Digital Transformation

The Requirements: A Comedy, Part 2

In the classic documentary This is Spinal Tap, crack documentarian Marti DeBergi captures a textbook case of requirements specifications gone awry.  The dialogue went like this:

Ian: When we get the actual, uh, set, when we get the piece,  it’ll…it’ll follow exactly these specifications. I mean even these contours and everything?

Artist: Um, I’m not understanding it. What do you mean “the actual piece?”

Ian: Well I mean…I mean when you build the actual piece.

Artist: But this is what you asked for, isn’t it?

Ian: What?

Artist: Well this is the piece.

Ian: This is the piece?

Artist: Yes.

Ian: Are you telling me that this is it?  This is scenery?  Have you ever been to Stonehenge?

Artist: No, I haven’t been to Stonehenge.

Ian: The triptychs are…the triptychs are 20 feet high.   You can stand four men up them!

Artist: Ian, I was…I was…I was supposed to build it 18  inches high.

Ian: This is insane.  This isn’t a piece of scenery.

Artist: Look, look. Look, this is what I was asked to build.  Eighteen inches. Right here, it specifies eighteen inches. I was given this napkin, I mean…

Ian Faith: Nigel gave me a drawing that said 18 inches. Now, whether or not he knows the difference between feet and inches is not my problem. I do what I’m told.


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Jim Hertzfeld, Principal and Chief Strategist

Jim Hertzfeld is Principal and Chief Strategist for Perficient, and works with clients to make their customers and shareholders happy through insanely great digital experiences.

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