Don’t Guess What People Like, Be Patient and Listen

Recently I finished a project for a project to the point that required the main stakeholder’s feedback. I’m very proud of how the project turned out. I was on time developing the web-app, delivering everything needed for this sprint, and the user experience is excellent (in my opinion.) 

But the stakeholder will not be available for a week or two to review and comment on the work. This leaves a strange gap in what should be done next. On the one hand, it doesn’t make any sense to move forward with any part of the project until the main stakeholder gives feedback on what needs to be improved or changed. On the other hand, I feel that many things could be polished or tweaked that would make the app even better.

When you run into a situation where your stakeholders (or clients or customers) are not available to give feedback on this leg of the journey: stop. Unless you have other work that you can do that you have already defined: wait to hear directly from your customer. The only way that you are going to know what your customer wants is if they tell you. If you assume that you know what they would like more, you will either gold-plate your project or produce features that no-one wants. Gold-plating is when you improve your project because you have extra time or money, but the work doesn’t add any value to the project. Producing features no-one wants is just a waste of time, talent, and energy.

I will wait to hear from my client. And you should also. You can guess what someone will think about what you have delivered, but the only way to know if it is right for them is for them to tell you. Wait to hear directly from the stakeholders; don’t put words in their mouths.