Seilevel has a post that presents the top 10 signs that you should not pursue a career writing requirements, check it out. Thanks Joy for the great article!
#10 You cannot quickly understand new concepts
#9 You don’t have the patience to deal with customers
#4 You cannot form a mental model of all the pieces
Writing requirements is much more than taking dictation. To develop great software, you have to develop an understanding of the needs of the customer. From those needs, you have to synthesize a solution approach. And you have to communicate that approach, both with customers (to validate it) and with the engineering team. All of Joy’s entries (except the bonus #0 item) support this general framework.
We agree with Roger’s comments on the post that agile processes are not mutually exclusive to writing requirements. Charles posted recently about the new product manager – implying that an agile product manager is different than a non-agile product manager.
There are many different agile processes, which use differing amounts of up-front planning, and differing formats for documentation. Feature-driven development (FDD) does high level planning to understand the general approach of the product. Details are then defined incrementally. Incremental development works best when the most important stuff is worked on first. This doesn’t preclude the need to communicate with customers and developers. The fact that this communication happens incrementally doesn’t make documentation irrelevant.
The conversation about item #0 continues on Seilevel’s discussion forum, join in there, or add your thoughts here.