"How many times a day do you find yourself trying to figure out what variables represent because they are named ambiguously?"
It's difficult in software development to shift the focus to problems and goals instead of features, features, features. As I've written about before, it's ideal to focus on the value first, and match the features to the value.
Sometimes we encounter feature requests that seem reasonable enough that we don't feel the need to back track to discover the value. This happens for many reasons:
However, I've been surprised how many times:
Just this week I encountered a request that upon further inspection was prompted by a subset of the problems in a past project. Subconciously, I almost implemented the feature with the full set of problems in mind from the past. By inquiring about situations that prompted the request, we were able to create a solution that was a subset of the past solution! This reduced the time and money necessary to deliver value to the customer.
TLDR: Even if a feature seems reasonable, ask about the situations that prompted it. I've often been pleasantly surprised :)