A Major Trap In Gathering Requirements

Interesting post from Professor Tim Calkins on the Pepsi Refresh Project. The goal was to move dollars from advertising to supporting the community, in reality sales tanked…

“Be careful what people tell you. I suspect the team at PepsiCo did a lot of research on the Pepsi Refresh Project and heard from consumers that this was just a terrific idea. Indeed, I bet people said that more companies should do exactly this sort of thing, cutting self-serving advertising and instead investing in making the world a better place.

The problem is that there is a big difference between what people say they will do and what they actually do. Confusing these two things is a consumer research trap.”

Clearly, market research isn’t quite the same a gathering requirements, but there are parallels. Just because people tell you they’ll act one way, doesn’t necessarily mean they will.

Think about that the next time your stakeholders are asking for something so complex you worry it won’t be easy to use. Or delivery so fast with a budget so low, you worry it won’t meet the quality bar.

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