Devil’s Dictionary for High Tech

I found this on a great site called “onproductmanagement.net” enjoyed it so much I thought I would share with you all.

Agile: n. A philosophy of project management where long term planning is replaced by short term thinking.

Bug Scrub: n. A meeting aimed at deciding which product issues can be swept under the carpet without too many people noticing.

CRM system: n. A database full of opinion and incomplete info used as a key source of input for decisions and sales projections.

Competitive Analysis: v. The act of simultaneously underestimating your competitors weaknesses and overestimating your own strengths.

Customer Council: n. A small # of Strategic Accounts whose influence on product futures is proportional to their budgets.

Easter Egg: n. Hidden code invoked by secret means that pays tribute to the awesomeness of the application’s developers

First Customer Ship: n. The phase in which a small set of eager customers, unbeknownst to them, join the QA team.

Heroics: n. The Sales Methodology most often cited by salespeople as their reason for winning big deals.

Lead generation: v. The art of finding people interested enough in a product to give their names, but not interested enough to actually buy it.

Marketing: v. The art of getting others to believe exaggerations about you that you likely don’t believe about yourself.

Market Sensing: v. The fine art of talking to others to understand how your bosses perceive the market.

Nightly Build: n. The overnight compilation of all new bugs introduced the prior day.

Post-mortem: n. A post-release process improvement meeting whose findings are usually ignored until the subsequent post-mortem.

Product Issues: n. The reason given by the sales team for a lost deal when the competitor’s aggressive price-cutting was not the issue.

Product Roadmap: n. A highly-speculative document of little substance but much value, especially during negotiations with Strategic Accounts.

Product Vision: n. An idealistic future view of a product typically derived while in a state of Utopia Myopia.

Refactoring: v. The act of completely rewriting working code to enable hypothetical improvements to be made to it sometime in the future. A favourite task of most software developers.

Release Candidate: n. Like a political candidate, far from perfect, but likely to annoy the least number of people.

Release Date: n. The day before the first installation or licensing bug is reported by a customer.

Requirement: n. A statement of need by a Product Manager, seen as a loose suggestion by Development, and as a firm commitment by Sales.

Research Firms: n. Companies that provide CYA services to buyers via simple diagrams and expensive reports. Also applies to Management Consultants.

SAAS: n. Same Applications Available by Subscription

Sales: v. The art of turning leads into gold.

Sales Club: n. A disincentive program for non-sales employees who make significant contributions but aren’t likewise rewarded with a trip to an exotic location.

Sales Forecast: n. Proof that throwing darts can be used for more than simply deciding which stocks to buy.

Sales Kickoff: n. 3 nights of intense inebriation mixed with 3 days of intense sleep deprivation. Some business transpires.

Sales Methodology: n. Once implemented, allows a company to believe sales people will actually follow a standard process. See Heroics.

Social Media: n. An electronic communication medium aimed at “connecting” people with each other while simultaneously minimizing actual human contact.

Social Networking: v. The opposite of anti-social networking.

Software Architecture: n. The technical underpinning of software systems and the chief roadblock to making major improvements to them. See also: Refactoring.

Strategic Account: n. A customer with lots of money to spend, usually on things that are not core to your business. Often a member of a Customer Council.

Software upgrade: n. A work creation program for the Technical Support team.

Technical Support team: n. The group with the most customer and product exposure but with the least say in customer and product decisions.

Trade Show: n. A gathering of like-minded people all seeking knowledge of the best free giveaways on the show floor.

Undercut by Competitor: n. The most common reason salespeople cite for the failure of Heroics.

Usability: n. The first thing customers experience and virtually the last thing developers think about.

Utopia Myopia: n. The condition of only seeing ideal outcomes and ignoring all other data. The opposite of analysis paralysis.

Waterfall: n. A software development methodology that starts with long term planning along a path this is unclear and which likely ends with a fall over a cliff and a crash on rocks below.

Win/Loss Analysis: n. An unnecessary analysis as Wins are due to sales rep Heroics, and Losses due to Product Issues and being Undercut by Competition.


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