Know Your Customer

Communications with your customer(s) and team(s) is key to your success.  Knowing what they want is just as important as what you plan to deliver.  I laughed out loud (uncomfortably) when I saw the graphic to the left.  Though I'm not Jewish, I've worked with a lot of people from around the world.  I've grown to appreciate the things that make us all unique.  Trying to sell some Jews a ham on Chanukah is almost as bad as offering an all-you-can-eat meat buffet to a vegetarian.  It doesn't matter how good of a deal you can offer, the product itself must meet the needs (and wants) of the customer.  Perhaps if the vendor of the boneless smoked ham had the list below, they could have avoided this embarrassing (and potentially costly) situation. Problem Statement

Describe the business reason(s) for initiating the project or building a product, specifically stating the business problem.  Identify the high level goal it relates to.


Describe the approach the project or product will use to address the business problem.

Goals and Objectives

Describe the business goals and objectives of the project or product. (I like user stories)


Describe the project or product scope. The scope defines limits and identifies what is delivered (inclusive). The scope establishes boundaries and should describe products and/or services that are outside of the scope (exclusive).

Critical Success Factors (Acceptance Criteria)

Describe the factors or characteristics that are deemed critical to the success of a project or product, such that, in their absence the it will fail.


Describe any assumptions related to business, technology, resources, scope, expectations, or schedules.


Describe any constraints being imposed in areas such as schedule, budget, resources, products to be reused, technology to be employed, products to be acquired, and interfaces to other products. List the constraints based on the current knowledge today.

I want to thank my wife for sending me the image.