Pair program with me!

Why? Why? Why?

Are you afraid to ask, “why?” It is such a simple question. Just one syllable and the sentence is complete. Yet I remember struggling with my ability to ask that very question. Now I ask myself, “Why not?” Asking is a great way to make sure you are delivering true value to your customer.

I’d like to start like Freud and blame our parents. If you grew up like me you weren’t really allowed to utter that word to your parents when they told you to do something. Also if you were like me it was because I repeated the question over an over until I had driven someone crazy. So why alone can bring back memories of frustrated parents, and we don’t want our customers to be frustrated with us.

Customers are paying us to ask them, “why?” When we ask, “why,” we are taking the opportunity to truly understand what the customer needs. The customer sees that we are trying to understand the heart of their business. No customer is going to be upset that we are excited and inquisitive about what they want us to accomplish. If they want someone to sit down and not have input then they should have hired someone else. What better way to know more about the product than to ask lots of questions.

The answers help better direct the product and make decisions about how to move forward. When we understand the why we can let the customer know how sound of an idea we are working on. News Flash: The customer isn’t always right. It is part of our job to help them get there. It is really hard to help fulfil their needs when we don’t truly understand their needs.

Okay, I need to ask myself now, “Why did I write this article?” Well, I’m tried of seeing bad features in great products. I’m tired of cleaning up after people who refused to ask that simple question. Sure, I appreciate the client, but I’d much rather spend my time adding new features instead of fixing the ones that were misunderstood or half-cocked ideas.

Pluses to asking “Why?”

The Past

Contact Me

Binary Noggin
This Agile Life