Are you building the right product?
This is often the most important and most neglected question to ask yourself when working on a project.
It is easy to lose focus of the clients needs. It is easy to head down the wrong direction if you don’t fully understand the business.
Always take the time to re-align yourself and ask the question, “Are we building the right solution?”. “Are we meeting the requirements in an appropriate way that delivers value?”.
Sometimes the Client Doesn’t Know the Answer
Even the users don’t always know exactly what the right product should look like when it is finished.
You might be building the product right according to the requirements, but you may still be building the wrong product!
You need to understand how users currently do their work, and ensure your solution improves their efficiency and productiveness.
The best way to achieve this is to continually interact with your users throughout the development process to get feedback. Have your users test what you have done thus far to help them better discover their needs.
Remember, you want them to use the product once it is finished. Even if you satisfy your “contractual obligations”, delivering a useful product helps build referrals and generate new and repeat business.
You can always build exactly what they initially asked for, hand it to them, take your pay check and run… But wouldn’t you rather they recommend you to others or potentially hire you again in the future? And if you are developing internal software instead? Do you really want your boss to tell you that you need to start over or possibly even fire you? Probably not!
You are responsible for your software, take pride in developing it!