Conventional wisdom and best practices tell us that end users and other stakeholders must be involved in IT application and other product requirements definition. In traditional mode, the involvement is before design and development. With an Agile approach the users must be an integral part of the project team.
“What to do when users are not available?”
Can you wait for them to get on board the development train? That might take a long while and delay a project that can provide significant benefits to the organization.
Can you force them to get on? That might get you started, but, as soon as they can or must they’ll jump off and your project will be delayed. Sometimes they will even derail the train.
What if you just start without them? Radical and risky you might say, though it might be the best way to get moving and deliver a useful product in the shortest amount of time. Think of a requirements-without-users approach that is like prototyping. A prototype can be developed based on minimal requirements and then refined until the product is ready for production use.
This approach requires that the following conditions are met,
1) you have a window of opportunity to make use of development staff that might not be available later,
2) your users and sponsors are open to getting engaged later in the process (ultimately they must get involved)
3)your sponsors and senior user management are…
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