Archive for April, 2008

When Faucets Fail: Keys to Successfully Adopting New Tools

Example of Failed Adoption In 1928, the wild cabbage cultivar known as broccoli was still new to the United States when E.B. White, channeling his inner scamp, penned his most famous caption for a cartoon in the New Yorker. The scene: An earnest mother admonishes her child to try the new vegetable, and the little [...]

Frequency of Use, It’s Not Just a Use Case Template Item

Unfortunately, most of us know about projects that had low user adoption because users found them: Too slow. Too hard to learn how to use. Too inefficient to use. How does this happen? Performance and usability requirements are missing or unfulfilled. Frequency of Use is part of the use case meta-data. A use case’s frequency [...]

The Business Use Case

Use cases are an indispensible tool for capturing the behavioral requirements of a software product and many analysts employ them exclusively for that purpose. But use cases can also help describe the interaction between external entities and a business. And, there are some very good reasons to develop the business use cases that describe the [...]

Indeed, Why Bother?

In his post Why Bother?, Mike A. used an interesting example. He questioned whether or not it was worth the effort to make a bed. He concluded it was. I disagree with one of his reasons, “it’s the right thing to do”. Here are two reasons to make the bed: To keep the sheets clean, [...]

Scalability Requirements

Scalability is the ability of a system to grow in its capacity to meet the rising demand for its services offered. System scalability criteria could include the ability to accommodate increasing number of · users, · transactions per millisecond, · Number of SQL statements that can run and provide results simultaneously. I know many small [...]

Tips for when you are missing the E in SME?

Today we’ll explore what you can do if your subject matter experts (SMEs) aren’t actually experts in the subject matter! I actually ran into this scenario a few years ago. I don’t want to actually describe the specific project to reveal anything about the organization or people it happened in, so I have made up [...]

Best Practices with Use Cases

This may be a lot of review for seasoned use case writers, but for those of you who are not as familiar with this requirements model, here are some best practices to consider. I assume you already know what a use case is, why you would want to use them, and the components that make [...]

Style vs. Substance

In the world of requirements, we often focus totally on the substance of our creations – either in documents, diagrams, or requirements tools. There’s no doubt that the substance is extremely important. After all, if you don’t have the right content in the requirements, you’re in for a ton of trouble. The question is – [...]

Getting to Yes – with Requirements!

Negotiation is an important part of getting any project right. It’s rare for a project not to have any conflicting priorities or competing objectives. How do we handle this as business analysts? We typically have to work as negotiators. Negotiation is much more complex than “I want this, you want that, let’s compromise”. One can [...]

The BABOK Ate My Laptop

I was doing some research to gather various industry opinions on a topic. So like any good requirements person, I thought I would check the BABOK! I headed out to the IIBA website to open it. I opened it online and remembered it was 329 pages, so I saved it to my hard drive, thinking [...]