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Scrum-a perfect fit for Kano model

Scrum model of Agile Project Management best addresses the excellent Kano model of Customer Satisfaction.


Types of Customer perception given by Kano model will be discussed here. There are features that will create varied perceptions on customers mind. Kano model serves as great guidance in understanding and figuring out how to delight the customer. Let us analyze the Kano model below and try to understand how Agile Scrum project management best aligns with the Kano model naturally.


Kano talks about following categories of customer requirements :

  • Attractive        – when present make customers delighted
  • Performance  – when fulfilled more the better
  • Must-Be         – Basic requirements – absence of these make customers unhappy

Scrum management being collaborative model with continuous customer involvements, no wonder Scrum management embraces Kano model of customer satisfaction. The best part is conversion of lower levels of satisfaction(or dissatisfaction) types (reverse, indifferent types) will be progressed into higher levels of customer delight by delivering attractive requirements to customer.




Kano Model - Scrum



Must-be characteristics. (If not fulfilled lead to extreme dissatisfaction) Very easy to guess. Some estimation technique use – MSCW technique, M stand stands for Must-be features. These must be features that appear right at the top on product backlog.  Not only do they burn first but there is a significant focus on executing these stories with very good quality. These requirements are priority for current sprint theme, hence the scrum team should be more focused on these and should not miss any of these requirements. In MSCW, S corresponds to “Should be”, C to “Could be” and W to “wont be” features respectively. If these basic requirements are not fulfilled customer becomes dissatisfied. If they are met there is no satisfaction, the absence of these create dissatisfaction. Therefore these are very critical features any Scrum team as the entire business depends on these characteristics.


Performance characteristics. These factors relate to performance of the product or service. These requirements when fulfilled, increase customer satisfaction. If requirements are not met and features don’t perform as per the expectations of customers, customers get dissatisfied. In scrum prioritization of features, burning down stories on time with less defects,  and good burning down velocities correspond to performance requirements.


Attractive (implied requirement) characteristics– these are features / qualities that customers don’t expect and are delighted on the their presence. On Agile Scrum we can consider activities  like delivering best possible product / service quality. Some examples could be Better sprint velocities, delivering less products defects than expected, reduction in deployment issues, reduced field complaints of the released iterations / module. Matured Scrum team just achieves this after few initial sprints. Since they will learn lessons from the reviews and retrospective stages of scrum.


We can also consider other characteristics like :


Indifferent – Well some of the documentation of reviews, unit testing records and release notes etc may not be required by customer and customer do not seem to focus on these artifacts. They are more interested in getting the sprint iterations into the market quicker. However the Project team can use these artifacts  for their own purpose in improving the productivity and predictability of their future sprints.


Reverse – Customer wants exactly the opposite. Could not be more relevant than the errors / defects that get introduced in the first few sprints especially when the project team is new to Scrum.


When all the sprints are executed and the product is realized as per the vision of the product owner and scrum master the “reverse” category is supposed to become nil and there should be more attractive features that got introduced on the way.


The beauty of the KANO is that even this can be used as internal customer satisfaction model by the QA team towards its internal customer viz., projects, management and other functions.


2 Responses

  1. […] Scrum-a perfect fit for Kano model « 3point4 – Attuning to Agile … […]

  2. […] Read this article: Scrum-a perfect fit for Kano model « 3point4 – Attuning to Agile … […]

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