Business Objectives

Problems May Be Your Problem

Requirements are often touted as the foundation of a good software project. I agree that without good requirements, you will find it very difficult to build the right solution. What, then, is the foundation for the requirements? A clear problem statement is, in many cases, just as important as the …

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Time is Money

I’ve recently had many opportunities to think about software adoption and the many factors that affect it, from both the product management side and the end-user side.In all cases, the most important thing to keep in mind when considering adoption of a new piece of software is that time is …

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Where is the value?

On a project that I worked on a few years ago, we were building a system for managing discounts and promotions on an ecommerce website for a Fortune 500 retailer. The system had two parts, a management system and full integration into the website so that the promotions would show …

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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. …

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Offshore Development Part 1

Your company has decided to take the leap and begin migrating some of your development offshore. As a business analyst/product manager, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that management will probably realize how important your job really is. The bad news is that …

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Shall we require – part 2

I was reading through some of our older blog postings and saw the Shall we require post. Joy had asked the question of why use shall and there is a comment by Melissa about the confusion of using will and must. One point of view on this was presented at …

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Documented Requirements ARE Necessary

It all started with the recent CIO article Fixing the Requirements Mess. A comment by Christopher Creel (halfway down the page) was then put on the Requirements Defined Message Board. After reading Mr. Creel’s comments, and the other postings, I think people are missing the main problem with his argument. …

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The Most Important Thing

Last night I was interviewing a candidate and I asked him to tell me the value of a recent project for which he was the lead business analyst. He asked me what I meant and I clarified by asking him to tell me why was the project being done at …

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Is it possible to overemphasize functional requirements?

Roger Cauvin had an interesting post the other day where he stated that “most organizations place too much emphasis on functional requirements.” The following day he expanded on this position by concluding that the overemphasis on functional requirements is detrimental to product development because “it shows the product manager dipped …

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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 …

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