Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 3

customerservprior2j.jpgI appreciate the shout out from Jake, I’d like to get more opinions on this from other bloggers, particularly my colleagues in Apps (Are you listening Joe, Anne, Puneet, Meg, Gretchen?). So in this edition I explain how blogging saves you time and makes you more productive in your day job. If you are interested check out part 1 and part 2.

Avoiding Customer Calls

Floyd Teter mentioned to me that he expected we could use more customer interaction in
development. This is true in a way, even though I get a lot of requests for customer meetings, but there is only so much time in the day. This is where the blog comes in handy, when I have a Sales Consultant saying they have a customer with a few questions and they’d like to set up a meeting. I can just point them at my blog, let the customer take a look around there first and then maybe they will have specific questions and post them there. The answers can be read by others and at I’d like to think readers will answer each other’s questions and maybe mine – ok maybe some of this interaction belongs in a group on Oracle Mix, but you get the idea.

I still like to meet customers, in person and on phone calls and I don’t think I have ever turned down a chance to go to the Customer Visit Centre at Redwood Shores – the snacks and food there is awesome. However a blog is a much more scalable way of interacting with the user community, you can be fairly sure if one feature is a little unclear or ambiguous to one person there are many other who also appreciate some clarity around it.

I’ll also let you into a little secret – I direct people in product development to my blog all the time. This post on Legal Entites provides the same information that is in a number of design documents and I have presented it and talked about it many times, but I still get questions and now they get sent to my blog -no need to open a huge word document, one click and you’re learning Legal Entity set up… it doesn’t get any better than that.

Author: David Haimes

I'm Senior Director in the Oracle Research and Development Organization, with close to 20 years working in various roles on the development of the Financial Management product suite.  Since the summer of 2016 my focus is exclusively on working with customers and longer-term design work, particularly around next-generation functional and technical architecture. My task is to figure out NOW what the financial management system of the next 3, 5 or more years should look like and start working toward it.  At the moment the majority of my time is spent working on Blockchain or Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), leading the effort for all of SaaS applications.  I'm also interested in AI, Machine Learning and new UX and interaction paradigms such as chat bots. I started out in Oracle UK and found my way out to Oracle's Redwood Shores, California HQ in May 2000.  My previous role was product owner for Fusion Accounting Hub, General Ledger, Intercompany and Legal Entity products in Oracle Fusion Financials and eBusiness Suite General Ledger. I have also worked on EMEA Globalizations, Federal and Public Sector Financials, XML Payments and a variety of projects on other products down the years.

6 thoughts on “Why Product Development Should Blog – Part 3”

  1. Scability is a new one and interesting when you compare your blog to internal repositories on the basis of ease of search. Again, it’s the path of least resistance.

    Google provides fast results, even if ultimately they’re not the most accurate or relevant to the exercise at hand. Plus, a blog is more to the point and micro-focused than a design document, like Twitter when compared to a blog. So your posts get to the point much more quickly than a design document would.

    Like

  2. Yes, I’m listening….and to me that’s the important part of your argument. Directing customers to your blog helps them understand where you are coming from. It also can get some of the basics covered so that when you meet with them, you are focused on listening to what really matters, and engaging in a better discussion.

    Like

  3. I did meet a customer where they had all read my blog and posted questions etc. They were in with the details and specifics of their situation before I even started up powerpoint. It was a very productive discussion – if a little exhausting.

    It’s interesting that they get to know a bit about you and where you’re coming from, because you know nothing about them. I guess we’re famous in our own tiny little micro bubble – I can still go to the supermarket without getting mobbed though :)

    Like

  4. I agree David, not only customers but partners and internal development interactions are benefited from the blog. Also in my case often times some critical points require a bit of introduction to follow (ok maybe not for my posts but certainly for Marks ;-) and having the repository of prior posts to link to is a huge benefit vs. re-writing from scratch each time.

    The only downtime to the “blogging saves me time” idea is that I find myself using the saved time to formulate more topics to blog. Guess that is a high class problem to have though.

    Like

  5. Hey Dave
    You wait for OOW or OAUG. An SC introduced me to a customer coming by the demo pod.
    ‘This is Tim Dexter from the BIP team’
    ‘Tim? … Tim from the blog?’
    Nuff said!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s