A look back at the best from this week in the past.
How good are our estimates? We can use PERT to estimate the time it will take to implement each requirement. We can use timeboxes to schedule the requirements within each release. If we don’t know how good our estimates are, its an exercise in futility. Scheduling is about more than predicting the future, its about knowing how much faith to have in our predictions.
The hardest long term challenge in eliciting requirements is improving our ability to do it. The hardest short term challenge in gathering requirements is getting all of them. We have a lot of techniques for gathering requirements, from interviewing to brainstorming to researching. How do we know we defined all of the requirements? Everyone who manages requirements knows the value of validating requirements. But validation leaves a blind spot as it looks backwards instead of forwards. We propose to do exactly the opposite.
It seems that specs are like flossing: everybody knows they should be writing them, but nobody does.
Another for the wish I had said that list. Joel Spolsky wrote a four part series on writing functional specifications in Oct 2000. Joel’s opening position is that all projects lasting more than a week, or with more than one developer, will be completed faster with specs than without them. He presents three giant reasons to use a requirements document as part of developing software