When asked about “how regularly does the team meet the client”, 33% mentioned “more or once per week”, 30% selected they would meet “less frequently” compared to the 16.7% which chose “every two weeks”. This is followed by 6.7% that chose to meet clients “each day for the daily standup”, and the same amount chose to meet clients “never”. It looks like there is no apparent tendency but half of the teams choose to work together with clients more regularly, and another half of the team doesn’t have much client interactions.
For us, at Amazee this depends heavily on the project and the teams. In some cases we form teams together with clients where all developers will be assigned to the project full time in that consequence have regular client interactions. For the stable Scrum teams in Zurich that I work most with, we run multiple projects at the same time and therefore didn’t consider inviting clients to our daily meetings as we discuss several projects at the same time. As we have been successfully moving towards having fewer projects per team and a global maintenance team, we are considering this option though as to have closer client interactions between the team members. On top of that, we have found regular demos for clients and grooming meetings between the teams and clients beneficial. We balance the decision to do them based on how much money the client is willing to spend on having multiple people at a meeting.
In a second question, we asked “How is communication between the team and the client handled” and contestants could choose from a scale of 1-5. The lowest indicates communication is handled “exclusively by a person dedicated to talking to the client (PM, PO proxy, ...)”, and the highest, indicates that communication is handled “Always together with the entire team”. An equal share of 33% turned out to be with a 2 or a 3, 13.3% with a 1 or a 4 and 6.7% with a 5. We can see that there is a tendency to channel communication between clients and the team through a person within the company (PM, PO proxy).
For us at Amazee its a 2. Every project has a PO from our side assigned that will represent the client to the team if the client is not available and will represent the team to the client to have a single point of contact. Still, we encourage clients to meet the team regularly for a better understanding on both sides of the project and collaboration. The higher the ratio is that a team can dedicate their time to one project & customer, the easier it is to justify that the entire team will collaborate with the client. Being in an agency environment with multiple projects at the same time, those customers are not often to be encountered though. This is why we try to find a good compromise between customer collaboration with the team and efficiency gains of channelled communication.
How do you and your team interact with your clients? Please leave us a comment below. If you are interested in Agile Scrum training, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Stay tuned for the next post where we’ll look at agile practices.