Category Archives: Requirements Models

Different models, or documentation techniques for capturing requirements. Requirements models are the tools in a business analysts toolkit. Product and program managers also rely on requirements models as methods of documenting requirements.

Why Do Products Fail – Solving the Wrong Problems

There are many reasons that a product might fail in the market.  One of those reasons is that your product solves the wrong problems.  There are many ways to solve the wrong problems.  This article continues the series on sources of product failure, exploring the idea that your product may be trying to solve the wrong problems.

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Rating Your Competition – Comparing Products Part 7

At this point in the product comparison series, you know who your customers are, which problems are important to them, and which products compete to solve those problems.  It’s time to score the competing products and see how the solutions your product provides (or will provide) will stack up.  This is the latest in a series on comparing products, jump back to the start of the series if you came here first, but hurry up :).

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Know Your Competition – Comparing Products Part 6

You start with a point of view about what makes a minimum viable product.  When your product launches, it is your customer’s point of view that matters.  You must understand which problems your customers care about solving, and what solutions are available to your customers today.  You need to understand your competition to make informed decisions about your product.  This is the latest in a series on comparing products – jump back to the beginning of the series to catch up, we’ll wait.
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Agile Estimation, Prediction, and Commitment

Your boss wants a commitment.  You want to offer a prediction.  Agile, you say, only allows you to estimate and predict – not to commit.  “Horse-hockey!” your boss exclaims, “I want one throat to choke, and it will be yours if you don’t make a commitment and meet it.”  There’s a way to keep yourself off the corporate gallows – estimate, predict, and commit – using agile principles.

This is an article about agile product management and release planning.

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Everything Old is New Again

A lot of teams that I’ve worked on and with get hung up when thinking about defining requirements for “migration projects” and “system upgrades.”  There’s some intangible barrier to being market focused when it comes to improving existing internal systems.  Every new product represents a solution to an existing problem.  Why do so many projects move forward with teams that are blind to the actual requirements?

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Don’t Prioritize Features!

Estimating the “value” of features is a waste of time.  I was in a JAD session once where people argued about if the annoying beeping (audible on the conference line) was a smoke alarm or a fire alarm.  Yes, you can get to an answer, but so what?! The important thing is to solve the problem.

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Agile Documentation

Agile values working software over comprehensive documentation – it is 1/4th of the original manifesto.  That doesn’t mean don’t document!  It means don’t document more than you need to document.  Documentation does have value, but the practice of documenting got excessive – that’s why a reaction to the bad stuff earned a spot as one of the pillars of agile.  How do you avoid over-reacting when changing a culture of over-documentation?

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Provocateurs Gather the Best Requirements

Ask someone what they want, and they’ll tell you they want a faster horse.  Provoke them, and they’ll tell you they have a ‘get there faster’ problem, an ‘equine waste disposal’ problem, and issues with total cost of ownership.

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