The Business Need: Determine requirements through stakeholder cooperation
This client, a provider of technology services, was in the process of making alterations to software they support for their customer, a large payment processing firm. To date, the client company services have focused on maintaining existing applications. Since the client was planning to create a suite of new enhancements and applications for their payment processing customer, they were looking for a partner company who had expertise and best practices in building custom software applications and who had a history of reliability in on-time delivery to production. One of the planned enhancements was a change in the way users logged in, in order to improve the authentication process. The client had some familiarity with Geneca and was interested in Geneca’s Getting PredictableSM best practices as a possible fit with the project. They wanted to see if Getting Predictable would help them in the definition process. The client approached Geneca for help in working with their customer, a large payment processor, to define the project’s business requirements. The client also asked for Geneca’s help in estimating what it would take to build the feature and in creating a plan for its release. Using its requirements best practices, Geneca was engaged to work with them on the following goals:
- Create an agreed-upon definition of success using common metrics between the business and IT
- Document the resource requirements for delivering the project
- Create a plan that identified when each of the features would be delivered
The Requirements Challenge
The business and IT teams were having trouble defining their enhancements in such a way that the business was clear on what they needed, so that the IT team could estimate what it would take to deliver. Often, one of the points leading to difficulty in the development process is an inability to get clear requirements for a project. Getting Predictable creates a model for success by:
- Clarifying project roles and accountabilities
- Creating a common language that defines requirements and quantifies need and effort
- Creating an agreed-upon definition of success using common metrics between the business and IT
The Getting Predictable Solution
Geneca worked with the client team to use Getting Predictable best practices in developing the requirements for the project. Estimates for the project were created by facilitating communication between the teams. By the end of the upfront definition session, requirements and resources to deliver the project had been identified and the client had a clear roadmap for completion. In Getting Predictable best practices, the business team takes ownership of the requirements process, and the IT team learns to focus on commitment-based estimation.
The Rewards: The value of the upfront requirements effort
Exposure to Getting Predictable has increased this client’s awareness of why a common understanding of requirements definition between business and IT is crucial before development begins.