Now before I have them made up into placards or flashcards I thought I'd draft a quick list of the current (printable & less offensive) ones in no particular order :-
By far the most common one is "What are your requirements? Please show me the requirements?", naturally this is rapidly followed by :-
- Anything written down at all? (And not using imaginary paper, or written with crayons, and no a napkin/beermat/fag-packet isn't suitable delivery material)
- Any chance of the requirements staying consistent for longer than the flap of a hummingbird's wings?
- Any chance of some requirements that don't require the combined skills of Gandalf, Einstein, Bernie Madoff & David Copperfield to deliver?
- Any requirements that aren't simply a list of vendor part numbers in a quote?
- Can you explain & justify any of those requirements at all?
- Can you explain & justify why you'd like something different from our standards?
- Where is the High Level Design document / schematic?
- What about Backup & Recovery in your design?
- Its recovery not backup that matters!
- What about any form of RPO & RTO requirements?
- How does component backup & recovery relate to the service backup/recovery?
- HA isn't DR!
- If you want DR, can you complete the BIA (Business Impact Analyser) to see what that recommends?
- You do realise that an RPO/RTO of 0 is very difficult/expensive/not-possible at the infrastructure layer over that distance?
- What's the SLA/OLA offered or required?
- What are performance requirements? (and no saying 'the fastest' simply isn't good enough, and yes we do want to understand both storage & network IO in the performance requirements)
- Where are the performance benchmarks and claim proof for your technology or product? (and no '2x faster than previous' isn't of any use if we don't have a benchmark for previous etc)
- What's the processes for, and how do you manage, RFQ, RFE, support etc?
- Show and provide me with the TCO & ROI models for your product, technology & architectures
- Show me the differentiation, unique selling point & justify your product vs other companies & products?
- Can yo explain why you're better for me than the exiting/other technology?
- What priority is this versus other work?
- Other than yesterday or today, what's the due date for this?
- Do you have any budget funds for this work?
I'm off to mutter some more in a darkened corner... :)