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Software Requirements Blog - Seilevel.com
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A professional blog dedicated to business analysis and project requirements.
Updated: 11 hours 36 min ago

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 today as a first timer as part of the data driven business day tutorial. I got to present in the middle of it on requirements analytics. But this whole day is awesome, like a crash course in big data and kinds of results it can get you. The schedule is here […]
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

Games and Business Objectives

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 17:00
A few months ago, one of my co-workers introduced a group of us here at Seilevel to a game called Cookie Clicker. The way the game works is that you can “bake” cookies by clicking on a giant picture of a cookie on the screen, just like the title says. You can use the cookies […]
Categories: Requirements

Making Agile Work

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 17:00
I’ve spent the past several months on an Agile project at a company that is going through the process of switching from an entrenched waterfall software development process to Agile. And while I’m still not going to claim to be an Agile guru, I’ve learned a few things from watching the process unfold. Here are […]
Categories: Requirements

How to form a team to develop your mobile app

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 17:00
If you’re a Product Manager, chances are you have lots of ideas, and your problem may be deciding on which one to execute against. If you’re interested in getting your name more out into the field and keeping your skillset relevant for today’s world, you may have considered making your own mobile app. Once you […]
Categories: Requirements

Managing Stakeholders Expectations- What to do when your SMEs think your project will solve all their problems….

Thu, 09/11/2014 - 17:00
There are lots of times that stakeholders have unrealistic expectations and that you, as the product manager/business analyst will have to manage them so that the scope of the project doesn’t balloon out of proportion. In this blog post, however, I am going to speak to a very specific type of stakeholder expectation: that your […]
Categories: Requirements

Techno-BDDs: What Daft Punk Can Teach Us About Requirements

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 17:00
I listen to a lot of Daft Punk lately—especially while I’m running.   On one of my recent runs, my mind’s reflections upon the day’s work merged with my mental impressions of the music blaring from my earbuds, which happened to be the Daft Punk song, “Technologic.”  For those of you unfamiliar with the song, […]
Categories: Requirements

Improving Time-To-Market and Business-IT Alignment

Mon, 09/08/2014 - 11:13
A very common area of focus we hear from organizations is the desire to decrease product Time To Market (TTM) and improve Business-IT Alignment. Projects are either running long or delivering a product that does not match the vision of the business– both resulting in significant increases of resource time and effort, and opportunity cost. There are a number […]
Categories: Requirements

Email Effectiveness–Write Good Subject Lines

Thu, 09/04/2014 - 17:00
Email is a significant part of my business life, and probably yours as well. I really appreciate a well-written email. And, I’m frequently frustrated by a poorly written one. Janelle Estes’ recent post, Email Subject Lines: 5 Tips to Attract Readers is written with newsletters in mind, but I think most of the points generalize […]
Categories: Requirements

Stop Being Difficult! How to Deal with Passive Aggressive Stakeholders

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 17:00
Talking to a stakeholder, you hear “Sure. Ok.” but you sense that wasn’t what the stakeholder was thinking. That’s because you are probably dealing with a difficult stakeholder — one who likely doesn’t even mean to be one. We’ve all run into them (and some of us have been the difficult ones!). “Difficult” can look […]
Categories: Requirements