WIFM is everyone’s favorite radio station.

Everyone’s favorite radio station is WIFM, or, “what’s in it for me.”  I was consulting with a company that develops software for the property casualty insurance industry.  During one of my consulting engagements, I encouraged a group of developers to learn about the insurance industry.   Yeah, that is right.  I encouraged them to learn about the core business.  What a crazy idea!  A couple these developers discovered there are numerous journals, magazines, organizations, and conferences dedicated to just the property causality insurance industry.  By the way, I have learned over the years every industry has its own magazines, conferences, and trade shows.

These same developers asked to go to a property causality industry trade show instead of the standard software conference.   One of the developers told me, “it was like a million light bulbs went off in my head.  I walked up to one of our competitor’s booth and watched a demo of their software products.  I thought their product was really cool, then I took a big gulp and realized our product can’t do that.”  At the conference, like many conferences, there were small group meetings.  One of the meetings was on how information technology impacts the insurance industry.  To the surprise and delight of the software developers out of the fifty or so attending the small group session, they were the only software developers.  The rest of the group was comprised of those internal clients that interface with software development.   The small group welcomed these two developers with open arms and they became the focus of small group discussion.  In the end, the software developers collected a fist full of business cards from companies offering them jobs.

Unfortunately most software developers do not subscribe to trade industry magazine, conference or trade shows that represent the core business.  Instead, they stay huddled up in their cubes blaming their users for poor requirements.  They have not figured out that their lack of knowledge regarding the core business is part of the problem of poor requirements.

Read More at Reboot! Rethinking and Restarting Software.


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