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  • Dave McKenna

How Bad Do You Want It?

It was a bitterly cold night in December 2006. I’m sitting in front of a Best Buy store – decked out in my all-weather, duck hunting gear. I look like I belong on an episode of Duck Dynasty more than six years before the first episode aired. Why am I spending the night in front of a multichannel consumer electronics retailer?

Three words – A Nintendo Wii

It seemed like that Christmas, the entire western hemisphere wanted one of those game systems – including my daughters. If there was going to be a big surprise on the morning of December 25th, I would have to hang out on the sidewalk, and hope want I saw on the internet was accurate. The word was that this location would have 15 of the technological marvels….I was willing to do whatever it took to get one.

And I wasn’t alone…

When I showed up around 10 pm, there were already eight people there, and by the time the store manager came out at 1 am, 20 folks (including yours truly) were lined up. He didn’t tell us how many Wiis he would have in the morning. He just said he had them and they would pass tickets out at 7 am.

You would think that tension would be high for the next six hours. That we would be eyeing each other like old West gunslingers. The slightest move in the wrong direction and all hell would have broken loose.

But that wasn’t the case. We all sat around and talked about the cool things we heard the Wii could do. Folks were so amped up that they were positively giddy about the fact that they would get one.

This ladies and gentlemen, is what Agile should do for our customers. Customers who can’t wait for the next release of our products. Customers who attend our sprint review meetings and say “ I want that as soon as possible…..Can I have it Now!”.

Customers who are intimately involved with the Agile development process that they can’t help but get excited about what the scrum teams are working on. Because they have communicated to product management what they need to get from the release, and the scrum team delivered that functionality while getting constant feedback from them.

The funny thing is that when this process comes together, innovation becomes almost organic. The customers drive development roadmaps and scrum teams come up with innovative ways to satisfy the customer’s requests. How can we lose?

That Wii that I spent all night freezing to get is now in a box somewhere in my basement. It was totally worth it!


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