal, 43(6), 43-58. http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ofm&AN=84306321&site=ehost-live
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