Sunday, March 11, 2007


Yet Another Manifesto

Ken Judy posted his Product Development Manifesto that is worthy of reading...

Building consumer software is a joyous and daunting challenge. We, software developers, owe Oxygen and Oxygen’s customers every chance at success. We believe success springs from the following principles:

It’s all for the end user

The most important relationship is between us, the people building these tools and the women and men who are our customers. We must continually refine our products based on ever increasing knowledge of our customers.

People own their identity and information

We respect our customers. We respect their privacy. We believe people own their virtual selves.

To that end, we will never misuse data, we will always provide a way to keep personal information private, we will always give our customers a way to export their assets and remove their identity from our systems.

Each tool we build helps people do a specific thing better than anything else available

Build the best solution for a specific need felt by a broad range of women.

Build simple tools that are useful, elegant and fun and go from there

First build a specific solution and then abet our customers using that tool in ways we never imagined.

This is both a cause and a business

We must remember that this is a business proposition. As our products evolve, we need to understand the revenue models and targets. We need to help define and measure appropriate metrics. We need to do everything we can without sacrificing the other values in this manifesto to achieve the business aim of the company.

Gerry Laybourne is the product owner

If our most important relationship is with our customers, our most important collaboration is with our product owner. Gerry sets our priorities. She must embrace what we are doing. Our relationship must remain direct. The best way to convey information is face-to-face.

These tools spring first and foremost from Gerry’s imagination. Direct connection between Gerry’s vision and our team’s creative efforts leads to success.

We are inventors

We must imagine solutions outside current limitations and ask ourselves, “what of this can be done now”. We must build something never seen before that when handed to the right consumer feels inevitable and obvious.

We must engage creativity, empathy with our customers, resolute professionalism and an inspired sense of play.

If we don’t love our inventions, no one else will.

We have authority, we are responsible, we are accountable

We are a self-organizing team in the best spirit of Agility.

If we, the people doing the work, allow this project to drift from its founding principles it will fail - with consequences for all concerned. In the face of that possibility, we must have courage to speak truth to power.

Specific technologies and mediums are just tools. Get over them.

This project is about helping our customer get more out of computing and making a profit for our company. We must not let assumptions or affection for specific tools, technologies and platforms on anyone’s part distract us from our mission.

Admit failure and move on

Resources are limited. Set specific, measurable goals. Face the truth and course correct. Don’t knowingly waste time or effort. Don’t use lack of knowledge as an excuse for wasted time or effort.

I wonder how many enterprise architects have ever considered creating manifesto's for their organization...

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