it's the users

Story: Grep FOSSBiz VersoraTotal Replies: 0
Author Content

Jul 21, 2006
9:55 AM EDT
Closing of the article: "Get user feedback throughout the whole planning process. Take time to understand their expectations. If you don't get user buy-in at the outset, it can cause major pains later."

The business case for migrating from the lock-in, licensing aggravations, security nightmares and hidden costs (downtime, recovery, etc.) of MS Windows is well documented. What is less well documented is how to make a smooth transition from MS Windows to GNU/Linux without disrupting the productivity of the users.

User feedback "at the outset" is very important; you don't want resentful users. Taking the approach that (a) the transition is necessary and inevitable, but (b) the business is determined to make sure it is an improvement for the users, is likely to result in users who assist in the migration, rather than resist. This places the users in the same, invaluable role as they play in the development of open source software. Their expertise is in what they need to accomplish with the software. Their feedback helps the computer experts make that software fit those needs. The computer experts can adapt FOSS to fit those needs in ways that MS Windows' EULA absolutely prohibits.

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