I still am in the small shops and we have taken advantage of
the fast turn-around inherant in Perl to produce 0.1 style
versions of what is requested. This prompts the user to
respond with more details. A rapid developement cycle gets
to the end result faster with more end-user satisfaction
(especially if they feel they've been in on the consultation
process). It's also a defensive manouver in an
environment where we get a lot of spurious requests.
The politics of the situation is that we have to be seen to
deal with poorly thought-out demands, with few staff, or be
labeled obstructionists to management by those with an axe
to grind. Our best weapon is a quick response, placing the
onus back on the user to specify what they really
want. That, and a web-based requisition system that users
are encouraged to use to track progress on their
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