I read "Shannon Paul's Very Official Blog" this afternoon & found an interesting statement about the interaction between developers and other business folks.
What caught my attention was: "developers and engineers see it as their role to identify products or solutions — it’s your job [as a social media / marketing / product owner] to define the problem or list requirements".
I think she's saying the developers she works with see it as their job to create the product/solution based on a problem statement. I don't think this is universally true of software types - many (most) that I have worked with see it as their job to implement someone else's vision of a product. In other words, we build the software, but we don't identify the market need or product as a rule.
Many of the more entrepreneurial types do indeed handle the whole ball of wax, from ideation to development to marketing. Most of my fellow coder-nauts see themselves as "software guys" rather than entrepreneurs, though.
Perhaps a useful communication idea would be to describe how not being responsible for the product concept and marketing phases of a project will make their jobs both easier and more valuable.
"Easier" is simple enough to understand, since it means less work.
"More valuable" is more nebulous, but consider: by not getting tied to a product concept too early, you're avoiding preconceptions about what a product should be or should look like. It may not be intuitive, but in my experience having fewer preconceptions makes for better and more versatile software.
What do you think?
Monday, October 12, 2009
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