Users Can't Know Their Requirements Early

  I’ve been thinking more about requirements. In the most recent two assessments I’ve done, both organizations have been stuck on thinking they could define their requirements before design and implementation. IWBNI (It Would Be Nice If) users could know their requirements early. For small projects (a couple of people, maybe a couple of months) …

Showing Project Progress (NOT percent complete)

Last night at my SPIN talk someone came up to me at the end of the talk. I’d discussed earned value and inch-pebbles in my talk but hadn’t specifically discussed how to avoid the dreaded “percent complete” reporting problem to management. The percent complete problem occurs when you have to report progress to management as …

The Never-Ending Search for Higher Productivity

  On the face of it, higher productivity looks like a Good Thing. More products for less time. Who wouldn’t want this? But I wonder about this search for higher productivity. What do managers really want? If you want to understand about productivity for software organizations, read Putnam and Myers’ new book, Five Core Metrics: …

Agile Techniques are Discipline from Within the Team, not Control from the PM

  I’m at the 13ICSQ conference this week. One person (at least) was confused about agile processes: Conference attendee: “Agile processes are a license to hack!!!!!!!” JR: “No. Every agile team I’ve seen is highly disciplined. No hacking there. I’m sure there are people who say they’re performing agile development, and they’re just hacking, but …

Time to Learn More

Via Steve Norrie’s weblog, I found Kovitz’s “Hidden Skills that Support Phased and Agile Requirements Engineering”. In phased development, projects promise large feature sets to a customer for future delivery. In agile projects, the requirements are refined over numerous little conversations with the customer, day in, day out. Kovitz claims the skills required for agile …

Choose an Appropriate Project Lifecycle

  Earlier this week, I was at SPC teaching about project requirements and project management. If you haven’t thought about lifecycles, consider the differences between these kinds of lifecycles: Linear: Waterfall and waterfall with feedback Iterative: Spiral, where the whole product is up for grabs each time Incremental: Where you add to the product in …