Last week René Daanen, our development team leader, surprised me with a notification that he has put an easter egg in our PDM BatchPrint Add-in. An easter egg in software is a, mostly funny, hidden feature that can only be found by a specific sequence of user input. Reason why René has placed this easter egg is to encourage our testers to try scenarios outside their normal frame of reference.
This week I attended a “theme day” in Eindhoven about Smart Customization. Smart Customization aims to design variable products in a way that enable a short and cost effective production of a customized product. Several representatives of different companies shared experiences in their process to move from traditional engineer-to-order to configure-to-order.
One of the big challenges for engineer-to-order companies is to regard their product with different eyes. If you ask engineers or sales people about their product, they will often say that every product is unique. Participants of the theme-day agreed that external expertise is of essential value to help recognize patterns and common structures in existing products.
In a way we could say we have to look for easter eggs (features unrecognized in day-to-day way of looking at it) in customers products. We can be of great help for customers to do so and also give advice how to get moving towards configure-to-order in small, low-risk steps. More news about this topic will follow in the coming weeks.
For now I wish everybody a happy Easter…