But not (a lot of) mind reading.
First we need to understand the requirements. Yes, you need to tell us what is on your mind.
Then we need to verify the underlying business case. Not always our business, but (a) it is a value added service to make all our lives easier, yours mostly and (b) it is our way of making sure there is some logic to the requirement(s), and you are not sharing with us details of some nightmare (unfolding perhaps).
Then we build quickly, a prototype – if you like call it rapid Application Development, we don’t like jargon so we stick to: Build quickly, a prototype. Yes, that is where our magical power comes from. Sometimes, we ask the help of pre-qualified suppliers. Sometimes, we rent or buy a solution that already exist in the market and can do what you need/want.
Then we bring the prototype to you for testing. Yes, test. Check it does what you wanted to get done. In most cases, you realise it does. In most cases (annoyingly so) you make more requests. And in those cases, you often don’t agree we should complete that which we have set out to do and add the new features you have just dreamed up in a later phase of the project, especially adding them now will cause ‘pause’: rethink, re-plan, re-strategise all costing more time, money and potentially delaying the project. Scope creep? Yes that is the word.
Then we start to look like bad magicians. Tricksters if you will.
But we can really do magic, pull out the rabbits, cut the cute girl in two without spilling blood and well erm… put her back together without glues or surgery. Yes, we can, but not without your help!
Image credit: ClipArt Heaven