Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Whole Enchilada

Ever buy a washing machine or dryer? Often times you'll buy one and then be told that if you want the power cord it'll be an extra charge....what the......?

There is a topic I recently covered at school (Stevens Technology) - Whole Product. Basically you need to determine what the user is expecting and what the team is planning on delivering and determining the difference, making plans to remove the gap of the two. Talk about dissatisfier? How do you explain to your client that to make their $1 million system work, they need to purchase a $2 software package to allow it to run. What would you say?

As we go through developing Projects - the Statement of Work, Description, etc. - we need to understand the entire need and set of expectations and ensure that the project either provides for them or explicitly says otherwise (IN LARGE WORDS).

A Whole Product includes all the pieces to make it work, measure success, communicate about the product, etc - yes a software product NEEDS to include metrics, marketing and post live maintenance IN ADDITION to the product itself. Don't forget to include ALL groups when developing a whole product picture - you'll need hardware or hosting - right? What about the sponsor's needing a way to measure success or audit billing? What about the developers needing post live information to support and maintain the system. List ALL GROUPS, put yourself in their shoes and make sure that what is being delivered provides a complete product.

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