Critical Customer Requirements or Understanding Remy

RemyonmybooksRemy-chan is my one-eared white fluffy cat.*  He’s lived with me for over 10 years.

Keeping Remy happy and giving him a quality environment is very simple:

  1. Feed him cat treats every morning at 6am and 8:30 pm every evening
  2. Fill the cat food bowl to the brim daily
  3. Refill the water bowl daily
  4. Empty the litter box daily……And most importantly:
  5. Feed him canned food for dinner every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If I miss #2 or #3, Remy’s eyes may sparkle a little less, he might meow at me reproachfully, but the world is not ending.

if I miss #4, Remy will pick fights with my other cat to get him to stay away from the limited space in the box.  No Litter No Peace.

If I miss #5 and fail to feed him canned food on the weekends, I will wake up to an angry cat and am likely to see a one or more hairballs because he hyperventilated out of irritation.

All five of these things are important, but not all of them are equally important to Remy.  If I want to keep Remy happy I have to prioritize the critical items he believes are important.  You can guess which requirements are Remy’s Highest Priority Critical Customer Requirements.

Your customers all have requirements that they have communicated to you.  All of them are NOT equally important.  You could be on target with 8 out 10 of their requirements and miss the one or two that are their CCRs and lose some of their goodwill.

I’ll keep this short:

  1. When you’re defining the scope of your project, make sure you understand which requirements are critical.
  2. After you’ve defined our scope, make sure your plan builds those CCRs in.  Hoping that I’ll have enough canned cat food at the end of the week will not guarantee that Remy will have canned cat food for dinner. Planning to buy cat food every Saturday and keeping a reserve keeps cat food in the house.

It’s important to understand your customer’s view of a Quality deliverable. But it’s even better to understand how they prioritize their requirements.  Don’t guess which is more important – sometimes the only way you can find out is to ask.

Leave a comment or send me a tweet.  My id is @jgodfrey.

* Remy lost his right ear in 2008 due to a bout with cancer

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