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Use Cases 101: Let’s Take an Uber

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 17:30
I was recently asked to prepare a handout giving the basics of use cases for an upcoming training session. It struck me as odd that I needed to start from square one for a model that seemed standard. Use cases, once ubiquitous, have largely been replaced by process flows and other less text-heavy models. As […]
Categories: Requirements

On Communicating with Resistant Stakeholders: Process Flow Storyboards

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 12/16/2014 - 17:00
Determining how best to communicate requirements to stakeholders on your project can be difficult if you have a challenging audience who has resistance, for whatever reason, towards the project you’re working on. I was working on a project several months ago in which one of the major stakeholder groups felt that the work we were […]
Categories: Requirements

Revealing Invisible Requirements

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 17:00
This blog post was written with Karl Wiegers based on our Software Requirements, 3rd Edition book. No matter how thorough a job you do on requirements elicitation, there is no way to be certain that you have found them all. No little green light comes on to announce “You’re done!” You should always plan on new […]
Categories: Requirements

Software Development Linkopedia December 2014

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 15:37
Here is our monthly selection of interesting knowledge material on programming, software testing and project management.  This month you will find some interesting information and opinions about slow programming, technical career paths, Agile QA, Scrum backlog refinement meetings, being a better test manager, java BDD, mixing Waterfall and Agile, the TDD cycle and dealing with bad Java code. Blog: The Case for Slow Programming Blog: Coding, Fast and Slow: Developers and the Psychology of Overconfidence Blog: Climbing off the CTO ladder Blog: What Does QA Do on the First Day of a Sprint? Blog: Stop ...

Quote of the Month December 2014

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 18:23
Stories shouldn’t be small because they need to fit into an iteration, but because the world shouldn’t end just because a story turns out to be wrong. Stories are based on assumptions about business value, and those assumptions might turn out to be right or wrong.The key questions for story sizing shouldn’t be about the iteration length, but about how much business stakeholders want to invest in learning whether a proposed change will actually give them what they assumed. Source: Fifty Quick Ideas to Improve your User Stories, Gojko Adzic and ...

Project Communication Tips and Tricks

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 12/09/2014 - 17:00
Ever had one of those projects where it seemed you spent most of your time either trying to track down the right person to talk to or trying to get team members to talk to each other?  How do you deal with a project team or stakeholder group that has significant communications dysfunctions? Having struggled […]
Categories: Requirements

Defining Proper Success Metrics on Business Objectives Models

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 12/04/2014 - 17:00
The Business Objective Model (BOM) is one of the foundational  models we use as part of the Seilevel  requirements methodology.  The BOM defines the rationale for doing a project.  Every BOM has the following key component parts. 1.  Problems  – the business problems to be solved or addressed 2.  Objectives – the targeted objectives or […]
Categories: Requirements

Business Analyst vs Project Manager

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 12/02/2014 - 17:00
I seem to run into this question a lot recently  “What’s the ideal relationship between a Business Analyst and Project Manager role?” so I thought I’d address it here. First off, some people do fill both the BA and PM roles. I understand that but also think it’s far from ideal. Different skills are required […]
Categories: Requirements

Knowledge Transfer and Validation

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 11/27/2014 - 17:00
I’ve just wrapped up a 2 ½ year consulting engagement. Typically, when I leave a client, I have been on a project and my focus is on completing as many action items as possible and making sure I have transitioned the remaining action items to someone. My team members generally already understand the project. This […]
Categories: Requirements

Getting Started on an Agile Project

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 17:00
I’m working with a new customer of ours, helping them with the requirements for an application that they will be building in-house. This customer has decided to give Scrum a try, so I’m also helping this project team make that transition as well. This customer had originally decided that they were going to buy a […]
Categories: Requirements

Software Development Conferences Forecast November 2014

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Tue, 11/25/2014 - 15:20
Here is a list of software development related conferences and events on Agile ( Scrum, Lean, Kanban) software testing and software quality, programming (Java, .NET, JavaScript, Ruby, Python, PHP) and databases (NoSQL, MySQL, etc.) that will take place in the coming weeks and that have media partnerships with the Methods & Tools software development magazine. SPTechCon, February 8-11 2015, Austin, USA Use code SHAREPOINT for a $200 conference discount off the 3 and 4-day pass NorDevCon, February 27 2015, Norwich, UK QCon London, March 2-6 2015, London, UK Exclusive 50 pounds Method & Tools discount ...

Quote of the Month November 2014

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Mon, 11/24/2014 - 14:57
Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy if both are frozen. Source: Edward V. Berard (1993) Essays on object-oriented software engineering. Volume 1, Prentice Hall

Built to Kill

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 11/20/2014 - 17:00
During a conversation with a lead engineer working on the Google self-driving car project, it was mentioned that the car would be programmed to consistently break the speed limit. On average, the car will travel 10 mph over any posted speed limit. Why design a car to deliberately break the law? Safety, primarily; since every […]
Categories: Requirements

Software Development Linkopedia November 2014

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:19
Here is our monthly selection of interesting knowledge material on programming, software testing and project management.  This month you will find some interesting information and opinions about Agile coaching and management, positive quality assurance, product managers and owners, enterprise software architecture, functionnal programming, MySQL performance and software testing at Google. Blog: Fewer Bosses. More Coaches. Please. Blog: Advice for Agile Coaches on “Dealing With” Middle Management Blog: Five ways to make testing more positive Blog: 9 Things Every Product Manager Should Know about Being an Agile Product Owner Article: Managing Trust in Distributed Teams Article: Industrial ...

Adjusting To New Information

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 11/18/2014 - 17:00
What does it mean for an organization to be agile? I don’t mean just in terms of agile software development, I mean for any team or company or group of people working toward any common goal. I tend to think about it in terms of ships: imagine that you are crossing the Atlantic, and you […]
Categories: Requirements

INVEST “Slider”

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 11/13/2014 - 17:00
In the Scrum view of the world, the Product Owner (PO) has accountability for the Product Backlog.  This includes the responsibility for the Product Backlog items to be clearly expressed, and be in the right order.  I’ve had the opportunity to work with several companies where the PO was located remotely from the Scrum teams […]
Categories: Requirements

7 Articles On Risk Management in Software Development

From the Editor of Methods & Tools - Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:20
While starting a new software development project creates some enthusiasm, the engineer part of the software developer and project manager will also see this event as a set of possible risks. These risks encompass many domains: business, project team, software architecture, technology… Besides being aware of the possible impediments to the project success, risk management is also used to make choices in the product and technology roadmaps and manage priorities when resources are limited. Here is a list of interesting articles that discusses approaches to risk in software development. Risk Management ...

BA Advice Column

Software Requirements Blog - - Tue, 11/11/2014 - 17:00
Have a knotty problem at work? Need help navigating the treacherous waters of a crazy project? Just ask Betty the Business Analyst! She’s here to drop some wisdom on you for the asking. ——————– Dear Betty, I was sitting in a meeting today when my stakeholder started swearing quietly, in French. What should I have […]
Categories: Requirements

Big Data Challenges in Regulated Industries

Software Requirements Blog - - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 17:00
I have been working with a large financial services company on a “big data” project. Let me qualify the term “big data” for the purpose of this discussion. We are talking of dealing directly with about 10 million records and indirectly about 100 million records. The direct records (approximately 10 million) are those that are […]
Categories: Requirements

20 Quotes about BDD and Agile Analysis

Good Requirements - Jeffrey Davidson - Thu, 11/06/2014 - 08:19

Kickstart Academy, a training organization where you get access to experts started a podcast series and I was privileged enough to be involved recently. Watch (click the image above or watch on Youtube) as Chris Matts interviews Kent McDonald, Jake Calabrese, and myself about the use and misuse of Given-When-Then, Behavior Driven Development (BDD), and business analysis in agile.


There were some great quotes (tweetable moments) and here are 20 of my favorite:

“Use Given-When-Then after the conversation, not during”

“You mean the special, princess, unicorn BA”

“BDD is here to make Eric Evans’ dream — everyone on the team understanding the domain — come to life”

“There are no BAs in agile … is an agile fairytale”

“The tools have made [BDD] into a developer focused thing, and not an ‘understanding’ tool”

“I have never seen a method for getting a BA from brand new or mediocre to competent or very good faster than BDD”

“BDD will help you [BA] do your job better!”

“The people you call ‘old-school’ are your organizations ‘tradition holders'”

“BAs are risk managers”

“Alistair Cockburn got something right when he said analysts should be called Value Managers”

“All the successful people do different things”

“The BA needs to shift from focusing on features and what to develop to what not to develop, maximizing what’s not done”

“I always start with the final THEN and then ask them what gets us to THEN”

“It’s an interview of what you’re doing”

“Can you think of an example where this outcome doesn’t happen? Can you think of a different outcome to this situation?” hat tip to @lunivore

“Where do you engage BDD in the [development] process?” “As soon as possible. And as late as possible.”

“Where do you engage BDD in the [development] process?” “Always. I don’t even understand how you can ask the question.”

“If the system’s not behaving, what is it doing?”

“I think, on the BA side, context is even more significant than it is on the software side, the technical side”

“The tools that are most effective are fairly simple, but have enough subtlety and nuance that they can be very powerful”


Here what you need to find and follow this great group:


If you are looking for more on Behavior Driven Development, then please check out my BDD Resource Page.

Categories: Requirements