Author Anthony Chen

Where is the value?

On a project that I worked on a few years ago, we were building a system for managing discounts and promotions on an ecommerce website for a Fortune 500 retailer. The system had two parts, a management system and full integration into the website so that the promotions would show …

Read More

Legacy Migrations

We recently finished a project fully documenting a very large existing system. The ecosystem was made of about 30 applications working together and was obviously very complex. This is not unusual in large organizations. The goal of the project was to understand enough about the existing requirements of the system …

Read More

The Magic of 7-9

If you recall from psychology 101, most people can only hold 7-9 items in their short term memory. To learn more pieces of information, you need to transfer those items to your long term memory. There are two ways that you can do this, either by rote memorization or by …

Read More

JAD Sessions Part 2 – Roles

JAD Session Part 1 is here. JAD Sessions have clearly defined participant roles. Each person has a critical part to play to make the session successful. Because of the short timeline (3-5 days) participants must be absolutely clear on how the JAD session will work and what their roles and …

Read More

JAD Sessions Part 1 – The Need

A few years ago Joint Application Design (JAD) was all the rage, however lately I have heard nary a peep from the JAD front until recently. As a result of a couple of customer requests for JAD, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss JAD. Like most processes JAD …

Read More

People, Systems and Data analysis

When looking at an existing application ecosystem for the first time, whether for an upgrade to the functionality or for a complete system migration, it is sometimes difficult to know where to begin in our quest to understand the ecosystem. To add to the problem, the most common state that …

Read More

Offshore Development Part 1

Your company has decided to take the leap and begin migrating some of your development offshore. As a business analyst/product manager, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that management will probably realize how important your job really is. The bad news is that …

Read More

Yahoo releases “design” patterns

We have recently had a number of discussions on the messageboard about requirements patterns. The concept comes from the software design world which uses design patterns to save significant time when architecting software (See Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software ) The concept behind requirements patterns is similar with …

Read More

Traditional software requirements don’t work?

Recently I have talked to a number of clients that have referred to the fact that traditional requirements don’t work. It didn’t take long to ferret out that they were referring to creating software requirements using a waterfall model. I want to state for the record that I completely agree …

Read More

When is a software requirements spec done?

The short answer is that a software requirements spec is done when you can convince the stakeholders to sign on the dotted line. The long answer is that a requirements specification is truly never done. It should be a living document that is updated throughout the project. As decisions are …

Read More