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Arcade Game Maker Memo 04-06

To: CEO, Vice President for Product Development
From: Vice President for Product Planning
Date: November 4, 2004
Re: Customer Interface Management

This memo describes implications of the product line strategy for our relationships with customers.

The first increment of products will be a set of freeware products available on our Web site. After customers provide minimal contact information for our marketing purposes, they may download the products individually. We will use the timing of the downloads as a rudimentary customer satisfaction indicator: those who download one product and then come back after at least 24 hours to download additional products will be considered satisfied; those who download one product and do not return will be considered not satisfied.

The second increment of products is fairly traditional, and our sales staff will contact ongoing customers in the telecommunications domain. The difference in this increment will be the approach. Our salespeople generally ask customers what they want, conduct a very preliminary requirements elicitation, and then write a contract. The new strategy will require salespeople to explain what products are possible given the variations that will be available in the second increment. We will provide extensive training for the salespeople to be certain they present the limited number of variations positively. Salespeople will listen to what customers want and then provide valuable input for the final specification of the third increment.

The third increment of products will target a much broader customer base than the second increment. The number and types of variations will be expanded from increment two. We will contact a new customer base: convention planners and convention marketing companies. We will replace the increment one products on the Web with demos of the convention products. However, the demos will not be available for download, because our goal is on-the-spot delivery (for most customers). The customer will provide the salesperson with the graphic images and bits of text that will show up in the games. The salesperson will then invoke the generator and build the product.

The biggest issue that we face with customers is the transition from "the customer can have anything they want" to "the customer can chose from the set of available options." For the third increment, we expect mostly new customers who think that we can make software do anything they want. We hope that our pricing and rapid delivery will manage this expectation sufficiently.