The troubles began when Tom, the business analyst, asked the customer what he wants. The customer came up with good ideas for software features. Tom created a brilliant roadmap and defined the requirements for a new software product. Mary, the development team leader, was already eager to start developing and happy when she got the requirements. She and her team went ahead and created the software right away. Afterwards, Paul tested the software against the requirements. As soon as the software fulfilled the requirements, Linda, the product manager, deployed it to the customer. The customer did not like the software and ignored it. Ringo, the head of software development, was fired. How come? Nowadays, we have tremendous capabilities for creating nearly all kinds of software to fulfill the needs of customers. We can apply agile practices for reacting flexibly to changing requirements, we can use distributed development, open source, or other means for creating software at low cost, we can use cloud technologies for deploying software rapidly, and we can get enormous amounts of data showing us how customers actually use software products. However, the sad reality is that around 90% of products fail, and more than 60% of the features of a typical software product are rarely or never used. But there is a silver lining – an insight regarding successful features: Around 60% of the successes stem from a significant change of an initial idea. This gives us a hint on how to build the right software for users and customers.
Jürgen Münch (Hochschule Reutlingen, University of Helsinki): Continuously Experiment to Assess Values Early On