RE: Business Requirements

Subject: RE: Business Requirements
From: Kevin McLauchlan <kmclauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: 'John Posada' <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>, jan -dot- arnopolin -at- thomson -dot- com, vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 12:11:47 -0400

John Posada regaled us with:

> Where I am now, we call this a Product Requirement Document (PRD).
> The one I have in front of me is a 24 page table, with each row being
> either a requested customer feature or internally driven enhancement.
> They are given a priority, a description of the requirement, a
> comment by product mamagement on its importance, and comments by
> engineering on the amount of effort to include that feature. Each one
> is approved, rejected, or deferred to the next release. This document
> is reviewed ALOT and documentation is at each of the reviews...this
> gives us the anticipated scope of the upcoming product.
> However, once they are at the point where they are developing, our
> documentation is a snapshot of the application at the time it is
> being written. I don't care the business reason for having a
> requirement that says "Monitor the LSP end points for status
> changes." If the ability gets developed, I write about it.
> Once you have something to write about, BR are not nearly as
> important as the FS documents, which will, in this case, tell me HOW
> the application monitors LSP end point status changes.

Our PRDs are formatted differently than yours, but include much the same

Where I'd differ is that I often find it helpful to know _why_ a feature is
in there, or implemented in a certain way. If nothing else, I can write an
example of "why/how you'd use this" that shows a real-world use of the
feature (because some customer had a specific need that we are satisfying).

When the customer who requested it gets the new version, they recognize it
right away (cuz I tell 'em so) that this is the answer to their requirement.
When another customer encounters the feature, they can read that little bit
of background and either:

a) decide that it'll be useful to them, as-is or,

b) use the scenario as a starting point to develop a work-around that
accommodates them, too or,

c) decide that they need a change/enhancement to make it useful in their
somewhat different circumstances.

For a slightly different example, I could have a couple of features with
obscure little options that I describe:

"You might use this option in a lab/testing environment, where you are
varying the configuration, or setting up multiple units with different
configurations. When you later roll out the final 'production' configuration
to your organization, omit this setting... "


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