Getting Out of the Building at Agile2017

Added to Business

Photo by Rob Bye on Unsplash

Last week we added the term customer development to the Agile Glossary. Customer development is a framework originally named by Steve Blank, but practiced by many entrepreneurs, that provides a way for you to figure out if you are building the right thing.

Ok, that’s probably a gross over simplification, but stick with me…

A key idea behind customer development is that you should get out of the building to talk to actual customers, find out about their problems, how they solve them today, and whether your product actual provides a better solution.

Here’s Steve Blank explaining it in his own words.

You want to get out of the building sooner rather than later so that you can find out if you’re heading down the right path before you do a lot of work building a solution that no one wants. And like all things best done sooner rather than later (saving for retirement, starting a podcast, eating right, exercising) the best time to start was five year ago. The next best time?


In a dramatic reversal of do as I say, not as I do, I’m going to get out of the building at Agile2017, in a sense.

I won’t actually leave the building. Instead, I’ll be in the Agile Alliance Lounge during the conference and would love to talk to you about how you find information about Agile, your thoughts about the Agile Alliance website, the submission system, and the online schedule, and what types of information you wish were more available online. As Content Curator for Agile Alliance, any information I get during those discussions will be extremely helpful in my efforts to make sure the website and other tools continue to provide you value.

And if you do customer development in your work, I’d love to talk to you as well to get any tips or tricks of the trade.

So if you are at Agile2017 and would like to experience customer development, or help me do it better, stop by the Agile Alliance Lounge.

If you won’t be at Agile2017 (there are still some tickets available) you can always leave your experiences with customer development in the comments, and send me your feedback on the website.

About the Author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has IT and product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent currently practices his craft for a variety of organizations and provides just in time resources for product owners and business analysts at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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