Finding Implied Requirements

Posted by Robert Merrill on April 20, 2012 under Business Analysis and Requirements, Project Set-Up | Be the First to Comment

On the LinkedIn IIBA® (International Institute of Business Analysis) Group, I said I had a systematic process for finding implied requirements and was asked to share it. I wanted to write something quickly, but I intend to return and add an example and some graphics.

  1. Elicit the primary stakeholder (user) requirements. These are the ones that people are asking for and that will deliver business(1) benefits.
  2. Analyze those requirements for the underlying data and/or unstructured information that they depend upon, create, and/or modify. Work with the subject matter experts (SMEs) for the primary user requirements to verify these, using a simplified logical data model or analysis class diagram that they can understand. If they mention other information or data types in passing, add those to your model.
  3. Check the data model and the user requirements for consistency. Read more of this article »

Management remains in denial

Posted by Robert Merrill on April 14, 2012 under Agile Methods, Change Leadership | Be the First to Comment

So reads a section heading from “The Best-Kept Management Secret on the Planet: Agile,” by Steve Denning, a contributor to

Denning’s premise is that Agile was invented by the Wrong People, namely geeks—software developers—“the most problematic of a big organization’s employees,” and not B-School professors and management gurus. He compares it to the invention of the chronometer by a carpenter, the foundation of modern genetics by a monk, and the identification of the cause of stomach ulcers by a practicing pathologist (all true stories).

According to Denning, Agile is not just a software-development breakthrough, it’s a management breakthrough that allows disciplined execution and continuous innovation to occur at the same time. When I saw his article, my first thought was, “Here’s more evidence that Agile’s going mainstream!”

But then I got this sinking feeling. Read more of this article »

Will Agile soon be just Dog bites Man?

Posted by Robert Merrill on April 2, 2012 under Agile Methods | Be the First to Comment

“Dog bites man? That’s not news. Man bites dog! Now THAT’S news!”

A mega-project that comes in near budget and that users actually like is NEWS…Man Bites Dog. But the April 2, 2012 Information Week’s “First Look at the FBI’s New Sentinel System,” mostly talks about user acceptance testing (300 FBI agents gave it an 8.5 out of 10), a re-platforming on Oracle Exadata servers to boost performance, and a description of its Microsoft-Outlook-like user interface. Almost in passing, the article says, “For the past 18 months, the FBI has been using agile development to push the long-delayed project across the finish line.”

Reading on, I learned that EMC (of VMWare fame) just bought Pivotal Labs, the maker of Agile project management tool Pivotal Tracker. The headline reads, “EMC Brings Social Networking to Big Data.” Pat Gelsinger, EMC President, describes it’s Greenplum Chorus as “Facebook for Data Scientists,” and the article goes on to say, “EMC’s Greenplum division and Pivotal Labs’ agile methodology experts developed the Chorus big data platform together,” before the Pivotal acquisition.

Big Government Projects and Big Data…that’s news. Agile? More and more, that’s just how you get software done. Dog bites man.