Author Marc Talbot

When is IT the business stakeholder?

We use a well established model for looking at the relationship between business requirements and the software requirements that are derived from them. Using the Requirements Object Model (ROM), we typically examine the business problem, the business objective, and the business strategy. We use these to derive a product concept …

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No field length guidelines

I found myself last year working on a UI heavy project, in which we were specifying detailed requirements associated with individual UI elements.  One of the elements that the customer wanted to define were the field lengths for when users enter text.  This text might include street address, city name, …

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Strength Finder 2.0

Our company is currently doing an evaluation of our consultants and support staff using Strength Finder 2.0. I was skeptical at the beginning of this process, but I’ve been impressed by the results so far. We have a lot of different types of consultants within Seilevel, but we’re seeing a …

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Recognizing Patterns and doing something about it.

After I’ve solved the same problem half a dozen times, even I start to notice patterns. Pattern recognition is an important skill for people doing requirements. However, if you don’t have a way of acting on the pattern recognition, you aren’t helping yourself. I’ve begun to catalog the patterns that …

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Mattress Software Requirements

My wife and I recently set up one of our spare bedrooms using a bed frame that had been handed down in my family. We didn’t have a full size mattress to put in it, so I ended up shopping for a mattress last weekend. Mattress shopping was easy. Mattress …

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Is Your Product Knowldege an Asset or Liability?

There was recently an interesting post by John Mansour on the Austin PMM Forum (registration required) discussing whether Product Knowledge was an Asset or Liability to product managers. The author makes several claims about how product knowledge is a liability: “In a nutshell, the more product knowledge you have, the …

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Getting to Yes – with Requirements!

Negotiation is an important part of getting any project right. It’s rare for a project not to have any conflicting priorities or competing objectives. How do we handle this as business analysts? We typically have to work as negotiators. Negotiation is much more complex than “I want this, you want …

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Requirements Contract vs Constitution

As a requirements consultant, I frequently find myself working with new clients. I don’t always have a lot of context to their particular systems, projects, or problems. But I do occasionally find myself in a very familiar landscape: the adversarial relationship between IT and the Business. This is a situation …

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Requirements Limericks

I’m not sure how this came up, but when you get a collection of requirements experts in a room for social occasions, odd things happen. Sometimes, those odd things take the form of limericks (only because we decided that we’d already done Requirements Haikus to death). Among the entries: There …

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The BA as SME

Much of the training that we give business analysts relates to requirements elicitation from Subject Matter Experts. We help business analysts to make the appropriate preparations for interviews, and teach them how to ask the right questions to get to “the heart of the matter” without being experts themselves. However, …

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