Do We Listen too Much to the “Business”?

Yesterday I watched a documentary on National Geographic about the infamous Sampoong Dept Store Collapse. It immediately got me thinking of some of the threads running here on testing and the business case for testing. In Agile and in our industry in general we always say that fulfilling business requirements are our top priority…

The Sampoong disaster was probably caused by spinelessly following the business requirements. The collapse was caused by building the store in an incremental fashion with the “business” requirements taking precedence over every reasonable engineering concern.

  • The cross-section area of the pillars was reduced by 50% to give more useful floor space.
  • An extra floor was added as an afterthought.
  • 5 extra cm was added to the extra floor to allow under floor heating.

Do we risk making the same mistake in our business? Will we provide solutions that the customers ask for even when they are not good for them? Will we perhaps give bids so low that we cannot deliver a reliable solution?

Two recent IT incidents in Sweden highlights the risks:

Finally, a humorous picture to cheer things up:

Two persons discussing slavery.

Black History: Transition from Servitude BY STORMBEAR, ON APRIL 10TH, 2008. Used under a creative commons license, click image for details.

About Greger Wikstrand

Greger Wikstrand, Ph.D. M.Sc. is a TOGAF 9 certified enterprise architect with an interest in e-heatlh, m-health and all things agile as well as processes, methods and tools. Greger Wikstrand works as a consultant at Capgemini where he alternates between enterprise agile coaching, problem solving and designing large scale e-health services ...

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