Setting Enhancement Priorities

first-pants-then-your-shoesYou have just implemented a system.   As always, the schedule forced the delay of some of the features and most are OK with that… for now.

The list of enhancements is long and includes both the requests of the patient user community, and the perhaps less patient executive team.  The executive list should get the same level of scrutiny as the user community list.  If there are objective measures behind all of the enhancements then it will make the conversation less tricky.  If not, then it is time for a Crucial Conversation.  If the executive list is implemented blindly without a comparative analysis of all of the enhancements, then there is a real risk of undermining the corporate objectives and any hope of confidence from the user community.

While you go about setting enhancement priorities, make sure the rigor behind the process of determining the priority is at the top of the list.

1 Response to “Setting Enhancement Priorities”


  1. 1 Brett Gibson January 4, 2016 at 1:17 pm

    The Product Owner concept is an attempt to get one voice for the software product, and anyone who has taken that role becomes the one throat to choke for competing interests. Not a pleasant job.

    Often, this role simply exposes cultural conflict of misaligned organizational direction. But now you’ve got someone to blame – usual corporate disfunction.

    Special interest is one of the causes behind franken-ware. It is an attempt to own (or hijack) the voice of the customer or meddle with decisions.

    This is the opportunity cost of bad decisions and misalignment in SDLC. It is almost always the human inability to differentiate between trivial and important, the need for instant gratification, the societal value of having it all – creating a never ending wish list of frivolous requests disguised as brain-storming.

    This is not a software issue – it is a people issue. Software development is an on-going sociological experiment in organizational clamoring, infighting and focus. SDLC does not have the ability to transform garbage ideas into amazing products – and I’ve seen a lot of that recently.

    Developers are being asked to validate business ideas over technical decisions… and SDLC has started to become the proverbial lipstick on the pig.


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Dan Clark

Dan Clark

Principal of Bowline Consulting, process designer/fixer, wireless telecom veteran, addicted pick up soccer player, fly fisher, backpacker, beer brewer, guitar player, choir singer, recovering bag piper

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