What Does It Mean to Be in Customer’s Shoes?

15 April 2020


What Does It Mean to Be in Customer’s Shoes?

15 April 2020




1. Three owners of DMD-Binary LLC paid attention to the fact that the profitability of their second business, hourly rental of office space, could increase by 30-40%. For this, the business needs a digital register (online booking and automatic accounting of the number of booked hours for each hourly-tenant).


2. DMD-Binary LLC is a software development agency, which has been operating for 9 years already, and at that time its working schedule shows the beginning of seasonal decline for a couple of months before and after the Christmas holidays.


3. The owners made a decision to:
– merge two business projects Software Development & Hourly Rental Service while there is a seasonal decline in outsource projects
– approve the budget for creating their own digital product
– delegate the Product Owner (PO) authorities to Roman who is one of three owners and at the same time iOS Developer for 10 years


Short-term goals:


– Increase revenue for hourly rental business
– Get into client’s shoes to feel the experience of the relations between the client and the team
– Provide work for seasonal decline
– Skill-up the team by creating the product using the trending technology stack


Long-term goals:


– Create a new business of selling the developed product to similar hourly rental spaces
– Gain an experience in creating a product, launching it to the the target audience and getting feedback
– Set up interaction between the team and clients thanks to this experience




What Happened During the Start Crisis?


‘Preparing answers for the team was taking a lot of time. I set myself difficult tasks and I was trying:
– to choose the language, avoiding formulation that sometimes seemed insufficiently complete, contradictory, restricting the freedom of possible options for implementation
– to determine the appropriate method of searching for answers: it’s hard to understand when it is necessary to be guided by my own view and when by the audience questioning, or where I can find similar examples
– to move on fast and to look for the shortest routes. But some points required additional research and verification.’

Roma (Product Owner)


‘At some point in time, I realised that everything was ready for my part :
– the approach which allows to make required by the PO changes on the run was determined
– a dedicated full-cycle team was created
– roles for each team member were prepared, and all the team was familiarised with the procedures and interaction format for the development flow
– even steps of further product integration with business were clear.
I didn’t understand what caused the delay on the PO’s part. And I decided that my task consists in reminding and clarifying to the that we need to speed-up.’

Tanya (Project Manager)


What Happened During the Release Crisis?


‘Everything looked cool to me: smart involved team plus profitable idea. For a long time I was in joyful expectation of a dream coming true. I was thinking that I’ll become a man who will be appreciated and admired.
It was psychologically convenient to stay in that expectation and I did not delve into or control. I knew that I was paying big money, and thus the result would be good.
I was asked some questions, I answered something, but, it turned out, I did not realise the reality indeed.
When the very first version was shown to me, I cried. I realised that I didn’t know how to use this and I couldn’t find what I was waiting for. And the functionality was so minimal that it hurt to look at it.’

Michael (Product Stakeholder)


‘The team was in an enthusiastic state. They liked what they did. Before the release, the PO has postponed all the brilliant ideas for improving as those which could be implemented ‘in the next version’. It’s always pity, but deadlines came and time was running out. From my point of view, much has been done amazingly:
– developers made the right UX/UI decisions on their own, and this saved time and money
– the team intuitively learned the business logic of the product and at each stage selected concise solutions for users
– I was satisfied that basically the budget and deadlines were met
Deep inside, I permanently felt anxious due to the fact that we hadn’t received answers from the stakeholders about what information users are looking for, how and for what reason they use it.’

Tanya (Project Manager)




1. The need for technical and expert participation


‘If the client is silent, it doesn’t mean that it’s about ignoring but it’s rather about difficulties in providing answers’


2. The need to trust and acknowledge difficulties:


‘If not to ask, the client won’t tell. With a sincere desire to understand, trust arises, and this contains true partnership and sincerity.’


3. The need to take care of meeting the expectations


4. The need for support after release:


‘During release crisis, the client can find support in feedback both from the project involved team and direct consumers of the final product.’




In 2 weeks after the v1 release, sales negotiations of the product to 5 customers successfully passed.


Two agreements have been concluded and are in progress now.


A new business has begun.


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