Monthly Archives: July 2007

Prioritization and Value Maximization

emperor's clothes

We all know the story about the emperor’s new clothes. I’ve been thinking about prioritization and scheduling, and as far as I know, no one is promoting that we maximize value – they (and we) have been promoting that we do the most valuable stuff first. Doing the most valuable things first does not result in getting value the fastest. In this article, we show why not.

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Measuring the ROI of Design


Measuring the return on investments in design may be the hardest ROI calculation you can do. It certainly is one of the rarest. To measure ROI, you have to be able to determine what would happen without the investment, and what happens with the investment. The difference between them is what happened because of the investment.

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Elastic Users, Actors, and Roles

generic stretch armstrong

In About Face 2.0, Alan Cooper describes the elastic user as an ill-defined user who’s characteristics change to suit the needs of the developer – sometimes an expert and sometimes a novice. However, some of the otherwise good techniques for managing actors and use cases exacerbate this problem instead of alleviating it. How should we manage use cases while still getting the benefits of Cooper’s insight?

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Ignoring The Requirements, Watching The Discussion


Almost a month ago, we published an article titled Broken Requirements Ecosystem. That article built on a discussion thread at Seilevel. Since that time, the original thread has grown, and a new one has been spawned at the Catalyze site.

In short, the question was asked on the Seilevel forum- why are specs sometimes ignored by developers, and four possible reasons were suggested.  We followed up with our view, and the discussion picked up again, this time at Catalyze.

    1. Original discussion thread on Seilevel’s forum: Reasons Reqs Go Unread (Discussion from 19 Jun to 26 Jun )
    2. Article at Tyner Blain: Broken Requirements Ecosystem (Written on 21 Jun, Discussion to 26 Jun)
    3. Thread spawned on the Catalyze forum: Broken Requirements Ecosystem (Discussion from 23 Jun to 15 Jul)
      Note – the dates above for each article/forum-post are as of right now. People have submitted 23 comments across the articles, showing a lot of good insight from many different perspectives. Developers, product managers, project managers, stakeholders – lots of great comments!

      Even if you read our article before, go back and follow the discussions again – starting with Seilevel’s article, and progressing to ours, following up with the conversation at Catalyze.