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Subject: Re: RM storage software - in-house v. commercial vendor?
From: Peter Kurilecz <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Peter Kurilecz <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Jun 2005 10:50:52 -0400
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On 6/13/05, Tim Barnard <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> A)  I have never used one of these programs before.  How do I know which features I really need and which ones I'll never need?

What you are asking for is a functional requirements document (FRD).
Identify the functionality into 3 groups;
1. Must have
2. should have
3. nice to have

like your analogy of the car when you buy a car you establish what
type of vehicle you want by the functionality. now it may come with
some things you didn't think of needing, but you aren't going to
cancel the sale because they are included. New Orleanians have a neat
phrase lagniappe

once you have your FRD you can compare it to what the various software
packages offer. also don't ask "can you do this, but rather ask how
you do this" Salesmen will say yes we can.

also throw in cost and maintenance as part of your analysis

MS Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) come with tons of
functionality, much of it fully included in the software and in many
cases rarely used by the individual


> B)  An analogy:  I could go to the "help yourself" junkyard and get enough parts to build my own car, or I could buy one already built and tested from a car dealer.  Wouldn't a packaged program - from someone who already knows how to design one - be smarter?

Perfect analogy, why go about reinventing the wheel. Did they develop
a word processing package or did they buy a COTS package? (Commercial
Off The Shelf Software), did they build a spreadsheet? Or did they buy
a COTS.

if they insist on the developing the software in house insist that
they follow a SDLC (Software development Life Cycle) process to keep
them on track, on budget and on time. Also demand that thye provide
supporting documentation so that when they depart for other employment
another IT geek can decipher what they've done.

Been there done that learned lesson


--
Peter Kurilecz
Richmond, Va

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