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Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?
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Requirements: Whose job are they anyway?

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A discussion of who is responsible for requirements (and specification) in software development …

A discussion of who is responsible for requirements (and specification) in software development
- Business Analysts? Product Managers? Architects? Developers? Tester?

Published in: Technology, Business
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  • 1. allan kelly allan@allankelly.net Twitter: @allankellynet http://www.allankelly.net Requirements: Who’s job are they anyway? Agile Cambridge September 2013
  • 2. Allan Kelly… Chapters in… • Business Analysis and Leadership, Pullan & Archer 2013 • 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know, Henney, 2010 • Context Encapsulation in Pattern Languages of Program Design, vol#5, 2006  Consulting on software development & strategy  Training for Agile Author – Changing Software Development: Learning to be Agile (2008, Wiley) – Business Patterns for Software Developers (2012, Wiley - ISBN: 978-1119999249) – Xanpan: Reflections on agile (work in progress) https://leanpub.com/xanpan
  • 3. Who does Requirements where you work?
  • 4. What is a Requirement anyway? And what’s the difference between a Requirement and a Specification?
  • 5. Requirement or Specification? Tom Gilb Competitive Engineering, 2005, p.400 & p. 418 “A requirement is a stakeholder-desired, or needed, target or constraint” “A ‘specification’ communicated one or more system ideas and/or descriptions to an intended audience. A specification is usually a formal, written means for communicating information”
  • 6. Michael Jackson & Pamela Zave Deriving Specifications from Requirements: An Example, ACM Press 1995 A requirement is a desired relationship among phenomena of the environment of a system, to be brought about by the hardware/software machine that will be constructed and installed in the environment. A specification describes machine behaviour sufficient to achieve the requirement. A specification is a restricted kind of requirement … Specifications are derived from requirements by reasoning about the environment, … These ideas, and some associated techniques of description, are illustrated by a simple example.
  • 7. Requirements & Specification • Specifications derive from Requirements • A requirement – Is the desired outcome • A specification – Contains details
  • 8. Dev Team – Coders, Testers, etc. … Requirements go In Working Software comes out Documents, Stories, User Stories, Cukes, Product Backlog Item, Quantum of Value (QoV) Business Value Increment (BVI)
  • 9. Dev Team – Coders, Testers, etc. … Requirements go In Working Software comes out Team need to know what is needed Specifications might be worked out inside if necessary
  • 10. Requirements go In Working Software comes out Stakeholders don’t always agree Things change
  • 11. • Who does your evaluation? • What criteria do they use? An aside: Evaluation Please please please! Close the loop!
  • 12. Keep work flowing! Teams will be more effective if arteries are clear Development Team Working software Every 2 weeks….
  • 13. Requirements go In Stakeholders don’t always agree Things change Requirements Engineering The Need Side
  • 14. Nature Abhors: A Vacuum! • If you are lucky… – Someone will quietly come forward – They will be competent & passionate – They will double up their existing role • If you are unlucky… – Several people will assume the role – They be be incompetent & passionate – They will stop doing their existing role Grass Creative Commons license from WikiCommons by MarcusObal
  • 15. Requirements Engineering Business Analysts Business Partners Product Managers Product Analysts Architects, Developers, Dev Managers, Project Managers, Testers, SMEs, …. Wellintentioned amateurs TheProfessionals
  • 16. AmateursProfessionals Product Managers & Business Analysts Requirements? Developers, Dev Managers, Project Managers, Testers, Architects…. Subject Matter Experts Domain Experts
  • 17. Should developers do Reqs? • Possibly… – small work effort, small team • Are they presentable to customers? • Is it best use of their skills? • Do they have time? • Do they have empathy? – with users/stakeholders?
  • 18. Architects? • Again: Is it the best use of skills? – Do they have the skills? – Do they have the time? • Generally: No – Architects have empathy with tech not people – Architects represent tech & code – Architects should be foil to Requirements people • Only for systems were technology dominates
  • 19. And the SME/Domain Expert… • Sometimes • Subject Matter Experts are great for Specs – Know detail • But do they… – Have Big Picture? – Are they too close emotionally?
  • 20. Rocket Scientists • Combine multiple skill sets – Domain knowledge, probably spent time in field – Technology, probably can code – Might have a PhD • Probably have another title – BA, Product Manager, Architect, … – Chief Engineer – Just roll with it - Who cares about titles?
  • 21. So who should? • Requirements Engineers – Business Analysts – Product Managers
  • 22. Requirements Sub-Species Business Analyst “The answers are in this building” • Works: Corporate • Lives: Canary Wharf • Users • Wants: Happy Stakeholders • Measured by: Cost • Professional Proxy Product Manager “The answers are not in this building” • Works: Product Company • Lives: Silicon Valley • Customers • Wants: Happy Customers • Measure by: Revenue • Professional Customer Note: Plural of Customer is The Market
  • 23. Product Owner huh? • Scrum Product Owner is the Bastard Child of Business Analyst and Product Managers • Product Owner as defined by Scrum is a pale imitation of a Product Manager • Product Owner is the really important role – (but Scrum Master gets all the attention) • Product Owner is useful alias for a BA or PM – And others…
  • 24. When worlds collide! Worlds are increasingly overlapping • BAs need to pay more attention to out there • Prod Mgrs need to pay more attention to in here • Everyone needs to start with real customers “A customer has a choice to use another product. A user doesn’t.” Allan Kelly “What’s the difference between a user and a customer? The difference is a customer has given you their credit card data.” FT 28 Jan 2013
  • 25. Take-away 1. Who’s job is it? – Horses for courses • Business Analyst • Product Manager • Specialist SME • Rocket Scientist SME 2. Do NOT tolerate vacuums 3. Product Owner is an alias http://blog.allankelly.net allan kelly Software Strategy Ltd. www.allankelly.net allan@allankelly.net Twitter: @allankellynet

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