Practical Safety Tactics for Building Your Control Strategy
Learn how to:
- Understand the nature of requirements risk and the need to control it
- Avoid requirements-based failures by reconfirming needs and feasibility, managing customer expectations, prioritizing requirements, and incrementally committing to a project
- Mitigate the impact of requirements-based defects by requiring frequent demos, decoupling vision from build, and prototyping the unfamiliar
- Minimize communication problems using rich definitions, algebraic formulas, user personas, and spec patterns
- Monitor requirements status by tracking requirements instability and growth, the accuracy of assumptions, and stakeholder participation
- Identify unclear, imprecise, and missing information using requirements analysis and reviews
- Staff for requirements development by building a cross-functional team
- Plan for requirements risk management by eliciting meta-requirements, by brainstorming risks, risk indicators, and root causes, and by developing a requirements risk management strategy
- Prepare for requirements risk management by formulating a baseline requirements development process, providing tools, developing defect and root cause profiles, and conducting requirements retrospectives
Increase the likelihood of project success by using a safer development process
Developing Effective Requirements is a Risky Business
The Challenge: Requirements development is hard. Major requirements problems remain, especially on larger projects, even when basic requirements development and management practices are effectively used.
Part of the problem is that requirements development is less about neat technical activities like specifying and analyzing and more about messy human activities like teaming, discovering, communicating, and negotiating. Human factors get in the way of efficiency. High precision is unnatural to many people. Ambiguous communication is the rule, not the exception. Checking requirements is very hard be best practice reviews miss 2/3 of the defects. Deep understanding is acquired in layers over time and cannot be scheduled. None of this will change as long as humans are involved.
Some, for example in the agile community, believe that large-scale requirements cannot be done effectively an and they may be right. History provides strong evidence for this view. A different interpretation is that just doing the basics is not enough.
Risk Management is Project Management for Adults (DeMarco & Lister)
The Response: Waterfall, spiral, agile, or lean; no matter how you develop your systems, the basic requirements development practices in these methods do not adequately control requirements risk. Just as seat belts and air bags should be installed in a car, each of these development methods should be supplemented with risk control tactics. This workshop surveys more than 50 safety tactics that you can use in any combination to develop a requirements risk management strategy tailored to the dangers in your situation. You will learn about tactics for avoiding failures, mitigating the impact of defects, minimizing communication problems, and monitoring status as well as tactics for staffing, planning, and preparing for requirements risk management.
Discover Practical Tactics that Reduce Project Risk
The Workshop: This two-day workshop will give you an opportunity to practice some of the safety tactics and experience their impact firsthand. Lively lectures along with practical examples and group discussions and exercises will provide you with the understanding and experience needed to help make your requirements safer.
In-Class Team Exercises:
A major component of the course will be hands-on exercises. Exercises let you experience the detailed use of some tactics. Sharing this experience with others exposes you to alternative viewpoints and approaches. Case study discussions challenge you to apply the tactics you have learned. Specifically, you will:
- Identify your requirements risks
- Identify challenges of incremental commitment
- Create rich definitions including a derived value, quality profile, and action contract
- Replace a magic number with a derived value
- Create a state transition table
- Interpret requirements change measures
- Brainstorm risks and tactics for a case study
- Walk through the tactics usage process
20 Immediate Benefits of Taking This Class:
- Understand the challenges of precise communication.
- Recognize the danger of text blocks and value of patterns and pictures.
- Learn the challenges of stakeholder differences and team building.
- Factor requirements risk into six types and focus on controlling each type.
- Increase project safety using requirements risk management tactics.
- Learn how to forecast danger accurately.
- Create a continuous risk management process
- Understand the need to manage customer expectations and resolve conflicts.
- Keep a lookout for failure and commit incrementally.
- Understand the need to require frequent demos of understanding
- Learn to use rich definitions and algebraic formulas.
- Know why requirements development is so dangerous.
- Focus on quality and environmental requirements early.
- Understand the causes and impact of unstable requirements.
- See how to monitor requirements instability and growth.
- Know why longer specs need incremental review.
- Learn which tools support safer requirements.
- Plan to create a cross-functional team.
- Understand your choices when defining a baseline requirements process.
- Use requirements checking techniques that work.
Who should attend this class:
This workshop will be valuable to all those concerned with controlling systems development risk. These include:
- Project sponsors
- System users
- Development directors
- Project managers and leads
- Requirements managers, leads and analysts
- System architects
- Functional designers
- Verification and test leads
- Quality assurance staff
- Process improvement leads