The Importance of Continual Customer Involvement
Software development projects are challenging. They require
many people with many different skill-sets to work together to
achieve the same goal - to deliver a working system that meets the
needs of the customer.
The most important team member in any project is the customer
and their involvement throughout the process is crucial. In
the ideal world, customers would have a representative on site with
our development team and would be available at all times to offer
input into the development process. This could range from
confirming details of their requirements, having input to the user
interface to testing a part of the system. But unfortunately
this is rarely achievable as the customer will have other duties to
perform as part of their own job.
However, striving for frequent and consistent customer
involvement is imperative to producing the best results for the
customer. When the customer is engaged during analysis,
development and testing the project maintains momentum and the
delivered solution meets the customer requirements; our processes
help to ensure that.
Good project methodologies will include customer input
throughout the process. This includes PRINCE2, which states that
customers should review their business case frequently throughout
the project. This helps ensure that what is being created is
required and is exactly what is needed.
With continual customer involvement minor adjustments to the
system can be managed throughout the project much more efficiently
than changes being highlighted later in the process when the system
is almost complete.
At Codify we pride ourselves on ensuring we deliver what the
customer needs. With minimal customer involvement, software
development teams will always be able to produce good systems.
However, with a high level of continual input from the customer
throughout the project, the final system will be more suited to
their needs, be delivered faster and be less troublesome at go live
as the consistent involvement has made sure the end result is
exactly what the customer wanted.