Flying out to Customers

The development team has a difficult problem to resolve. The problem never happens in the development environment. It only happens in production. My plan to deal with this is simple: grant one developer a temporary access to the production system. We can them work with our users to duplicate and resolve the problem.

Of course our client is one that has super sensitive data. So it will require an act of god to get us the production access we desire. However I try to put this in business terms that the customer can understand. When they have the problem, it costs them a certain amount. I can project how long it will take us without the production access (a very long time). I am aware of the risks involved with allowing developers access to sensitive data. But I put it back in our customer's hands. If it is important enough to them, we will get the access we need.

The funny thing is that a consultant had an alternative plan to diagnose the problem. They want to fly out to the customer's location and see the problem. On the surface this may sound like a good thing to do. However as a developer, I can already determine that this will add no value to our resolution of the problem. We already can Netmeeting in to our customer's computer and see exactly what they are doing. Somebody standing there next to the user will be no different.