Re: Requirements

Subject: Re: Requirements
From: "Bill Swallow" <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "Jim Barrow" <vrfour -at- verizon -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2007 09:56:08 -0400

> As the software project that I'm working on creeps in scope, I have a simple question about gathering and developing business and functional requirements:
> Do you think developers should be involved in this process?

As analysts of the requirements, definitely!

> The developers that I work with have been conducting "requirement" meetings that, in my opinion, resemble design meetings. They're taking 'chunks' of functional requirements and turning these into technical specifications. The problem with this is that they either dismiss some requirements altogether, or do their own interpretation and come up with a specification that misses what the end-users want or need.

Yes, these are design meetings, to be general about it. Requirements
are use cases, business needs, market requirements... all the "soft
and fuzzy" things that define WHY you're employed at the company
producing product. You take these requirements (what people want/need
to be able to do), and begin defining what specifically is needed in
the product to satisfy those needs.That's the birth of functional
requirements. Then you have the design planning from there.

> Today, the developers are headed to a business unit to gather their own business requirements. The problem with this, as I've seen them do before, is that the end-users aren't very adept at expressing what they need in 'software' terms, and the developers can't analyze worth beans. So a typical session with end-users goes something like this:

Well, users know what they want, not what they need. It's up to your
company's own business analysts and product managers to translate the
wants as well as market trends and other "soft and fuzzy" data into
real needs. That's what they're paid to do - needs analysis for their

> But I digress. The question remains, however: Do you think that developers should be involved in this porcess?

As requirements analysts, yes. As requirements gatherers, no.

Bill Swallow
HATT List Owner
WWP-Users List Owner
Senior Member STC, TechValley Chapter
STC Single-Sourcing SIG Manager
avid homebrewer and proud beer snob
"I see your OOO message and raise you a clue."

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Requirements: From: Jim Barrow

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