Rethinking Technology Requirements, Snuggie Style

Tim O'Connell | 10.17.12
Topics: Software Requirements & Selection

Do You Understand the Technology Requirements of Your Users?

Last week, on one of the first cold nights of fall, I noticed my daughter donning the Snuggie that she had convinced me to buy for her. I then noticed that she didn’t bother to put her arms trough the sleeves. I distinctly recalled her insistence that the sleeved blanket would vastly improve her couch sitting experience. I can’t help thinking that there is a lesson here for technology professionals.

While I’m not suggesting that IT departments stop buying blankets with sleeves (server rooms can be pretty cold), it is important to question whether a business need is really being addressed by a given software purchase. The obvious consequence of failing to do that is the money wasted. A subtler but equally important consideration is the impact on the usability of IT systems as a whole.

Unused software tools and features add complexity that can frustrate users and slow them down. Asking the right questions, early in the budget process, can avoid unnecessary expenses, add-ons, or customizations – improving the users experience.

The fact that my daughter should have been fully trained in the use of her Snuggie before it was rolled out to her is another issue altogether...

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