Most people involved in the development of solutions, be it software or otherwise, don’t get exposed to the customer or get a view of the customer that is filtered through someone else’s eyes like a Business Analyst or Product Manager.
Agile methods recognize that involving everyone in the process is useful to gain insights and empathy toward the customer. For some not used to this it can feel ‘weird’. Who needs this soft stuff.
However knowing the soft stuff is going to help deliver the hard stuff with greater accuracy (not precision).
A tool that assist is the Customer Empathy map that I have attendees to my Fundamentals of Agile course undertake. They don’t feel confident about it, they feel like it’s ‘weird’. However during the course of the exercise they soon pick up on the idea and find out things that they probably would not have thought of otherwise.
Even if the answers feel wrong, persist in this exercise. That feeling of uncertainty or ‘weirdness’ will build to confidence and a feeling that we know more of the purpose of the product that we want to produce.
Hopefully we all feel happier with the end result, customer and supplier alike.