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Requirements Best Practices

Adventures in Data Mapping

I’ve done a lot of data mapping lately. Seriously. In the past eight months or so, my work life has been taken over by a seemingly endless stream of data mapping between interfaces for a credit adjudication system. This was an overwhelming amount of work for me at first. As …

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Deriving Requirements by Trial and Error

I recently transitioned into a business analyst role. Before that, I was considered a subject matter expert (SME) on the customer end of a software project. This sets the stage for discussing my experience as a SME, how becoming a business analyst expanded my understanding, and what I can take …

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Unspoken Assumptions

Fundamentally, assumptions are facts that we tentatively decide to accept as true so we can continue to make progress, even though we know those assumptions might end up being wrong. Assume standard temperature and pressure, or assume a frictionless plane, or assume a spherical cow. Rather than measuring exact temperatures …

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Using Revenue Properly to Measure Project Success

Objective measures are needed to determine the success and failure of commercial software development efforts. The feedback for companies that sell software as a product or as service is immediate and determined by the marketplace – they either have revenue or they do not. However, for software developed to use …

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Writing Requirements for Human Beings

On a painfully cold night in February, not long ago, I rounded up several friends and headed down to a slightly moldy church basement on R Street. The plan was to prepare a meal for a nearby women’s shelter. Our enthusiasm ran high; our skill and organization, perhaps not quite …

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Visual Models for Software Requirements: Now Available on Amazon

Joy Beatty and Anthony Chen are co-authoring a book for Microsoft Press, and Visual Models for Software Requirements is now available for advance ordering on Amazon. This book will help business analysts, business analyst teams, and IT product managers apply best practices for capturing, analyzing, and implementing software requirements through …

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Requirements Definition? You Know The Rest…

Is the craft of requirements definition inherently mechanical and not conducive to artistic or any higher form of expression? Are those of us who pursue this vocation doomed forever to be trapped in a world of serial aggregation and disaggregation? Is it a lifetime of purgatory surrounded by Use Cases, …

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