I’ve been having a hard time seeing what the practice of the lean principal ‘customer pulls value’ means in the context of creating software. The only true pull I could think of is a crowd sourced backlog. That’s useful some of the time, but not in all cases. Otherwise, it seems that some type of stimulation needs to occur (‘pull on behalf of’).

This leads me to two possible (and not mutually exclusive) conclusions:

  1. ‘Customer pulls value’ is not a principal, but rather is itself a practice (a technique to be used in certain contexts) used in support of a principal such as “customer co-creation and collaboration” (in which both push and pull occur).
  2. We recognize empathy as the practice that supports the ‘customer pulls value’ principal, as it can be proactively initiated while fully maintaining receptivity to pulling.

From wikipedia:

Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings (such as sadness or happiness) that are being experienced by another semi-sentient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion.