Software development blunders…..Exposing programmers / developers to clients

This seems to be a common issues when working with small teams, exposing programmers / developers to clients i.e allowing clients to directly access programmers for their development requirements. The common reasons why it happens:

  1. Client feel comfortable passing on requirements directly (instead of documenting it and processing it through the development process)
  2. Project managers feel it gives quicker results and cuts down the development time
  3. Over all, stake holders may feel it is a cost saving option

In reality, it never works that way, it always backfires at some stage of the project, reasons being:

  1. Programmers are not good documenters, and lot of undocumented work gets processed
  2. It becomes difficult for the testing / QA to quality assure the product, due to lack of documentation and product knowledge
  3. It becomes difficult for the support people to support the client on the product, again due to lack of documentation on product
  4. Beyond development, it creates issues for the development team whenever:
    • The original developer is not available
    • Change in development team or the the company supporting the product
  5. Clients might feel comfortable while development, but it is not in their interest to try and avoid following the development process of the vendor
  6. Project managers might find it easier to manage projects in such a way, but such project are more open to failure
  7. Stake holders may save cost initially, but on a longer run, it might prove unviable
  8. And last but not the least….project scope management becomes unmanageable (good for client but not good for the developers)

There are few exceptions on which this should be allowed:

  1. Really small development teams (1-2 developers)
  2. Teams where developers are project managers / tester / support
  3. Small budget projects
  4. Developing prototypes

Otherwise……Best practice…..development process has to be in place and…has to be followed and wherever possible….exposing programmers / developers to clients should be avoided.

May 28, 2007 · Rahul Desai · No Comments
Posted in: Project Management, Software Engineering

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