Customer Qa

Many development processes emphasize the role of the customer in product development, WorryDrivenDevelopment is no exception. However, the customer in a WorryDrivenDevelopment process assumes a different role. Other processes focus on having the customer as a member of the design team; providing the team with requirements and UserStories and the like.

This is an AntiPattern. It is well known that TheCustomersAreIdiots, who if allowed to be involved in the design will loudly insist that IwantaPony, and will demonstrate a clear lack of sympathy for the limited resources available to the project. However, there is one area in which customers are quite useful - testing.

Simply ship software (labelled as "complete") to the customer. The defect reports from the field will start to roll in, as customers discover all sorts of defects uncovered by the design team. This practices has several key advantages:

Some methodologies advocate early release of pre-production code to customers to implement CustomerQa; this is often called BetaTesting. This, too, is an AntiPattern that should be avoided. For one thing, the customer may expect the discovered defects to be repaired before the "final" release is shipped. For another, in most cases this means foregoing a revenue opportunity, as many customers are reluctant to pay money for beta code. Unless, of course, it is labelled 1.0.

This is awesome.

However, I'm worried that there is not enough worrying involved here. And, is this actually accomplishing real work? WorryDrivenDevelopment avoids doing real work :)

Although, this practice does encourage the developers to avoid actually finishing there work. This does fit the WorryDrivenDevelopment definition somewhat :) Hmm, maybe we need an EndlessMeeting to discuss this...

Maybe this practice supports WorryDrivenDevelopment, but is really part of a much broader IdiotProofProcess, yet to be named, that WorryDrivenDevelopment is also a part of?

Thanks for a very enjoyable break in the day. Cheers, -- JasonNocks


View edit of April 28, 2004 or FindPage with title or text search