Posted by: ahmedashfaque | June 1, 2017

Walk arounds – the best strategy to save investment on a software product


There is a big gap between what a software product needs to do and how it is actually used by users. As long as the software product works fine, there is no problem for the support staff; no matter how it is being used by users.

Despite best efforts by the testing team, invariably a software product contains defects which prevents end users to use the software product effectively. Changing the source code and creating a new version of the software product to remove software defects is a big issue for software vendors. It is not possible to take software maintenance projects too often. They are costly too.

So what can be a good strategy for a software vendor in this scenario? Here comes, “Walk Arounds”. A walk around is a temporary solution which allows a software product to work effectively despite having defects. When a software defect is found in a software product then it is still possible to do transactions using the defective software product by using some other way of doing the same transaction. If a walk around is found and provided to end users then the end users can still use the defective software product effectively. So there is no immediate need to take a maintenance project to fix the defect.

Just recently I had ordered a medicine for my father for his brain tumor. It was shipped from Kentucky, USA and had to be delivered in India at my home address. For international parcels, the Indian government requires the shipping companies to get KYC (Know your customer) form filled by the customers. So I went on the website of the shipping company (DHL) and filled and submitted the KYC form online. The next day I received an email stating that my KYC form was rejected as I had put name of the shipper (Medicine Manufacturing company) as a consignee. The consignee should be the receiver of the parcel. So I went again on their website and tried to edit my KYC form. Unfortunately I discovered that the consignee field was not editable. So I phoned the shipping company (DHL) to know what to do. They told me that the consignee field indeed is not editable. But they provided me an alternative. They told me that i should use an alternate telephone number in the form and i will be able to submit the form with the correct consignee name. I immediately did it and my form was submitted successfully.

The shipping company used a walk around here when there was a defect in their software product (non-editable consignee field). This is a very good example of how to use a walk around.

 

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