One of the saddest things I have heard/experienced in my years working in software is when a software team gets an RFP (i.e., request for proposals) from a client that asks for a specific project developed with a certain set of features. The product team sequesters itself for a couple of months, builds the software, tests it to make sure it works reliably. Then, for the big reveal, the client callously admits that what the team created was not really what they had in mind. But…. you literally asked… for just that. Worse yet, they go with a competitor that fit what they were seeking for one reason or another instead.
This is an unfortunately reality that happens all too often in software design. It shows the disconnect that has existed for years between software development and the client experience. We’re still talking about innovation, but it’s an innovation in process. It’s about listening to the meaning behind the request. So, I’m hearing you, please stop yelling, yes I can hear you. It’s very easy for me to stand in my house, which happens to be glass, and throw stones at the development process of some good software design teams. Continue reading “What they ask, what they want”