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Software Requirements Blog - Seilevel.com
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A professional blog dedicated to business analysis and project requirements.
Updated: 14 hours 28 min ago

Knowledge Transfer and Validation

14 hours 42 min ago
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

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

Built to Kill

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

Adjusting To New Information

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”

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

BA Advice Column

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

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

The Perils of Being a BA

Tue, 11/04/2014 - 17:00
I’ve been in the software business for a while now – as a programmer, a project manager, and a business analyst. I think it’s affecting the way my synapses fire. Everywhere I experience poor customer service or encounter a web site that doesn’t work well, I get all tied up in knots. What’s worse, I’ll […]
Categories: Requirements

Aligning User Expectations with Business Objectives

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 17:00
Projects with clearly defined business objectives can and do fail even if they deliver functionality that syncs closely with the business objectives defined for the project, but do not meet user expectations. This may seem counter intuitive at first blush since the primary purpose of any enterprise software development effort is to deliver tangible financial […]
Categories: Requirements

Focus on Outcomes…not Solutions

Tue, 10/28/2014 - 17:00
I had a conversation a few weeks ago with an executive at a large organization, and he mentioned that he had read an interesting article a few weeks back on how Business Analysts should be focusing on the outcomes, and not on solutions.  He was surprised at the suggestion of the article, and wanted to […]
Categories: Requirements

When to Release a Product

Thu, 10/23/2014 - 17:00
One of the projects I’ve been working on over the past year has been particularity challenging; it’s one of those everything that can go wrong does go wrong projects. This is a back office product which automates a process updating data records. The updates are transactional. We were almost done and ready to release when […]
Categories: Requirements

2 minute models: A walk through the Business Objectives Model

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 17:00
Please join me for a quick walk through our Business Objectives Model. This video only scratches the surface of how valuable this model really is, and how it can be used for a variety of projects. Please feel free to make suggestions and ask questions in the comments section, and I will address them in […]
Categories: Requirements

Intellectual Honesty

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 17:00
During a recent discussion in the office, the term “intellectual honesty” was bandied about. At Seilevel, intellectual honesty is part of our stated core values, but it’s a term that’s easily misunderstood and misused. Feeling that I needed to understand better what this term really means, I hit the search engines hard. I also, as I […]
Categories: Requirements

Big data and analytics – Interesting tidbits for business analysts and product managers

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 20:12
I’m at Strata+Hadoop World for the first time as part of the data driven business day tutorial, and  I got to present on requirements analytics. But this whole day is awesome, like a crash course in big data and the kinds of results it can get you. The schedule is here, and all presenter slides can be […]
Categories: Requirements

The Business Analyst and The Agile Team

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 17:00
The Agile Extension to the BABOK® Guide is well worth the read, and I’d encourage any business analyst heading into an Agile project to take the time to give it serious consideration. The section entitled “What makes a BA Successful on an Agile Team” starts off with this paragraph: The very nature of agile approaches […]
Categories: Requirements

Waterfall and Agile- An Engineer’s Perspective

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 17:00
Last time I talked about validation and verification and how they apply to both software requirements and engineering. Today, I’d like to cover another topic we talk about in our training and how it relates to engineering; software development lifecycles (SDLC) for Waterfall and Agile. Again, to begin, I’d like to start with the definition […]
Categories: Requirements

Unexciting Thresholds

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 17:00
Kano analysis, named for Professor Noriaki Kano, is helpful for figuring out what features will have the greatest sway on customer satisfaction. The approach uses five categories for considering satisfaction: Exciters (or Delighters), Performance, Threshold, Indifferent, and Reversed (or Questionable). These categories have been translated into English using various names, so you might see Kano […]
Categories: Requirements

Validation and Verification- An Engineer’s Perspective

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 17:00
I recently began teaching our training courses here at Seilevel and one of the topics we cover is validation and verification. In the training, we ask the students to brainstorm what validation and verification are and how they apply to software requirements. Surprisingly, to me at least, there are many people who think these are […]
Categories: Requirements

Just Enough

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 17:00
One concept you’ll hear tossed about in an Agile discussion is that of “just enough.” You want just enough documentation, just enough development and testing, just enough time for meetings, just enough grooming, and so on. The idea is that doing more than is needed means you have throwaway work when you need to make […]
Categories: Requirements

Empower Business Analysts to Turn Them Into Product Managers

Thu, 09/25/2014 - 17:00
The Business Analyst role in most organizations I have worked with is passive and reactive by design.  Analysts are given a feature description and tasked with defining the requirements for the same.  The analyst then goes off to perform a set of activities and tasks like elicitation, model creation and requirements definition.  Eventually, they create […]
Categories: Requirements