DevSummit07:Case Study: Ujima Requirements Gathering Process

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Facilitated by Isom Taylor, Ujima Consultants

As non-profit or non-government organizations seek to keep track of their client and program activities in a more state of the arts manner, they are turning more and more to custom made software applications. These applications are usually designed by external consultants or hired staff developers. Either way, there is often frustration in working with the development process. Organizations no longer want to have the application just thrown over the wall to them only to find out that their requirements are now being met.

Today, these organizations must be ready to step up to the plate and take their turn at bat. Organizations must be ready and willing to help make the design process complete. This requires an accurate compilation of their requirements and a clear communications to the application developer for the need for the solution. The users of the application must also be involved in providing input on screen interface and testing to debug the application.

Isom Taylor, CEO & Owner of Ujima Consultants will discuss how the “requirement gathering” responsibility by the organization can be an essential factor in helping to design a successful application that can serve the organization as a productive tool. Mr. Taylor will handle dialog on how to team with the developer, create a user network and use existing tools to gather requirements and insure that they are capture and incorporated throughout the development and testing process for custom designed applications.

Session Notes

Requirements are undoubtedly the most important piece of any application development project

Gathering requirements is a delicate step that encompasses a full realm of skills, knowledge, and ability

The funding is intimately involved in the requirement gathering process

The professionals in the user community are required to share with the developers

At the start, requirements gathering is necessary to apply for funding, to draft program and/or service objectives, to identify the target population, and to know who should be on the proposal team.

During the operations, requirement gatherinf becomes important to work with the client-base, ensure service delivery, maintain program operations.

At the end, requirement gathering is critical to evaluate the success of the operations, and therefore justify funding for the service or product.

Development support must also be involved at the point of initial requirement gathering. The must have the critical information clearly provided up front.

Computing support can add value by playing the program management role. Manage the program activities and schedule your tasks based on the requirements.

5 basic areas: 1. Identify methodology -Aligning with a Methodology for development is essential for project management

2. Establish a Process Management -Must lend itself to a complete integration with the acquisition process from funding source

3. Identify Schedule Items -Developers work is crucial in the software analysis segment

4. Track and monitor development process -The computing support must design-in functionality to complete data range tracking for meeting the requirements and monitoring for various tracking indices. -There should also be some sort of variance analysis build-in to complete comparative reviews of achievements to outcome measurements. -It is very imprtant to provide the host of reviewers with what they want and other miscellaneous features. -It is imperative to both listen to the team and share with its member some of these tracking and monitoring issues.

5. Communicate -Communication is key to requirements gathering. -Every conceivable media should be adopted. -Regular meetings at regular times and places -Visibility status of where you are and what needs to be done. -Management reporting on accomplishments and outstanding issues. -Keeping a clear understanding of the purpose. -Outcome measurements -Get with the customer early and meet often -Ask questions and confirm answers -Stay away from Technical Jargon -Document and reconfirm all functional requirements -Revisit requirements often

Questions for the Developers: -So what's really required from the developer team? -Where does the developer fit in?

The professionals in the development community are required to team with the user community. Understand their client tracking and monitoring needs and provide working solutions.