product development

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) …

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Questions for Requirements

  One of the most difficult problems in software development is knowing how to elicit and discuss requirements. It’s difficult because the people who are supposed to know the requirements don’t always have a clear idea of what they want. And, even people with tremendous communication and other soft skills don’t always have good ways …

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Experienced Project Managers Manage Similarly to ScrumMasters

I had a lovely dinner with Brian Marick and our spouses Saturday night. (Now that he’s blogrolled me, I can’t tease him about that. Thanks, Brian!) Two things made me reconsider the way I manage people while managing a project: things we discussed at dinner, and Brian’s recent posting about the explicit role of the …

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Pre-Publication Book Announcement: Hiring Technical People

As you can probably tell, I think people are the most important equation in successful product development. Good people can trump inadequate management and/or an inappropriate process. Dorset House has announced the pre-publication price for my book (available in September). I wrote a little more about this on my Hiring Technical People blog.

Build Fast and Fix Fast

  I’m a fan of nightly builds with automated smoke tests, run overnight. In the morning when everyone returns to work, anyone who’s broken the build fixes it. In most cases, the developers see what they did and they fix it. The agile folks take this even further and say to build the system whenever …

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Why Create Tension Between Development and Test?

  I think of development and test as partners. The developers create product and defects. The testers detect product and defects. They both need to understand what the product is supposed to be and how it’s supposed to work (the requirements). The more the developers explain the architecture and design, the better the testers can …

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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 …

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