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Agile Selling or Selling Agile ? June 23, 2005

Posted by newyorkscot in Agile.

I suspect this will be the first of many entries here, so here goes with the can of worms: How do you sell an agile approach to delivering projects, factoring in the needs/issues/barriers of the folks in the client: PMs, CTOs, vendor mgt, legal, CFOs ?

We can create the nice glossies and presentations talking about this, that and the other benefit of agile methodologies (whichever one or combination you prefer), but there is more to it than this.

My take on it is more to do with the classic ‘Solution Selling’ approach: block & tackle question model whereby there are three main lines of questioning : diagnose, explore impact and visualize capabilities, each with a subset series of questions: open, control, confirm… (btw – this Solution Selling is probably another blog entry for the future). The point is that you need to understand the business problem and pain (or latent pain), and then apply your judgement (and agility) as to how you can solve their problem quickly and effectively. I think this is a pragmatic and experiential sell – you need to know your stuff, but be able to iteratively work out the right approach for the problem – sound familiar ?

Others have blogged about the legal side of things, which I think requires a shifting of the mindset on the side of the clients’ legal/vendor mgt. It almost like you have to disprove the status quo and show that they business NEVER gets it right first time, and that quick meaningful deliverables (production quality) is actually what the business wants.

As I said, this was just to open up the can of worms. Any first hand experience of others in selling agile approaches to non-buyers would be appreciated …



1. Mike - May 12, 2009

So I am still confused. What exactly is agile selling? Is it effective? Does it work? I am in IT and I hear agile selling often but never quite understand what it means. I look forward to your reply.


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