Best Practices

Rescuing Knowledge from Ivory Towers

We had an email discussion in the office the other day about the term “Requirements Engineering” and I began thinking about most of the research I have read on the subject over the past 6-8 months. The vast majority of RE research is not being used by anyone in the …

Read More

Reminder—Handling Missed Commitments

I occasionally run across common situations and write a little reminder about dealing with them. Most of us have been in the situation of making a commitment and then not being able to fulfill it. Maybe we underestimated the effort to fulfill the commitment, maybe an emergency arose, or maybe …

Read More

One Owner

On every project in the software world there are numerous owners responsible for the success of the project and whether the business objectives are met at the end. Some companies has some embraced the idea of group ownership that they forgotten the value of accountability and hierarchy and, as a …

Read More

Managing Personal Scope

The nature of our work contributes to long hours and a hectic pace on projects. Our culture promotes work/life balance and “normal” work week hours. How does a company resolve these seemingly contradictory objectives? We manage what I like to call “personal scope”. Personal scope comes in two formats: I …

Read More

Innovation, Design, and Requirements

About the same time I read Joe’s post Who’s the Designer—It Depends, I also read a great article by Geoffrey Moore on the Top 10 Innovation Myths. These two articles collided in my brain and gave me a new angle from which to explore Joe’s post. Joe raises an interesting …

Read More

Requirements Model 4 – The Data Dictionary

Data dictionaries have been around for quite a long time. I have a book on analysis that was written in 1979 that covers them in great detail. Unfortunately, most of the techniques in that text focus on how to collate and manage the data rather than what data to include. …

Read More

Everybody’s Favorite Topic, Software Requirements

Don’t blame me if the title of this seems a bit sarcastic; it’s the opening line Karl Weigers gives for his webinar, Software Requirements: 10 Traps to Avoid. Personally, I enjoyed the webinar. I thought his introduction, covering the hierarchy of software requriements (scope–use cases–functional requirements) was a good introduction …

Read More

Want to know what to build? You just have to ask…

Asking effective questions is undoubtedly one of the most critical skills needed by anyone involved in writing requirements. One-on-one it’s usually called interviewing while group sessions typically involve facilitation. Regardless of the label you apply to it, the simple act of asking a question is actually anything but.Esther Derby wrote …

Read More