“For what one idea do you want your product to stand in the mind of your customer?” I heard Roger Cauvin ask that question at the most recent ProductCamp Austin [correction - he said it here - thanks Roger], and the quote has been jumping to the front of my mind almost daily ever since. Maybe by writing about it I can exorcise the demon and get back to using the idea instead of being haunted by it.
Category Archives: Agile
Design-Free requirements are important for two reasons, and hard for two other reasons.
Design-free requirements are hard because you “know what you want” when you should be documenting “why you want it.” Writing design-free requirements can be hard when you don’t trust your development team to “do the right thing” even though it is not your job to design the solution.
Your company is building out a toolkit to support third-party developers. You’ll need a bunch of different types of widgets – combo-boxes, text entry fields, domain-specific controls, etc. You’ve got a long list of desired controls from your customers. You’re agile. What do you build first?
Concise requirements give your team a useful, easy to read and easy to change understanding of what must be done. Great requirements exist to do three things:
- Identify the problems that need to be solved.
- Explain why those problems are worth solving.
- Define when those problems are solved.
The maturity model approach to describing organizations and processes comes and goes out of fashion. It is a repeating framework de jour. In the game of agile jargon whack-a-mole, the agile maturity model is poking its head up again.
Read the rest of the article …
Jump forward in time to the day of your next big product launch (first release, new features, new market segment, etc). And your site/application crashes due to the “unexpected” demand. All you can do now is look for a bucket of water to put out the fire. What could you have done to prevent this disaster? Jump back to today and start doing it!
There’s really only one way to travel down a waterfall – in a barrel. A lot of people died this way, but some survived. Software projects have been predominantly waterfall projects since the start of software projects. And stakeholders rode down those projects, basically in a barrel. The people riding Niagara Falls 100 years ago didn’t know if they would survive until they got to the end. Stakeholders in waterfall projects don’t know if they will succeed until the end.
An agile project is dependent upon tight interaction (and feedback) with stakeholders.
If you’re running an agile project, and your stakeholders are old-school barrel-riders, how do you make it work?