Process

Getting Requirements from Business Processes

Over the years, I’ve found that one of the most effective methods for identifying and eliciting requirements is to walk stakeholders through the current state of their business processes, or to work through their current documentation. What I almost always find is that the documentation contains holes, and that no …

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“Just Enough Documentation” for Agile Projects

Companies that make the switch from Waterfall methodologies to Agile struggle with requirements documentation. How much documentation do we need? What kind? When should this documentation be created? Who is creating this documentation? Our experience shows that companies have swung the pendulum too far in terms of both the quantity …

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Managing Product Backlogs in Diverse Agile Environments

Managing a Product Backlog when there is only one development team in an organization creating one solution at a time is relatively straight forward. However, large enterprises have multiple development teams creating a multitude of solutions with interdependencies between them. Managing product backlogs in these situations becomes very tricky, especially …

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Agile is a Cultural Revolution

Agile is often spoken of a development methodology along the lines of “Agile is a development methodology; other common development methodologies are Waterfall, Iterative, etc.”  This is akin to saying something like “Weightlifting is a means of keeping fit; other common techniques to stay fit are aerobics, swimming, running, walking, …

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Sticking to our Guns

I’ve been working on a program that has certain been a challenge, both from the subject matter, the extremely short timeframes given (imposed governmental regulations that must be met), to the stakeholders (who have day jobs to perform as well). Everyone is under pressure, which can make for some short …

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Setting boundaries in Agile Requirements Management

I was once part of a team at a consumer-facing technology company, who described themselves as incredibly fast-paced, operating within a rapidly changing environment. This team was smaller (4 developers in a 10-person business unit), so I expected the ability to get things done quickly to be one of our strengths. Upon joining, …

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State Changes and Process Flows

I’m working on two projects right now that both involve business objects that undergo several state transitions based on actions taken by a user. We quickly turned to State models to help conceptualize all of the possible object states, possible transitions between them, and the actions that trigger the transitions. …

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Adjusting To New Information

What does it mean for an organization to be agile? I don’t mean just in terms of agile software development, I mean for any team or company or group of people working toward any common goal. I tend to think about it in terms of ships: imagine that you are …

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Aligning User Expectations with Business Objectives

Projects with clearly defined business objectives can and do fail even if they deliver functionality that syncs closely with the business objectives defined for the project, but do not meet user expectations. This may seem counter intuitive at first blush since the primary purpose of any enterprise software development effort …

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