We established a trusting relationship at vianet with our customer. We invited them to each Sprint review and planning ceremonies. They checked out and deployed our code from our servers in to their environment.
Negotiating the Date
It was the end of fall and our customer said they needed the work finished by the start of spring. Everyone wanted some buffer in case something delayed deployment and we agreed to finish development by the middle of winter. This date was written in to the contract drawn up by lawyers and signed by both sides. The rate that we were now building the product at had our team estimating we would have something out after the date in the contract.
Our customer attended reviews, inspected progress by checking out and building the latest code at any time, and saw our responsiveness from requests in planning. It was because of this interaction that when we told them, they understood that we had more work to do than could be delivered by the contract date. Everyone believed the data they were seeing.
Working Closer with Our Customer
The customer then upped our trust in them. They told us that the intention was to go live in the early summer. Our velocity and Product Backlog size showed that we would finish most of the work by the end of spring. The customer worked closer with us, providing frequent feedback on the direction.
We worked together deciding on what to build next. People from both companies traveled between the two sites. Our Product Owner seemed calmer. Everyone understood clearly what to do and we launched within the window predicted. The customer eventually acquired vianet.