RE: In Search of a Class

Subject: RE: In Search of a Class
From: Jim Shaeffer <jims -at- spsi -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 28 Mar 2000 10:34:41 -0500

he's assigned several of us to locate and attend a seminar on
"effectively capturing software application functionality content..."

I have no new ideas about a seminar or class, but I did remember something
that may help.

In a previous life, IBM taught me the following mantra:

Feature, Function, Benefit.

When selling high-tech stuff, mention the feature, describe its function and
anchor the statements with a benefit to the user.

Here are 2 made up examples:

1. Feature: Software is built using off-the-shelf object modules. Function:
Code is easy to reuse or replace without rewriting the system. Benefit:
Lower maintenance costs and faster bug fixes so you don't lose money due to

2. Feature: Software implements rapid search algorithm XYX. Function: Finds
data base entries real fast. Benefit: You get to go home earlier.

Filling in a simple three column table with features, functions and benefits
may give you a technique to enrich the content. (For every feature you list
try to fill in a table cell with one or more benefits _to the user_.)
It can also lead to informative discussions with developers about why some
features are included in the product.

Jim Shaeffer
jims -at- spsi -dot- com

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