Phase I - 2 - Development - Focus On User Needs - Consider Stage Of Evolution

This is a Request For Comments about how to structure doctrine in terms of microdoctrine (a pattern language for implementing and learning doctrine)

Phase: Stop Self Harm
Category: Development
Principle: Focus On User Needs
Practice: Consider Stage Of Evolution

Any value we create is through meeting the needs of others. A mantra of “not sucking as much as the competitors” is not acceptable. We must be the best we can be.

Consider these first:
Examine Transactions and Identify End User Needs

Illustrative description:
Your customers and field experts may be wrong about the needs. Consider what stage of evolution the need is in to know what to expect.

Detailed description:
Understand the stage of evolution the user need is at.

Consider if the user need is novel, uncharted, or a brand new idea. Consider if people refer to the need with wonder and focus on its unlimited potential. The need may be in a genesis stage of evolution. These types of needs are both rare and uncertain. This means you are going to have to gamble. There is no consistent way of determining what the user actually needs. With something novel the users don’t know themselves what they need. Be prepared to pivot.

If the user need is custom built or a product you have to listen to the users and the experts. They can guide you to what they need.

Consider if the user need is in the early days of industrialization. Consider if the need is in the early days of being a commodity or a utility. In this case, you have to be mindful of user and expert bias. The inertia of past success causes this bias. You already know the need but you must provide the need in volume and it has to be good enough.

Consider if the user need transitions between evolutionary stages. It can transition from custom built to product. It can transition from product to a commodity or utility. When transitioning, the pre-existing solution causes inertia to the change. Users and experts may fixate on a legacy world and have a bias towards it. This is the equivalent to a user saying to Henry Ford – “we don’t want a car; we want a faster horse!”. Be wary of the legacy mindset.


Consider next :
Align Value Generation With User Needs

Reproduced and adapted from writings by Simon Wardley under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.