Monday, April 19, 2010

They didn't give us good requirements

"They didn't give us good requirements" is an explanation that I sometimes hear from IT people to explain why a certain system turned out to be unusable. "They" are the business people who were asking for the system in question. In fact, "giving requirements" is a fact of life in a lot of companies. Business people furnish requirements and IT people develop the applications.

The thing is, IT people complain often about people consulted too late or not at all on the purpose and function of new applications. Well, if you sit around and wait for someone to "give you requirements," you've assigned yourself a pretty junior position on a development team. If IT people would actively engage in helping to define the application purpose and scope in a positive way, business people would be more inclined to treat them as partners. And everyone would win.

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