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Business Analysts in an office working on their laptops
How do your requirements smell?
While delivering the Business Systems Analysis course today one of the participants asked about the FRUEMP acronym (ISO standard 9126: Functionality, Reliability, Usability, Efficency, Maintainability, Portability) for requirements types – he suggested PERFUMe instead, which brings to mind the smell of a system. It has been my experience on many projects that the NFR’…

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Business Analyst smiling and talking to group in a meeting
Changes to the Business Analyst role
With the rise in the take-up of the Agile approaches, one of the most common areas of confusion is the changing role of the business analyst.   I feel that the fundamental nature of the role doesn’t change – ensuring the customer voice is heard and business value is protected. The the way we do analysis, and when we do the detailed analysis does change – focusing on”just-enough, just-in-time”…

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Agile team member with pencil in hand looking at laptop
High performance teams emerge
Something that came across to me last week when delivering a suite of Agile courses is how high-performance teams emerge.  One day of the course covers the identification of requirements as stories; to help make it real we used two actual projects that the customer is about to start.   They are the two most important pieces of work this group is currently facing, so the pressure is real. We had…

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Software tester with puzzled expression
Common testing issues
What are the key things that we find are issues for software testing? How can we address these problems? In my experience we usually have a solution to most of the problems – we just need to identify the problems and then we can workshop the solutions! Here is my top 10 problems:1. late delivery of code2. poor requirements3. wrong requirements4. late engagement of the testers5. shoddy code6…

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Project manager typing on laptop with a cup of coffee
Don’t start until you know when you’ll be finished!
One of the best articles on project management I’ve come across over the last couple of years is this one from CIO magazine. The author makes some great points about making sure you understand what the project sponsor will measure success by.   He makes the distinction between a project that builds a brick making factory when the sponsor was expecting a factory making bricks – fully staffed with…

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Agile team member pointing to plans on a pin board
Agile (note the big A) versus agile (note the small a)
I picked this one up several years at one of Software Education’s  Software Development Conferences.   I think it might have been Steve Mellor who said the worst thing to happen to agile was when it was re-spelled Agile. I think that “agile” (note the small a) is the application of the commonsense, expressed so well in the Agile Manifesto, that competent Software Project Managers have been…

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