Monday, March 30, 2015

Requirements, Customers and a new Dialogue Sheet

I’ve written many many times in this blog about Dialogue Sheets. On the whole I offer dialogue sheets as a retrospective technique. However they have other applications, for example:

  • The Agile Discussion sheet serves to help teams decide what Agile practices they wish to adopt. I use this to close training sessions and I’ve seen teams move straight from training into using some of these practices. I credit this sheet with some of this success (Oh, and my brilliant training course of course, plug plug.)
  • The Planning Meeting sheet helps guide teams new to Agile planning meeting through the planning process.

I’ve long believed Dialogue Sheets can help on the requirements side too but until recently I’ve not had a chance to try this. Now I have.

Last month the Victoria Wiggins and Rosie Curran at offered one of their teams as guinea pigs to try a new sheet. The session went well, the team had about 2 hours of discussion and they even provided lunch. Thank you very much!

After observing the team discussion around this sheet I’ve made a number of modifications. Primarily I decided to focus the sheet on the customer question, i.e. who are you customers? and what are their problems?

I now offer this sheet for free download. The Customers sheet is available on the Dialogue Sheets pages.

Now the catch: I still consider this sheet to be in beta test. I really really really would appreciate some feedback on the sheet - please please please. If you try the sheet please let me know how it goes - for better or worse.

Until recently I had all the sheets behind a registration page. This allowed me to known who was downloading the sheets and in the past I occasionally e-mailed people to find out about their experiences. I got feedback.

But I also got feedback from people who said they didn’t like putting their e-mail address into a system. So I removed the registration process. Now I have no feedback.

I find it very ironic that despite all the talk of the importance of getting feedback (particularly in Agile circles) very few people offer feedback without prompting. Consider this your prompt.

Please, try the sheet, and please please, tell me what you think!