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Requirements fundamentals 10th July 2014

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Requirements are often cited as a contributory cause of project under-performance. In Jeremy’s opinion, analysis around this assumption reveals, that many causes are at play, only some of which are influential for project managers, even fewer are controllable.

Jeremy discussed requirements methods and requirements myths, and provided notional analysis models to use as starting points for requirements activities.

Jeremy Warhurst attained both BSc(Hons) in Project Management and MSc in Strategic Project Management. These studies were undertaken to support his career in software development, where he has held roles including business analyst, software tester and software quality engineer.

Additional practical studies in Lean Sigma encouraged focus on observing problems in working practices as they happen. Resulting from the above is perspective about why some projects suffer due to poor requirements, some potential remedies, and the barriers to implementing the remedies.

As a member of the APM Value Management SiG the value lost to organisations from sub-optimal requirements practices is central to the research, analysis and writings of the speaker.

Jeremy Warhurst is a committee member of the APM Value Management SiG.

Requirements are often cited as a contributory cause of project under-performance. In Jeremy’s opinion, analysis around this assumption reveals, that many causes are at play, only some of which are influential for project managers, even fewer are controllable.

Jeremy discussed requirements methods and requirements myths, and provided notional analysis models to use as starting points for requirements activities.

Jeremy Warhurst attained both BSc(Hons) in Project Management and MSc in Strategic Project Management. These studies were undertaken to support his career in software development, where he has held roles including business analyst, software tester and software quality engineer.

Additional practical studies in Lean Sigma encouraged focus on observing problems in working practices as they happen. Resulting from the above is perspective about why some projects suffer due to poor requirements, some potential remedies, and the barriers to implementing the remedies.

As a member of the APM Value Management SiG the value lost to organisations from sub-optimal requirements practices is central to the research, analysis and writings of the speaker.

Jeremy Warhurst is a committee member of the APM Value Management SiG.

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Requirements fundamentals 10th July 2014

  1. 1. Welcome Requirements Fundamentals, Myths and Methods © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  2. 2. Jeremy’s activities very early in project very late in project  hands-on  on the job learning  training  remote mentoring  on the job learning © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. requirements testing
  3. 3. Brief discussion When requirements are good then…. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  4. 4. Brief discussion When requirements are bad then…. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  5. 5. Brief discussion Requirements are good when…. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  6. 6. Brief discussion Requirements are bad when…. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  7. 7. Tangible Deliverables Intangible Deliverables 96 – 100% 86 – 95% 71 – 85% 51 - 70% < 50% n n n n n n n n n n © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  8. 8. Tangible Deliverables Intangible Deliverables 96 – 100% 86 – 95% 71 – 85% 51 - 70% < 50% 0 9 14 7 2 1 5 2 5 1 © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  9. 9. objectivity © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  10. 10. What does JW mean by ‘fundamental’? © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  11. 11. Floor 1 Floor 2 Floor 3 Floor 4 Floor 5 © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  12. 12. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  13. 13. Org Project / Process © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  14. 14. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  15. 15. requirements are the first phase of any project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  16. 16. requirements are the first phase of any project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. safe assumption or myth?
  17. 17. requirements contain all the detail for the deliverables of the project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  18. 18. requirements contain all the detail for the deliverables of the project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. safe assumption or myth?
  19. 19. requirements contain all the detail for the deliverables of the project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. PEOPLE need to navigate through SUMMARIES & MODELS to the detail held in DOMAIN SPECIFIC FORMS
  20. 20. requirements contain all the detail for the deliverables of the project © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  21. 21. prove it to yourself observe the WASTE caused when KNOWLEDGE & REQUIREMENRTS are sub-optimal
  22. 22. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  23. 23. count your questions
  24. 24. Weak questioning Tell me about the scheduled system maintenance downtime?
  25. 25. Strong questioning Is it correct that the system will definitely be available to users between 7am & midnight? © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  26. 26. Perfect questioning The system will definitely be unavailable to users between midnight & 7am The system will definitely be available to users between 7am & midnight © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  27. 27. © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. Question Types and the Questioning Life-Cycle
  28. 28. requirements is a purely analytical activity © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. safe assumption or myth?
  29. 29. requirements is a purely analytical activity © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited. what value has creativity to offer?
  30. 30. Research Exercise Results xxx © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  31. 31. FINDINGS – 22nd May 2014 Total No of participants: Total Number 131: Total Number 134: Completed 131 Completed 134: % Complete 131 % Complete 134 Average time 131 Average time 134 % time difference 44 22 22 13 15 59% 68% 496 s 323 s 53.6%
  32. 32. Research Exercise Results Summary Removing single vital phrase (3 words) from a 134 word work instruction caused a 57% increase in average effort taken to complete the task © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  33. 33. FINDINGS – 10th July 2014 Total No of participants: Total Number 281: Total Number 562: Completed 281 Completed 562: % Complete 281 % Complete 562 Average time 281 Average time 562 % time difference 56 26 20 17 12 65 60 225 s 293 s 30%
  34. 34. Research Exercise Results Summary Adding additional unnecessary material to a work instruction (doubling the word count) increases the time it takes to complete the task by 30% © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  35. 35. Future Research If you are interested in participating as a research subject, or would be able to help us run a research exercise with any groups you know, please contact Jeremy © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  36. 36. Creativity: www.greenhatting.com (is a prototype creativity application designed by Jeremy) www.watchout4snakes.com Books: Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman Art of War, Sun Tsu Information is Beautiful Contact: Information systems work www.requirequality.co.uk, Project training, coaching, mentoring, www.fundamantalsfirst.co.uk, Email: jeremy@requirequality.co.uk © Copyright Require Quality Ltd, all rights reserved, reproduction without permission is prohibited.
  37. 37. This presentation was delivered at an APM event To find out more about upcoming events please visit our website www.apm.org.uk/events

Editor's Notes

  • Findings
     
    An attempt has been made to illustrate the effect of not giving a complete set of requirements. The hand out’s contained two different sets of requirements. Although very similar, half of the pages that were handed out for the purpose of this experiment contained an additional 3 words. Each page contained 100 words of instructions, informing you of the requirement, however 50% of the pages included an additional 3 words (103 words) effectively resulting in 3% additional information. The three words were – read diagonally upwards
     
    The purpose of the experiment is to determine the percentage time difference that has resulted, in this case, by giving an additional 3% of information.
     
    The result has been …… To be added on completion of the presentation
  • Findings
     
    An attempt has been made to illustrate the effect of not giving a complete set of requirements. The hand out’s contained two different sets of requirements. Although very similar, half of the pages that were handed out for the purpose of this experiment contained an additional 3 words. Each page contained 100 words of instructions, informing you of the requirement, however 50% of the pages included an additional 3 words (103 words) effectively resulting in 3% additional information. The three words were – read diagonally upwards
     
    The purpose of the experiment is to determine the percentage time difference that has resulted, in this case, by giving an additional 3% of information.
     
    The result has been …… To be added on completion of the presentation
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