For any organization or IT professional involved in application development, few things are more costly and frustrating than delivering to users exactly what you thought they'd agreed they wantedonly to find their reaction lukewarm, or even negative. An Aug. 28 announcement by Capgemini U.S. and iRise highlights the potential of simulation tools to close the gap between a developer's technical understanding and an end user's subjective impression of what an application is supposed to do, and of how the experience of using it is supposed to look and feel.
I've previously spent time with the 3.0 version of the iRise technology, then called iRise Application Simulator, and found it a compelling improvement upon other efforts I've seen to involve end users and accelerate the understanding of developers. The problems that I've identified in past attempts to do this have never quite covered the ground, as I then observed, of "laying out screens, describing their connections and testing their functions using actual data without ever writing code or even anything that looks like codequickly enough and clearly enough that different ideas can be tested and oversights rapidly identified."
The iRise tool enabled me to express every element of an imagined application: When I thought I'd found something it couldn't do, it turned out that I had actually discovered a discrepancy between my database model and my application design. In a real-life development situation, this could have saved a lot of money that might otherwise have been spent paving a blind alley.
I spoke in advance of the Aug. 28 announcement with Corey Glickman, senior manager in the Consulting Services Practice for Capgemini: "We're looking at how to increase user adoption of solutions while at the same time lowering risk of development and delivery," he said, adding, "There are many complex things to put together. It starts out with a business mission and an ROI for that process; it gets over to the IT world, where they're left with very large challenges: There are tensions. It's hard to pull off."