Building Better Systems Through Better Analysis

February 25, 2012

From Reqs to Specs.

In my other piece, I wrote how business requirements documents don’t work very well, how they create a trial and error process, and prototypes make it into production.

Much of the reason is that there is no analysis, general design, or detailed design. Nor is anyone in charge of these areas.

Much of my work in development has been doing the analysis and design that were not done in the first place. Here are some of the techniques that I’ve used. And some that have been very useful when others have done them for me.
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Why “Business Requirements” Don’t Work

February 25, 2012

From Reqs to Specs

One aspect of IT Development that I’ve noticed for a very long time is that no one is thinking things through.

The result, is not a solid piece of software, but just a prototype. Unfortunately, these prototypes make it into production too much of the time.

Is it any wonder that so much software does not work? How many days since the last glitch in some website or software that you worked with? I’ll bet not many.

Why does this occur? A lot of it is the way that IT work is divided now. Think of the classic Waterfall Method and the responsibilities for the tasks:

Task Responsibility
Requirements User, Business Analyst
Analysis ???
General Design ???
Detailed Design ???
Build Developer
Maintain DBA

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Design a la Steve Jobs

October 25, 2010

Today I saw an article interviewing John Sculley, former CEO of Apple.  He spoke about the early days of Apple, Steve Jobs, and a lot about, Design.  I loved many of the things he said.   Here are some excerpts:

Steve, from the moment I met him, always loved beautiful products, especially hardware. He came to my house, and he was fascinated, because I had special hinges and locks designed for doors. I had studied as an industrial designer, and the thing that connected Steve and me was industrial design. It wasn’t computing.

Steve had this perspective that always started with the user’s experience; and that industrial design was an incredibly important part of that user impression. He recruited me to Apple because he believed the computer was eventually going to become a consumer product. That was an outrageous idea back in the early 1980s. He felt the computer was going to change the world, and it was going to become what he called “the bicycle for the mind.”
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