elevator test

Posted by anton
on Thursday, January 29, 2009

building software for a business, i established an interesting test that shows me whether i am thinking in the right direction:

off the top of your head name five most important things that technology can improve for the business as it is right now

i’ll wait – can you do it? right here, on the spot?

the way i see it – if, after having worked in a new team for a few months, you cannot do it – you have failed. you are not thinking about the business, you do not know the business, you do not care.

as technologists we are all too often drawn to the technical problems, forgetting that it is really the business that we should have in mind. the catch is that the domain of the software problems is infinite, so one can submerge forever without delivering anything of value to the business.

disclaimers apply, of course – it particularly matters for those developers working closely with the business. but then your definition of “business” might vary; the point is that sometimes a correct technical solution is the wrong one.

so while you are at it, type up this list and stick it somewhere visible, so that you can have it in front of you every day (as i’ve talked about it before).

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