LinuxWorld: Cocoon Wars, Episode 3: The Users Byte Back
Dec 20, 2002, 13:00 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Murphy)
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"I once had a professor who claimed he decided to teach computer
science because it was the only way he could get to play with the
toys without having to deal with users. He's dead now, but every
time I find myself in a preliminary project-specification meeting
with the local management's nominated users, I get closer to
agreeing with him. That's certainly what happened last week when I
met with several groups of Nichievo's users, mainly from the sales
and analyst communities.
"On the positive side, I did get to wander around a couple of
working offices and had a chance to meet with several customers.
That got me a few nuggets that make the technology choice easier.
But the rest of it? What a waste of time.
"The sad fact is that early-stage requirements
meetings--professionally known as Joint Application Design (JAD)
sessions--often waste everyone's time and get projects started off
in the wrong direction. You frequently get the wrong people, and
the few attendees who contribute to completing the organization's
work often let their perceptions of you--and their concerns about
how others at the meeting see them--shape their comments to the
point of obliterating the value..."