Oh, to be a Domain Expert … if we only knew what you knew.
Let me ask you something assuming I know your industry… how long have you been in this business? I’m guessing a long time - you know what makes your world go round. You are what we refer to as a subject-matter expert (SME), the person of authority in a particular area or topic - your business. The term domain expert is frequently used in expert systems software development, and always refers to the domain other than the software domain. We are software experts, but you are the expert in the domain.
Do you want to know the most important aspect of our partnership? It’s the transfer of that knowledge from you to us. We have so many clients say, “This stuff is easy!” or, “What we do is simple.” Let me tell you why this transfer is essential.
These statements are coming from someone who works in it every single day, thinks about it all the time, and for how many years now? Wouldn’t want your software team to think and feel like they are in the weeds on the daily as well? We need your help to bring us up to your level so that we can make more informed decisions in the development and design processes. Every line of code is a decision and the more frequent access we have to clients, the better the decisions are and the quicker the feedback. This should be an iterative process intended to build shared understanding throughout the engagement.
Now What happens if it’s not done well? We usually end up making assumptions and possibly building the wrong thing. Translation: delays on development, reduced productivity, and nobody wants that!
So teach us everything you know one step at a time, and we’ll make something great together.