Jump to content
Q1: What are the top three Requirements/Features in your next product release?
Q2: How do the top three help address your long-term product strategy?
Q3: If you had been planning this release six months ago or six months from now, would the top three still be the same?
I have often found it easy to answer question 1, and not so easy to answer 2 and 3. If my boss asks me to answer 2 or 3 I would stall or if forced say something like “We should not do that; we are an agile company, our priorities change every day”.
But is that right? Is saying our priorities change every day almost the same as saying “Everything is a Priority”? Shouldn’t we strategize, prioritize and plan? One noted expert in the field, Karl Wiegers, states: "One characteristic of excellent requirements is that they are explicitly prioritized."
Of course, any discussion of business priorities today has the following adages behind it:
In today’s world, you have to be agile, so we have to be fluid and accept change
In this economy, we are end-of-quarter driven, so priorities change each quarter
I observe the above but do not accept requirements change WITHOUT communicating the impact of making the change. In other words, state something like "Yes, we can consider that change and we should understand its impact on ________ and ________"
To help others make the decision, I find it is very helpful to list the pros and cons in two columns, it doesn’t hurt this method is ascribed to Benjamin Franklin:
An investment in knowledge still yields the best returns. -- Benjamin Franklin
People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first. -- David H. Comins