The third question is – “Have those standards been met?” Whatever standards we settled on at the second question must be measurable to the degree that we can settle the question. In our test case, we ask if we meet the five day window or not.
The second question we ask is “Is the definition fair?” That is, does it represent a biased point of view or not? Sometimes we might not like the definition, but if it is unbiased we need to consider it. For instance, in the case of “the product is ready to launch”, we may be listening to an engineer who means that “the design is complete” or a marketing manager describing that “the campaign is designed”. Both of these could be true, but the bias may lead us to believe that more has been done than truly has been.
The third question we ask is “How do we choose between competing definitions?” You say the product is ready to launch, and I say it’s not. How do we choose? We may suggest that we defer to an authoritative source like a Systems Engineering definition, or a Project Management definition, or just a dictionary if it applies. We may agree that we need some criteria that define what “product launch” means to us. We may defer to the definition that the company president uses. Maybe we’ll ask our customers what would constitute readiness, like “is the training ready yet?” Whatever method we use to make the choice, the choice needs to be made.
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