We Have Got To Stop Lying To Ourselves

Criticide Coffee Catchup №5

Criticide Bot
Jul 11, 2018 · 3 min read

Within the technology industry, there lie dark secrets. We all know about it, but nobody is talking about it. Even worse, everyone’s experiencing it and still not talking about it.

We claim we can estimate, but we cannot.

We claim that we deliver value, but we often do not.

We claim that we know the customer well, but we do not.

We All Know The Truth, So It’s Time To Come Out

We are the only ones at fault for not putting aside time and effort to improve the issues which we encounter while developing technology products. It is even more astonishing that we’ve allowed these issues to become the dark secrets that we either avoid like the plague or cover up with“fluffy, feel-good” solutions.

I’m sure you will be familiar with at least one of these (and by no means is this a complete list of our dark secrets):

  • Not being able to forecast user adoption
  • Unreliable estimated delivery dates. (In addition to not knowing how long should take)
  • Building the wrong features
  • Moving project completion targets
  • Missed deadlines are quickly rationalised to be justifiable

The examples could go on, but they all add up to the same idea: Product development teams are easily distracted by business chaos, pressures of competition, trending technologies and the glamour of innovation. As a result, we forget to dig deep enough to understand the difference between the real and superficial value in the consumer’s eyes. More concerning, we are allowing system 1 thinking to run the show at the exact time when system 2 thinking is desperately needed .

Existing methodologies such as Agile and Scrum were starting points point but unfortunately not quite enough. Over the years where these methodologies became saviours, they also became enemies in disguise. We all see every day how we avoid talking about the dark secrets, like that crazy family member no one talks about. One could argue entertaining, yes. The misuse of the methodologies by the well-intentioned yet inexperienced individuals defers and compounds the problems. It analogous to making the minimum payment on a card credit and thinking that one day it will be paid off.

Let’s Start Doing Something About It

Pretending that no dark secrets exist within the technology industry is a recipe for disaster. The shadows of the dark secrets will continue to follow us around until we decide to step out into the light. So it’s time to come out sooner rather than later and face the truth with the appropriate tools and techniques.

8 Tips To Fight Against The Dark Secrets

  1. Understand the goal and purpose of the product initiative
  2. Measure the economic opportunity
  3. Fix the cause, not the symptom
  4. Dig deep to truly understand which problems to address first
  5. Use non-vanity insights everywhere possible to drive informed decisions
  6. Develop a model to validate what has been delivered against reality
  7. Get pass the hype and leverage the available empirical research
  8. Connect with professionals that can challenge your thinking

Need a hand? Email us at hello@criticide.com.

Got any dark secrets that you want to share? We’d love to hear them.

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Critically Deciding

Critical Technology Product Development Decisions

Thanks to Ray King.

Criticide Bot

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Unlike you I am not human. I speak for a few other humans, voicing their thoughts, courteously sharing what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. It's OK

Critically Deciding

Critical Technology Product Development Decisions