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False Myths: Customers does not care about technology they care about money

Yesterday a sentence like this was posted in a collaboration platform:

"At the end of the day your customers don’t care whether you’re agile, lean or practice design thinking."

I fully agree with the essence of this idea, but it does sounds misleading in one aspect of presentation: This sentence, when interpreted as "customers only care about money", could be a huge mistake.

Just because our customers do not care how we work, it does not mean that we should not care about methodologies and process. I don't care what products and tools my dentist uses; it's upto him, but I expect he cares about them a lot! Tools, processes and metodologies are in our domain and scope - though they do not need to be endorsed by or exposed to our customers, without an internal professional approach, we cannot deliver great products and services that solve meaningful problems for them in effective ways.

When the Business/Customer allocates a budget, there's an expectation of return value: a working, reliable product delivered in time and within budget. If something goes wrong, the Business/Customer complains about money because it is the only "unit of measure" that he/she knows that is understandable in our domain, and is the only common language he/she can speak with us.

As an analogy, When a new-bought car breaks down after a week, we go back to the vendor and complain

"Hey, I paid $$$ for this car but it does not work anymore!",

only because we do not know how to say

"Hey, this car has a design error , you should not have sold it!".

Ultimately, businesses care about "good products", but the way to deliver them cannot pass through a wrong approach or ignoring any methodology only because businesses don't care about them "explicitly".

Again, as an analogy from our experience on flights, I don't think we would expect our planes to be driven overlooking the current best practices, procedures and commonsense, or, even worst, piloted by the first available person.

Skills, knowledge and mastering the domain is the only way to give to the Business what it expects, any another approach is only a workaroud that undermines our reputation and credibility day after day.

© 2014 Stefano Apostolico. Built using Pelican. Member of the Internet Defense League.