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Developers: Help Write The Spec – Don’t Hide Behind It

by Naresh Sarwan on July 13, 2010

In this article, David Hobbs, author of the Web Site Migration Handbook writes about how development teams are often keen to use the excuse that a full requirements analysis has not been conducted to enable them to work out the level of effort involved.

Since effort = time = cost in most IT solutions (whether underwritten by the vendor or the client), it’s easy to see why this is a hot potato that no one wants to be held to account over.  However, as David points out, this can often make the situation worse for development teams since they lose a stake in the scope and can subsequently end up with requirements that are neither feasible or realistic hoisted upon them:

Having spent most of my professional life on the technical side of the world, I’m amazed at how often this statement arises: ‘They haven’t told us the full requirements. Once the business users give us the requirements, we can get back to them with the level of effort’. Are you on the technical team? Before uttering the above words, first consider whether you are missing an important opportunity to shape the requirements. Are you on another team? Try to use the points in this blog post to encourage more of a dialog with developers.” [Read More]

David advocates collaboration between the business and development teams.  As he says, this method is compatible not just with agile methodologies but other alternatives as well.

If you deliver DAM solutions, do you involve your development teams in the requirements analysis stage?  Do they want to participate?

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