Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Doing Things Right

Taking it all the right way
Keeping it in the back
Taking it all the right way
Never no turning back
-- From David Bowie's "Right"

You probably know by now that one of Oracle's thought leaders behind Fusion Applications, Jesper Andersen, recently left Oracle to take on a new challenge with Cisco. Nice guy. Also very astute. I'll miss him. But change is the the nature of this business. There's plenty of buzz about this on the newswires and other need to rehash things here.

Given the news of the day, it seems like a good time for me to point out two very important things I think Oracle is doing right in developing Fusion Applications. Both of these points were really brought home to me during my visit to Oracle HQ last week.

First, it seems to me that Fusion Apps development is a quality-driven project. Those of you with a background in project management may recall the three constraints of the "Iron Triangle" that determine project scope: schedule, cost and quality. Most software projects are driven by schedule; in the applications software space, the market usually rewards the competitor who is first to release. With Fusion Apps, however, product quality seems to be the driving factor and the highest priority that I continually hear about from the people building the apps...even if achieving acceptable quality means some elements of the development effort take longer than originally planned. Those customers and users who have suffered through the pain of early software releases can appreciate this approach.

Second, the Fusion Applications team is very quietly collaborating with customer advisory groups, user groups and narrowly-focused design validation sessions. The development teams are sharing ideas and gathering feedback, then conducting "show and tell" sessions with those same groups to collect additional feedback. While this is not a new approach in the world of software development, it does seem like a pretty smart way to zero in on customer needs and requirements.

So, that's my experience with Fusion Applications development and how I see things today. Agree? Have a different opinion? Let me know via the comments.

Posted with LifeCast


Misha Vaughan @ Oracle said...

Hey Floyd,

You are right. We are heavily collaborating with customers in the design of our products -- not just FN but also Apps Unlimited.

Rather than 'quietly' we just like to think of ourselves as 'really busy' ;-).

If your readers want to know how they can get involved -- I'd point them to our external web site

Misha Vaughan

fteter said...


Point well taken: you're absolutely right in pointing out that design collaboration with customers seems to be the rule of the day throughout Oracle. The "Oracle Listens" change at is the most recent example.

Thank you for the Usable Apps url. I'm hoping more customers, including the readers here, will get involved.

David Haimes said...


It's nice somebody noticed. I certainly think we're trying to do things right and between you, me and the internet it is very tough at times but if it was easy then somebody would already have done it.