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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know by Richard Monson-Haefel

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Chapter 94. The User Acceptance Problem

Norman Carnovale is an IT architect working for Lockheed Martin Professional Services on Homeland Security-related projects. He was formerly a software consultant, instructor, and architect for Davalen, LLC (http://www.davalen.com), a Premier IBM Business Partner specializing in WebSphere Portlet Factory, WebSphere Portal, and Lotus Domino projects.

Norman Carnovale
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PEOPLE AREN’T ALWAYS HAPPY about new systems or major upgrades. This can pose a threat to the successful completion of a project.

It’s not uncommon for people to disagree with the decision to implement a new system—especially at the beginning. This should be expected, and the reasons noted. However, initial reactions to a new system are less of a concern than a sustained negative reaction.

Your goal as an architect is to be aware of and measure the threat of acceptance problems and work toward mitigating those threats. To do this you have to be cognizant of them and consider the reasons for them. Some of the more common reasons are:

  • People may have concerns about the need for a new system (and subsequent retirement of an old system). This can also include fear of losing functionality or losing influence or power when roles change.

  • People fear new (unproven) technology.

  • People have cost/budget concerns.

  • People simply do not like change.

Each of these reasons requires different possible solutions, ...

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