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Chapter 13. A Managed Process > Who Really Has the Most Influence?

Who Really Has the Most Influence?

How can you know whose advice to follow and whose to ignore? I see executives behaving like car-chasing dogs in the middle of a busy intersection, barking furiously and trying to run in all directions at once. Top management says, “Make it look like Outlook 98.” Marketing says, “Match the competition.” Sales says, “This customer wants that feature.” The programmers say, “Stay consistent with our last version.” Who are you to believe?

Product-development managers try their best to say yes to all of these constituents. Programmers have disproportional influence because of their ownership of the code, so their goals tend to be met regardless. However, the one group whose needs always seem to take precedence over others' is the customers. After all, although each constituency is standing there demanding action, the customer is the only one who is also holding a check. No businessperson can fail to be influenced by that!


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