The Right Product

The Right (documentation) Product comes out of the IdentifySpecify, and Design procedures.

The Right Product is the one that satisfies the customer's needs.

The Right Product is:

  • Fit for its purpose
  • Used correctly when needed
  • Produces the right outcome.

How many ways can you think of for the so-called "right product" to become a lemon?

For example, if someone has to repair something overhead, using both hands, how will they know what to do next?

 Last century Donald Norman (The Design of Everyday Things) said that the sign Do not step here points to a design flaw.  Gause and Weinberg (Are your lights on?) said when you have a solution, test it on a foreigner, a blind person or a child or make yourself foreign, blind or child-like. Jerry Weinberg knows - he was the architect for the Mercury Project's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system.)

Now review your Identify, Specify, and Design outputs.  Do you need to ask more Identify questions?  Add more detail to the specification?  Modify the design?

When you have performed those tests on your documentation solution, you are probably getting close to the Right Product.

And of course you must test the documentation product.  Otherwise, how will you know it works as intended?  And who said testing had to be long and expensive?  Be practical and be realistic.  Read Weinberg's Perfect Software and other illusions about testing.  It is all about reducing risk for the person who makes decisions using what we have written.

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