Saturday, October 6, 2007

Requirements: A word of curse!

Requirements. It can be a dirty word. It can be a word of power and controversy. Projects and teams suffer when requirements are nonexistent, incomplete, inaccurate or tumescent. Creating acceptable requirements has but a few simple characteristics.

The 4C's:
  • Cardinal
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • Conceivable
Simple ideas that often prove elusive and without them can lead to rehashing work done before, dissecting other implementations and guessing. To understand why achieving the 4C's is challenging, is to understand the origin. In any organization of girth, requirements are dove tailed together from a variety of often disparate sources:
  • Business (sales people, partners, executives, ...)
  • Marketing
  • Product Management (product owners, graphic design, usability, ...)
  • Engineering (development, operations, QA, ...)
The weaving of information heavily contributes to unintentional violations in the 4C's. Violations not seen in smaller, nimble companies where individuals must wear several hats of responsibility, allowing vision and communication to be simplified, direct and focused.