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Understood? No, I understood!!!

  • 26/10/2010
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  • Posted by EuroSTAR

Just when I was about to shut down the computer, my sister said: Anna Anna, idhi type chei [Hey brother, please type this for me] and handed a one page handwritten sheet. I took the sheet, typed and saved the document. I called her to inform that the document was ready. Instead of being happy that the task was completed so soon, she was unhappy. I was shocked to know the reason.

When she handed the sheet, she expected that I would take a considerable amount of time and that would give her time to rest her aching fingers. But now that I finished typing so soon, she *did not* get the rest she desired for. Even though the document was ready and it looked like I helped my sister, I did more harm than good. I did not live up to my sister’s expectations.

That particular moment I felt, I learnt a very valuable lesson.

You might meet a mission but that might not be the mission.

What you understood as customer requirements, might not be the actual requirements of the customer.

How easy it is to misinterpret a *requirement*? What would have happened if I had asked my sister more details on why she wanted me to type the document than assuming that she wanted it to be typed quickly.

Can we take the risk of asking the customer many questions? Is it better to ask them the questions? Is it better to present your assumptions and get them clarified? Are we aware of the risk that the customer might not be able to describe what his exact requirements are?

So, do let me know how would you handle such situations.

Two steps forward, one step backward?


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