Monday, December 26, 2011

Secret recipe behind Amazon’s software development methodology

Have you ever wondered What is the secret behind some of the successful product companies ?  

Have you ever wondered what methodology do these companies follow in software development ?

Right now, my favourite companies include  Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. I don’t miss a chance to read information about their org structure, software development process, recruitment process, etc.

In this post, I would be uncovering Amazon’s strategy while building a product.  Before Amazon starts building any product, they write the following documents  Press Release, FAQ, Customer Experience and User Manual.  
Press Release is a short 2 or 3 paragraphs note about the product as though it would be published in a newspaper.
FAQ  as the name itself implies covers the frequently asked questions about this product. Questions with What, How and Why trigger thoughts for the stakeholders to see missing pieces of information.

Customer Experience this document captures the stories about customer user experience. This could happen through Mock-up screens or use cases.
User Manual  covers the way the product to be used. 

Following picture depicts this process.


They don’t spend months together in writing these documents. These documents are crisp and cover the information on a need basis. They involve all the relevant team members from technology, and business while preparing these documents.

The benefit of this process is, it provides a greater clarity around the product that needs to be built and avoids the confusion.
I feel that these documents could also be used as:
        a. Training manual for new joiners 
        b. Requirement spec  

Do you have stories or secret recipe to share from successful companies ?


Offshore Software Development Services Blog said...

I am posting here just to let you know that you are doing a good job by keeping us posted about this. Please keep on posting such quality articles as this is a rare thing to find these days. I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Looking forward to another great blog. Good luck to the author! all the best!

Venkatesh Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Girish Hegde said...

Venky, thanks for the post. Kindly post if you have any more details on the Software Engg aspects from Amazon. Would be helpful too.