The “political” client
Not many people is familiar with this kind of clients. It is one of the most dangerous clients and feared by everyone. Let’s start from the beginning.
There are situations where the client is what we call in Spain “political client” (I don’t know in other countries). A political client is a client that it can completely change just because a democratic election (or inner fights). The new clients elected don’t know and don’t have access to the previous clients. Things are barely documented and they have different goals and perspectives (usually arriving with a magnificence feeling, cutting, replacing, etc.). They probably hate the previous client, so whatever they did, it was wrong.
And how this thing goes for the hired company that has a project with the previous client? Well, the new client cannot stop the project because it is a lot of money, but you can guess that whatever it was done, it wasn’t good because the previous client was “evil”. And the previous client was “inefficient” so they probably will push the company to finish everything earlier, making threats, etc.
Be careful with these situations. Don’t think that just calculating the time when the democratic elections happen will remove the problem. There are inner fights and things can change the same way with people from the same political party. If you go into a government project, be sure the people you have is the right one. People is the key.
How do you fight this?
* You have to stay firm with the new client. Same rules (agile) should apply. He can change everything if he wants, but following the proper way and warning about the consequences of moving into different ways (All of this in a very polite way and indirect, of course). You gotta sell that the process doesn’t impact the output, so you can have as many “outputs” as you wish. Hard to say, and not true, I know, though you have to do it in that critical situation for not really crashing everything. Later on, you can step-by-step moving into other ways if necessary.
* He basically needs to feel happy and feel that things are going to change. Well, agile is about that, change. Just make sure you can save “agile” with the political change.
* There are other ways. If you have this problem, contact me to discuss it.