Working with requirements is both enjoyable and challenging. You have to listen to many different stakeholders and you need commitment from many employees. What do you think is the best way of creating quality in your development projects?
Erik Graeve is one of Softronic’s most experienced requirements capture experts. He has extensive experience of working in the public sector and he shares some of his most important tips for creating quality in development projects.
First and foremost it is important to make sure that you have the right competence and commitment in the assignment, and that your client is also involved. It is then important to ensure that everyone in the group has the same focus and has a joint vision of what the solution should be. This means that all the stakeholders have to be involved; they should not be treated like ‘islands’ who you do not help or communicate with. Once you have laid the foundation, you have a solid base to work from.
So this is how I create high quality in the development projects that I take part in:
- Capture all important requirements at an early stage and analyse them.
Set up a plan for managing risks. It is important not to take any short cuts or to be in too much of a hurry.
- Communicate effectively.
Do as much as possible eye to eye; this avoids any unnecessary understandings when sending emails.
- Do not take short cuts in analyses when refining agile methods. It is easy to underestimate the complexity.
- Discuss any issues that come up regularly with the team and with the stakeholders that are affected by these issues. Here it is important for everyone to feel confident about asking questions rather than keeping them to themselves. Do not trust that others ‘must definitely have thought the right thing’ and do not believe that what you are thinking might not be that important.
- Spend time analysing any test cases that are available.
Test the solution thoroughly both functionally and non-functionally.
- Demonstrate the solution incrementally, not just when everything is finished.
- Prepare sufficient documentation (for example, different kinds of requirements, flows, interfaces, etc.). The documentation must meet the needs both when producing it and managing it.
- It is important to make the right technical choices and select the right architecture. Think in the long term if the solution is expected to be used over a long period of time.
- Create prototypes, produce a POC and if necessary perform usability tests for more complex solutions.
- For larger projects or assignments, you often need project management to handle the general management.
Finally it is important to create good collaboration within and between the teams carrying out the assignment. If you make sure that you always have all of these points at the back of your mind when starting a new project, it will be much easier and your deliveries will be of a much higher quality.
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