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The fourth category of considerations for an organization that is primarily focused on internal applications to think about before they start measuring customer satisfaction is self-sufficiency. However, before we start, after the first article in this theme, I was asked whether the overhead of the four considerations would put teams and individuals off from talking to their clients, customers, and stakeholders. The simple answer is no. Conversations with individuals about their satisfaction with your efforts are important feedback tools. Sprint Reviews and Demos are events that are structured to create those conversations.  Conversations and formally measuring customer satisfaction are not the same thing. Neither should preclude or interfere with the other but rather doing both will provide different types of information. If you are not talking with your stakeholders, I will put it more succinctly: you probably have a career issue that measurement will not fix.  

Self-sufficiency is defined as being able to provide everything needed for a situation. In this case, being able to sustain the measurement and analysis of customer satisfaction. Measurement of any type is a vacuous exercise if the results are not actionable or can’t be repeated to evaluate change. While the first three considerations—value, relevance, and usability—are important, a failure to execute wipes out all of the thought put into measuring customer satisfaction.  Questions to ask to judge self-sufficiency include:

  1. Do those measuring customer satisfaction have the time to do the job well?
  2. Is there a standard approach for measuring customer satisfaction? (The assumption is that if a standard approach exists it will be used.)
  3. Is the approach documented?
  4. Do those analyzing the measures have sufficient statistical training? (If in doubt, strike up a conversation about standard error — panicked looks = no.) 
  5. Do those measuring have access to the right people?  
  6. Do those asked about satisfaction answer?
  7. Have the questions been reviewed to reduce bias?
  8. Is mentoring and training available for those measuring customer satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is a measure of how products and services are delivered and if they meet or surpass customer expectations at the right time and at the right prices. Product companies often either have specialists or hire external marketing firms to measure customer satisfaction. Teams focused on delivering applications, enhancements or maintaining applications generally do not have those luxuries, but the knowledge of where they are meeting expectations in more than a cursory fashion can be critical. Everyone wants to satisfy their stakeholders; without decent information, success is the outcome of a random walk. 

We will wrap up this portion of the Measuring Customer Satisfaction theme by boiling the four considerations into a simple checklist next. 


The next book in our Re-read Saturday Feature is Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan, Switzler.  I have never read this book, I just ordered the book using the link (using the link helps support the blog and podcast). If you do not have a copy or have tossed it at someone during a crucial conversation, it is time to buy a copy. Please use the link above!

Secondly, the Business Agility Conference (March 11 -12, 2020 in New York City) is sponsoring the Software Process and Measurement Podcast. If you are a friend on the podcast and blog and are shopping for a great business agility conference, this one I recommend. Check out the conference at, and use the special code “spamcast” to get a 20% discount!