Speaker: RICHARD CUNNINGHAM Principal Consultant
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Audience: Business Analyst, Admin, Developer
Length: 15 mins
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You’re about to develop a new software solution and worry about it meeting your customer’s expectations. How do you know what the customer expects? You schedule a discovery meeting to find out. How can you make sure you’ll find out everything the customer needs from your solution? Most likely you will not capture everything the customer needs in 1 discovery meeting.
The customer will first tell you about their pain points and what they must have from our solution. Discussing those will bring up other needs but the customer may not recall everything they need during the meeting. You will need a well defined scope to focus on the customer needs that the software solution will fill and only those needs. You want to capture enough customer needs within the scope to ultimately delivers a solution that meets or exceeds customer’s expectations. They may want features that can go into a future release of the solution or maybe have needs for another solution. These are out of the current discovery scope. Once you’ve captured the customer’s needs, you turn the details over to a software architect or developer to design the solution. They may have questions about what the customer expects from a solution. When a development team builds a solution, they could have questions about how the solution should behave in a certain situation. Meanwhile, the customer may change their business processes in a way that affects your solution and they may forget to tell you about those changes. Priorities can change, making some needs more important than others or new requirements can pop up.
How do you manage changing needs, pop up requirements, questions from architects and developers about what the customer expects from this solution? Continuous improvement of discovery deals with these challenges with frequent brief meetings with teleconferences with key stakeholders. Stay in scope keeps these meetings brief as well as focusing on the issues that have emerged since the last meeting. These brief frequent meetings keep all stakeholders up to speed with solution development so that you can deliver a solution that exceeds customer expectations–the ultimate goal of software development.