Walking the Walk
May 05, 2009
This short series started with Planning the Plan, an article that tried to put into context some of the roadmap and planning activities that take place before projects get approved and started. I suggested using the McFarlan Matrix as a way of categorising potential projects so that they might be more likely to deliver benefits in line with whatever the business strategy is for that year. There are plenty of good ways of doing this, but the McFarlan Matrix is simple and quick, and forces conve ...
November 01, 2008
Update of the original article from August 1, 2007. First Published in July 2007. I’ve noticed this is getting a lot more hits recently, presumably because Google is ranking it higher. On the assumption it’s proving useful, I thought it deserved a 2008 update. What’s in a Name? Let’s get some terminology out of the way. I’ve called this “Systemic Requirements” because I prefer that to the two other commonly used titles: system qualities and constraints, which to me sounds too dry and academic ...
The Analysis Business
January 30, 2008
We left off last time with the idea that although software projects can go wrong for lots of reasons that tech folks can’t control, there are some ideals we can (and should) strive for in the areas we can control. We don’t control market forces, competitors, or business needs, and we rarely control dates or budgets (we may be tasked with spending what budget there is wisely, but corporate economics are certainly beyond our purview). We do control the way we build software and the way we operate ...
The Nature Of Functionality
January 16, 2008
I consider myself inordinately lucky to have fetched up in a career that would otherwise have been an expensive hobby. Software development can be a frustrating roller-coaster ride, but every now and then you get to be involved with something that genuinely, and rather beautifully, succeeds. Projects get canceled, derailed, or otherwise slip into oblivion for all sorts of reasons, but it’s very satisfying, once in a while, to be able to point at something in production and know you played a part ...
The Requirements Delusion
September 29, 2007
Is it me or is all corporate IT suffering a debilitating emotional crisis? The response I thought I would get to The Business Alignment Fallacy was one of hostility and general disagreement. Far from it. I was pleasantly surprised to hear that most people are tired of the annual pretence of business alignment only to watch everything get steadily more complex over the following year. One common criticism I heard was that whilst it’s all very well trying to get ahead of the business and take a ...
August 01, 2007
This article has been replaced with a newer one, which can be found here. In no particular order, these are the standard non-functional requirements I have used for years. Not all will apply in all circumstances, so like much in life you'll have to use a bit of common sense, but they form a useful check-list. Each NFR is followed by a description and some discussion on how you might like to satisfy yourself that it's being met. As a means of checking NFRs have been met, I use the term 'walk th ...
Hold on a tick
July 18, 2007
This week I’ve been re-reading John Maeda’s book The Laws of Simplicity. It’s a handy size to read on the train and contains a number of useful mnemonics for adding a sense of elegance to your design. The section that I often quote to others relates to how to deal with delays, as they may be perceived by users and customers. The themes are important enough that I feel the need to restate my own version of them as they apply to software architecture. Let’s say you are building a web shop. Potenti ...
June 27, 2007
This is the third of three articles on the space-based architecture. The first was a general introduction, and description of a commercially deployed example, the second looked at how the SBA supports Agile because of its complimentary nature to how businesses think and work, and this final episode looks at some of the subtle technicalities of the SBA. Before I start, let me make clear my relationship with the SBA - I am not connected in any way with Gigaspaces (the originators of the formalised ...
June 25, 2007
A related post on space-based architecture was published a couple of weeks ago. It was going to be a one-off but I was at the inaugural Gigaspaces User Group in London recently, and a couple of things occurred to me between presentations that I thought worth mentioning. So there are two extra articles to come (this is the first). Perhaps it’s not a conventional place to start, but the idea for linking spaces and agility occurred to me because I am having a bathroom remodelled at the moment (bear ...