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This chapter is from the book

Define success in your stakeholders’ terms

Have you ever been to a “final ship” party? The product is complete, testing is over, and the download images or discs are built. Tomorrow morning the product will be available to customers. It’s over.

Or is it?

Don’t get us wrong, we like parties too.

Let’s just be clear what it is we’re celebrating.

It definitely is time to celebrate the completion of a major milestone. But it isn’t success. Success comes when your clients can achieve their business goals through your product.

You are, however, now firmly in the production phase of a software product’s life cycle. You’re about to face three waves of work, each requiring specific outside-in development techniques to adequately manage.

The first wave is brief, and it continues until a target number of early-adopter clients declare success with the product. The second continues for quite some time, until the next milestone event of shipping a follow-on release. That signals the start of the third wave: long-term product support.

Because outside-in development is a stakeholder-based approach, it should be no surprise that success must be defined in the stakeholders’ terms. Beyond that, a variety of OID techniques can assist you to succeed with your stakeholders in all three waves and to leverage your experiences to improve subsequent products.

We cover this in depth in Chapter 6, Defining Success in Your Stakeholders’ Terms.

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