Avoiding Customer Calls
Floyd Teter mentioned to me that he expected we could use more customer interaction in
development. This is true in a way, even though I get a lot of requests for customer meetings, but there is only so much time in the day. This is where the blog comes in handy, when I have a Sales Consultant saying they have a customer with a few questions and they'd like to set up a meeting. I can just point them at my blog, let the customer take a look around there first and then maybe they will have specific questions and post them there. The answers can be read by others and at I'd like to think readers will answer each other's questions and maybe mine - ok maybe some of this interaction belongs in a group on Oracle Mix, but you get the idea.
I still like to meet customers, in person and on phone calls and I don't think I have ever turned down a chance to go to the Customer Visit Centre at Redwood Shores - the snacks and food there is awesome. However a blog is a much more scalable way of interacting with the user community, you can be fairly sure if one feature is a little unclear or ambiguous to one person there are many other who also appreciate some clarity around it.
I'll also let you into a little secret - I direct people in product development to my blog all the time. This post on Legal Entites provides the same information that is in a number of design documents and I have presented it and talked about it many times, but I still get questions and now they get sent to my blog -no need to open a huge word document, one click and you're learning Legal Entity set up... it doesn't get any better than that.