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Requirements-Led Project Management: Discovering David's Slingshot Hardcover – August 30, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Requirements are a crucial ingredient of any successful project. This is true for any product--software, hardware, consumer appliance, or large-scale construction. You have to understand its requirements--what is needed and desired--if you are to build the right product. Most developers recognize the truth in this statement, even if they don't always live up to it.

Far less obvious, however, is the contribution that the requirements activity makes to project management. Requirements, along with other outputs from the requirements activity, are potent project management tools.

In Requirements-Led Project Management, Suzanne and James Robertson show how to use requirements to manage the development lifecycle. They show program managers, product and project managers, team leaders, and business analysts specifically how to:

  • Use requirements as input to project planning and decision-making
  • Determine whether to invest in a project
  • Deliver more appropriate products with a quick cycle time
  • Measure and estimate the requirements effort
  • Define the most effective requirements process for a project
  • Manage stakeholder involvement and expectations
  • Set requirements priorities
  • Manage requirements across multiple domains and technologies
  • Use requirements to communicate across business and technological boundaries

In their previous book, Mastering the Requirements Process, the Robertsons defined Volere--their groundbreaking and now widely adopted requirements process. In this second book, they look at the outputs from the requirements process and demonstrate how you can take advantage of the all-important links between requirements and project success.



About the Author

Suzanne Robertson and James Robertson have, over many years, helped hundreds of companies improve their requirements techniques and move into the fast lane of system development. Their courses and seminars on requirements, analysis, and design are widely praised for their innovative approach. The Robertsons are principals of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a well-known consultancy specializing in the human dimensions of complex system building. They are also the coauthors of Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2005).

James Robertson and Suzanne Robertson have, over many years, helped hundreds of companies improve their requirements techniques and move into the fast lane of system development. Their courses and seminars on requirements, analysis, and design are widely praised for their innovative approach. The Robertsons are principals of the Atlantic Systems Guild, a well-known consultancy specializing in the human dimensions of complex system building. They are also the coauthors of Requirements-Led Project Management (Addison-Wesley, 2005).



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional (August 30, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321180623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321180629
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.2 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,445,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Earl Beede on September 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a decent book on using software requirements to help center and guide the running software projects. The Robertsons break no new ground here that wasn't probably better explained in their "Mastering the Requirements Process" for the requirements aspects of the book. As a project management book, I think that requirements are important but so are many things in running a project. I have found the Robertsons approach a bit too simplistic and I think that shows on the project management side as well.

The key message here is that if you get the requirements right, the project will fall into place and run much better. Requirements are key to getting good estimates, scheduling, aligning stakeholders, testing, etc. Well this is true, but hard. The Robertsons talk Agile talk but don't do the Agile walk. One of the keys to Agile is that full, complete, or even mostly complete requirements are a myth. Learn a little, build a little. The Robertsons change that to learn a lot, build a little. Not quite the same. I personally agree that we should learn more about the problem space of a software project than what some Agile methods call for. Then again, I don't reference Beck and Folwer as much as the Robertsons do.

What I personally am having difficulty doing is agreeing to the Robertsons advice to "invent" requirements. To me this is a slippery slope not worth going down. I think the requirements analyst's job is to fully understand the business problem space, perhaps better than the stakeholders themselves. I would like to leave it to the designers to invent the solutions. Sometimes that is the same person and that is OK by me. However, I think as an activity list, they should be different categories.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tezza on February 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title suggests that you will understand how a project can be managed from a requirements perspective. In actual fact the book is a treatise on how to create and manage software requirements during the requirements gathering phase of a project.

The book touches on important aspects of creating and managing software requirements such as writing testable requirements, creating use cases, drawing context diagrams, etc.

Some of the statements within the book are questionable. For instance (I'm paraphrasing), a requirement is not a requirement if you can't afford to build it. I've found that prejudicing requirements sessions with early budget and technical constraints is, at best, counter-productive.

Also, the discussion of the change control over requirements (and it's impact on the design, test plans, construction deliverables) is given short shrift within this text. The suggestion is made that if requirements were well done to begin with, there wouldn't be changes. Surely better requirements provide better requirements stability, but any project would benefit by a fairly robust requirements-led change control process.

The bottom line is this is a good text on software requirements and related practices, but not a classic text. For that you may have to look elsewhere.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jean-Charles on May 11, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The process of aquiring and implementing the requirements for any project can be difficult. To read a book on the subject can be worse. This title succeeds where others fail. It is full of usefull resources and practical examples.

Project management and development is more an exercise is psychology than architecture. The Robertsons are aware of this and build their methods around human interaction.

I'm glad I read it. I learned quite a bit. The other books reccomended throughout this title are a great find and the recipe for the perfect dry martini is in fact quite accurate.

Jean-Charles

[...]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on January 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There is some great content in this book, and the writing style is fun and engaging. But at the same time the book often goes here and there with lots of extraneous information, which while interesting, is also distracting.

The book covers conventional project management in a compelling and interesting way, and offers practical experienced based insights. Based on that I would give it five stars. The centering of the management process around requirements is a great idea. And the use of lo-fi prototypes is genius. So there is great content in here. But, unfortunately the distracting content and the sub-par quality of the illustrations leads me to give it a four out of five.

Still, if you are looking for a way to break out of the mold of your current development process. And you are looking for something that could lead to a more compelling product design for your customer. You may find the answer you are looking for in this book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lennart Schoug on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a book for persons wanting a subject overview. It contains a lot of discussions but, in my opinion, too few practical rules.
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