Ways to Understand Customers and Users: Key Takeaways
- The Scrum Team should invite customers and users of their product to the Sprint Review. This is a perfect opportunity to engage with them to gather feedback and insight. Rather than using this time to dig into detail, focus on outcomes and gathering feedback and insight. Also, keep in mind that the Sprint Review is not the only time a Scrum Team can interact with its stakeholders and customers.
- There are several techniques a Scrum Team can apply to understand customers and users better. Using them in isolation will give you some insights, but is limiting. They will be more impactful if the Scrum Team combines the techniques. For example, follow-up a focus group (what they say) with an observation session (what they do).
- Talking directly to your customers and users through interviews and focus groups can be a quick and cost effective way to gain insights and feedback. However there is a risk that what they say they want, is not actually what they mean and need. Be sure when talking to them to focus on their needs, problems, pains, and gains and not the solution they say they want. Try to avoid leading, close-ended and vague questions in discussions.
As a Product Owner, to maximize the value of the product and effectively manage the Product Backlog, you will need to understand what is valuable for your customer and users. Take an empirical approach to understanding your customers and building your product for them. Value is an assumption until it is actually used by the customer.