Architecting from the Features

I’m writing the portfolio management book, and I just finished a whole big re-architecture. I’m so excited.

I realize most people aren’t that excited about a rearchitecture :-), especially not of a book in progress. But I am, because I took my own advice.

When I started writing the book, I had several partly done chapter-things. They were not particularly well-written, nor were they coherent and several pieces were tightly coupled. But they were enough for the Prags to see what I was thinking. Luckily, that was enough for a contract.

I’ve been writing off and on since I got the contract, and have been getting stuck. I realized last week it was time to print the book and start cutting pieces of it to reorganize.

I finally started making the book (yes, I write in markup language, check my writing into Subversion, and use make to make the book), and seeing it on paper helped me see where my features were.

I have some user stories:

  • “As a first level manager or technical lead, I want to see how to make a portfolio.”
  • “As a middle manager, I want to see how to make a portfolio and make decisions about it.”
  • “As a senior manager, I want to review the portfolio, and make decisions about it based on data.”

But being your own product owner is not such a good idea. Because I thought the roles were driving the book, I had separated a bunch of the writing by role first, and then what the roles did. But it turns out, that for this book, right now, the portfolio activities are what needs to drive the book. Maybe that’s obvious to you. But it wasn’t for me.

I realize the current book’s architecture may not last. But I can see how to write more of it. And, I’ve been refactoring to clean up my writing. I think of the refactoring as where I put things to make the book clearer, and editing as how I change the words to make the ideas clearer.

I wrote several features–actually parts of several features because I got stuck. Now I’ve rearchitected and the writing is flowing. I’m probably not done rearchitecting, but that’s ok. I have a place to head towards now. Onward!

One Reply to “Architecting from the Features”

  1. Your writing work sounds fascinating. I have trouble following the written description – I like to see figures of the process, you know the S type.

    This post sounds like a good session in writing at AYE or other places.

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