Tell a good story.

All too often we reflexively tell developers, “You are not your customer.”. We say it so much that the phrase may elicit a counterproductive response. So, how do we communicate this vital message without making developers feel like “code monkeys”? Consider a lesson from SCRUM methodology and include everyone in the process. Just as the group comes together by discussing and assessing backlog items for complexity and breadth, take time to reiterate the whole user story to the group. Help everyone step into the shoes of the person behind the request and see your software through his or her eyes. Use personas by name, if you can. Then, over time the group should start to see the person you are describing as if they are part of the group.

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