Blog post

Building the Right It

By Thomas Murphy | September 18, 2012 | 2 Comments


As we work through vendor conversation for the update to the Integrated Quality Suites MQ, we are seeing a tremendous number of interesting developments from the market though often they are fragmented.  At the same time it seems that we are being pushed forward to continue to do more and more to ensure that we are building software right and resulting in a pressure for more automation, more tests, more metrics in the: they didn’t work before but if we just do more then it will all be good mindset. 

While there is value in this, there are limits to the ability to do more and we find that often we end up with conflicting directives. I believe that as we continue to shift toward a production-centered mentality, away from projects, and continue to progress to Chief Marketing Officer involvement in the development process (oh no!) responsiveness will be critical and in a good way we may turn our metric focus away from a pile of function point-based measures to Customer Satisfaction and ROI.  This will change the way we approach testing (and development as a whole because quality will continue to not be some abstract at the end process but a fundamental goal) to meet new kinds of needs from the business.  Pushing this envelope is the Keynote from GTAC 2011: Test Is Dead.  It is purposefully pushing a point of view that only “those wild internet companies can do” that I believe will settle in over the next 10 years. Rather than the focus on Build it Right, the focus is Build the Right It.

Harvard Business Review’s “Management Tip of the Day” for Sept 18th reinforces this idea

When asked, consumers almost always say they want more options. But their purchasing behavior often indicates otherwise. Consumers are often overwhelmed by the flood of product information and choices available to them. Many report unnecessarily agonizing over trivial purchases. This cognitive overload causes them to make poor decisions, repeatedly change their minds, give up on purchases altogether, or regret the purchases they do make — none of which is good for your brand. Help your customers simplify their decisions. You can reduce choice by getting rid of less popular products. Or you can simplify their choices by helping them navigate their options and giving them trustworthy information they can use to weigh the alternatives.

To often we see to focus on more, more choice, more options, more features—meaning more WIP, more tests to write and run, more, just give me more metrics and best practices and life will be great.  Instead we need less, the challenge is which less.

Leave a Comment


  • Hi Tom,

    I am, of course, in full agreement with your conclusion.

    However, just to be clear, my message is: “Make sure you are building the right ‘it’ BEFORE you build ‘it’ right.”

    It is not an either/or issue, but one of precedence. A nice “side effect” is that you often get simpler products. By launching with few features and virtually no bells and whistles, you can use customer feedback to tell you what additional features they want. Sometimes they might surprise you by asking for less.


  • Dominique says:

    This is the 4th blog post, of yours I read through. Nevertheless I enjoy this specific
    1, “Building the Right It | Thomas Murphy” the
    best. All the best -Roscoe