| Continuing the thread on feedback systems,|
Feedback and Product Development
When I (a software developer) was younger, I felt that customer feedback --
especially in the
context of new product development -- was a deterrent to innovation. It still might be in some situations, but over years I have corrected my
position, and have learnt to listen to customers and patrons.
Turns out that if you carefully choose whom to listen,
they (customers and patrons) are full of product development ideas for you -- both
incremental as well as radical. One just has to be smart to
distinguish the good ideas from the junk feedback.
True Peer Review: A Process for Processing Feedback
If you are in product development business, and solicit feedback
you get a lot of it (especially if the solicitation is accompanied by
goodies of value like free lunch). Traditionally, the companies went
through a process of reviewing and summarizing the feedback thus
received before decision making. But the people reviewing the feedback did not have
the same perspective as the originators of the feedback, and many bad ideas were
pursued while some good ones were not.
The new trend in feedback processing is true peer review. The principle is simple - if the
idea came from a doctor, get it reviewed by another doctor; if the feedback came
from a customer, get it reviewed by another customer. If you see a competitor
implement a radical new feature, don't ask your customers about it, but rely on an internal
process to review the feature.
I have discovered tremendous value in true peer reviews. It is democracy
working its might into a business process -- state senators don't decide national policies
and the congressmen don't vote on country issues -- it is wonderful.
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, August 31, 2001|
Last Modified: 1/29/2003