July 12, 2012

Everyone loves a wish list?

Sometimes the only ones enthusiastic about methodology sit on the vendor side. What do you do if you get that 1000-yards-stare back when you mention "agile" or even try selling the idea of using "Scrum"? For sure you don't start talking in detail about building product backlogs and items making it into a future sprint backlog!

What I have found may work in such settings, though, is introducing the concept of a wish list and some very simple rules to govern it. YMMV, of course, but something along the lines of:

- Every suggestion or idea, no matter how great, goes into the wish list right away

- At certain points the wish list is reviewed and the highest value items are scoped for delivery

Of course there is the risk of being perceived as a stubborn bastard, but maintaining such a wish list can help you structure a "backlogish" approach even where no-one wants to hear about it and it can be good for business (on both sides, actually -- as it makes priorities clear) and often separates what is included from what is paid for. Give it a try.