Peaking behind the knowledge curtain
In the meantime Martin has revisited "The knowledge curtain", a concept he discussed in one of those UKOUG presentations. The curtain is that barrier of misunderstanding which separates users and IT staff. It is one of the main reasons why some IT projects overrun or exceed budget or fail to fully meet the users' expectations.1 The good news is, the barrier is just a curtain. It's not a wall topped with barbed wire, it's not a shark-filled moat. I won't give away Martin's analysis: you can read it for yourselves
This does seem like a good time to mention something Rob James said at a BCS SPA meeting from a while back. In a discussion about rules engines he observed that these days it is not uncommon for the IT department to have a better understanding of the business than the users. The users only know what the business rules should be: the IT staff know what the computer systems actually do.