Unclear on the whole 'upgrading' concept

This pilot fish supports a medical database program that's used by customers all over the country.

"One day I discover a pretty serious problem at one of our customer facilities," fish says. "I work with our development team, we isolate the bug, and we have a solution in the newest version of the program.

"I tell the customer site that we need to put in an update to fix the problem, we get change control squared away, and the update goes in without a hitch."

But the next morning, fish and his team start getting concerned calls from the customer about things that look different.

It seems the customer wasn't completely clear on what "upgrading to the latest version of the program" means -- it's a new version, so some things have changed. Now the user wants release notes on all the changes and everything that's different.

OK, fish figures, that's a fair request. Late, but fair.

But because this is a bug fix and not a major release, all the release notes haven't been compiled into a fully sanitized document that's free of everything Users Are Not Meant to Know.

So fish quickly cobbles together something from his internal support documentation, strips out the things that clearly need to be removed, and sends the whole works on its way.

Shortly after that, fish's boss gets an e-mail from the customer:

"I have reviewed the release notes and am stunned with these changes! Can you please produce the e-mails or any documentation that we requested these changes? There are references to a Dr. Jones. There are copies of reports as examples that are from another facility. I believe you gave us another facility's request for updates."

Fortunately, it doesn't take long to clear up the mystery.

Reports fish, "When the release notes for new features were added in, I had not removed mention of the original source of the request for the new feature.

"Because they saw these other facilities listed in the release notes, they really thought we had given them someone else's copy of the program."

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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