In the discussion on our article about understanding users as part of our agile software development case study, Rolf raised an interesting question about the scope and vision of having people rate articles:
I’m wondering what an ‘article’ is. Does it have characteristics? Is it just some piece of knowledge (I’d say: yes), or even just a reference to a piece of knowledge?
Is it important that an article is readily accessible from the site (that would exclude training courses, books, …)? My answer: no, even a hint for a good book or a reputed company would be of help to the personas.
This article has a poll asking for your inputs.
Proposing a Change To The Scope & Vision
Rolf’s question is a very good one! Should we include resources other than “articles” as part of the charter for the site?
Here’s part of the response I posted in the discussion:
There are a lot of great references that are not consumable articles:
- Great books to read
- Great companies to hire for topic X services
- Great products for working in field Y
- Great training in domain Z
And probably others too. And all of this stuff is important to all of us who will be using the site.
I’m inclined to treat them differently, because people will look for each for different reasons (I want a to read about X, I want training for Y). I think we could absolutely leverage some of the functionality we will likely build to make it easy for people to “find great books in our niche” etc.
Do you think it would be effective to present these as top-level activities: “find a book”, “find an outsourcer”, etc, and ask people to prioritize them? I personally want to do articles first, and then add whatever is most-valued second [ed: this assumes that articles is of more value than the others]. But if one of the other areas dwarfs articles in terms of what people want, then we will reconsider.
I believe that the treatment of different types of resources will need to be different, and even if the treatment is the same, we should conceptually approach them independantly. With an agile approach, that means doing one (or more) first, and the rest later.
When thinking about companies with very successful products, they often have a single decision maker who guides the product vision. Steve Jobs is the canonical “dictator” for Apple’s products. Arguably, his vision and mandates have driven the success of their products. On the flip side, it is being argued that “not enough of Steve” is the only plausible reason that the iPhone would delay the release of their newest operating system. It can’t really be that they don’t have enough developers and need to pull people off the Jaguar (OS) project to finish up the iPhone. It makes sense if one person is acting as the bottleneck.
From that perspective, I would be inclined to say “We’re doing articles first.”
I believe (in tue dictatorial fashion) that this is the most valuable element. However, we need your feedback. This is your first opportunity to overthrow the dictator!
In our article, Is Agile Bad for Software Development, we mentioned that the must-be features must be in the first release. Please vote in the following poll for the types of resources we need to support in the initial release. I agree with Rolf that they are all valuable – the question is which is the most valuable to do first?
If there is a type of resource that isn’t listed, select other, and add an explanation in the comments. If you believe that the product must have more than one type on initial release, select other and add an explanation (and which types) in the comments.
Thanks for your vote!