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We're making a bespoke software for our client and use Codebase for our project management. Is it a good idea to let our client view our project management board?

The advantages that we thought of are that this would enhance the cooperation between the client and the dev team, following agile practices. He would essentially become part of our team. It would also reduce communication overhead and make sure we're on the same page. The client could track the progression of the system and make suggestions along the way on the user stories. In addition, he could submit bugs or feature requests.

The disadvantages that we though of are that some aspects of the board might be too technical to the client. He would suggest changes to the user stories too often and he might view some content that we normally wouldn't want our client to see. For example, when we compromise on technology or functionality, the client might question that and insist on doing things one way or the other.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Client involvement in the project is important specially in requirements, prototyping, testing, close-down and operations stages (regardless of the methodology used). As you have pointed out, too much of an involvement could be harmful. This harm may be significant given certain client personality styles and backgrounds.

Having the requirements gathering task and prototyping tasks open with no limits or controls can cause the 'client creep' syndrome.

The project management should treat users as an other resource on the project and clearly define each client's role and what is required from them. They should be given information only on need-to-know basis and only the information relevant to their role.

Due to the iterative nature of software development, clients may loose trust in the development team if they are too close to their daily technical issues and observe their problems. Also, most clients are not qualified to participate in technical discussions. The result of their involvement will result in either dissatisfaction (Joe is wasting my time) or intrusion on the development team (I told you Excel is better...). In both cases, no one wins.

So the short answer is, involve clients with care.

The above is my own opinion from my own experience. It is not exact science.

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