Where Are the People in That Design?

Let me tell you what a successful software is not.

It isn’t just a system upgrade. It is not about existing software that is dated and needs an upgrade. It is rarely about providing some vendor system that people come to and adjust their business processes to match.

Rewrites and updates are the result of the passage of time, but other things have changed as well, namely people’s needs, perceptions and processes. In a product vacuum, it’s important to make sure we’re fully understanding the people using our software and how we best adapt to suit their purposes. Of course, this takes time, but in the end, it drastically reduces the amount of build effort.

Esther Derby says ”Software Migration is a People Problem. Treat it That Way” and it is, so we need to make sure we fully understand the issue before we talk about potential solutions. If software is a people problem, why is so much of the research not related to people and their needs, if there is any research at all?