Are your requirements are too expensive?

Welcome to Agile Slices; a series of quick pragmatic articles of about 200 words, intended to help you, your team and your business, harness the power of agility.

 

Are your requirements are too expensive?

 

If you are working in a software shop, or if your company is producing software, the odds are high that your company is spending too much money on requirements.

This is natural because we live in a plan driven culture. The expectation is that we figure out everything that needs to go into the product before we start. This will allow us to take our completed documentation and hand it over the wall to a development group that will produce what we requested.

Chances are, your company is wasting money, because when writing requirements, we are at the lowest point in our knowledge of our customer real needs.

Remember:

Our customers will not know what they want, until we show them what they asked for.

 

This is why reducing cycle time is so important.

The shorter the cycle time, the sooner you can build what your customers wants to pay for, as opposed to what they asked for.

This is not to say that planning isn’t important, it is, but it’s important to only do the right amount of planning.

 

Ask your developers (in private) these questions.

Have you ever gotten requirements that were too detailed in certain places, but not detailed enough in others?

Have you ever gotten requirements that you didn’t have any questions about?

Have you ever gotten requirements that you didn’t have a hand in making?

Have you ever been told what to do, without being given an explanation as to why you were doing it?

 

Stay On Mission.

 

If you have already used this slice, please add your voice to the conversation. If it sounds silly, please take some actions to test a particular idea’s validity, and then share your results, good or bad, with the community. If something strikes you as golden, then I’m glad I was able to provide value to your life, please let us know what difference it has made for you or your company.

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