Getting your clients excited
Nov 30, 2016
TrikeApps’ development process grows and shifts as we (and our clients) get bigger. We’re three times the size we were two years ago. Some of our clients have grown at the same rate. It’s no longer possible for one person to know about most things that are going on, on either side of the fence. Our colleagues and stakeholders have become more and more specialised. A public demo can help bring people together to cross the specialist divide.
From diverse people come diverse ideas
Specialisation is great, but diversity of ideas is awesome. Gathering a diverse bunch of people around a projector screen yields interesting discussions and ideas come through that may not have seen the light of day if only discussed in specialist groups. Our developers get a huge buzz out of seeing our clients riff on their vision. Our clients get a huge buzz out of seeing a vision realised and sometimes enhanced by the realiser.
We share our workspace with our clients, yet there are often things in the pipeline we don’t know about. When they finally make their way into the queue, they seem hard. “If only we’d known about that”, we complain, “we’d have designed something different”. When your clients have regular demonstrations of existing features, they can start to use those as building blocks or templates for future work. You’re building the future together.
What will demoing do for me?
Experiencing developer déjà vu? That feeling that somewhere, sometime in the past you’ve built this feature before? You may be right, and maybe it’s because the person who asked for this feature never saw the other one. Maybe the original feature was a flop because it affected another team, who had no input into the design. Making a public demo a regular fixture of your development cycles has the potential to reduce your pain.
Do your clients sometimes express shock when you show them an estimate for a feature? Give them regular insights into what’s involved in building great software! Our developers talk about challenges while showing off cool features. Clients get a better feel for what’s hard, and what’s not. Over time, that gets factored into their expectations.
If you feel like your work is an endless slog of feature delivery, punctuate it with celebrations. Take the time to say “oh, that’s awesome!” about someone else’s work. Put yourself in a position to have it said about yours. It’s addictive.
Do you demo in your development team? What things do you do to make it rock? We’d love to hear about it.