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Software Requirements Blog - Seilevel.com
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A professional blog dedicated to business analysis and project requirements.
Updated: 6 hours 18 min ago

Use Cases 101: Let’s Take an Uber

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 Use cases, once ubiquitous, have largely been replaced by process flows and other less text-heavy models.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

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

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

Project Communication Tips and Tricks

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

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

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

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

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