Replacement is not a release plan

Replacement is not a release plan, it’s a sign that you are solving developer’s pain instead of client pain.

Deployment gets glossed over in the pitch: First we will mimic the existing functionality.  Then turn off the old system.

Since the plan is to re-implement the current functionality, your developers can start immediately!  No need to talk to the clients since they won’t notice any difference until we show them all the wonder improvements!

Developers get super excited about these kinds of rewrites because it is all about them and their pain.  The plan fails because the client cares about client pain, not developer pain.

Don’t assume the client wants what are you giving them!  Don’t assume they would love for you to give them more features, better code, or anything that excites your developers.  A more common situation is that someone has full time job doing manual data extractions, transformations, and other manipulations that software could do in seconds and your developers could write in a week.

Find your client’s pain.  Appeal to your developer’s sense of empathy.  If they hate dealing with the system, have them imagine the low level person being kept in a pointless job.  It’s a good bet that once your developers find out how their software is being used they’ll find that there’s no need for a rewrite; the clients need new tools, not replacements.

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