It’s like building a house

“The Requirements Payoff” by Karl Wiegers (DrDobbs.com via Information Week, 9 July 2010). As is tradition around here, don’t let the subject matter fool you. This is not just about building systems. The lessons here can be applied across the board. We are all familiar with:

— Look before you leap.

— Measure twice, cut once.

— Do it right the first time.

— Haste makes waste.

The one caveat here is that Karl is focused on user requirements, when the focus should be business needs. Defining what’s wanted (is easy) and defining what’s needed (not so much so) is not the same thing. Being human, we’re all guilty of letting emotions get in the way, eh? The focus needs to be thorough and objective. Not some pie in the sky brain dumping.

In short, have a plan. Then review that plan to ensure the journey you are planning will get you to where it is you are wanting to go. Opps, I meant needing to go.

Go team!

“Teamwork: It’s About Trust, Not A Technique” interview of Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene by Jonathan Erickson (Dr. Dobbs, 20 February 2010).While this interview/discussion centers about programming teams, the idea certainly apply to all teams.  The most interesting point was:

Dr. Dobb’s: Can tools alone turn an ugly team into a beautiful one?
Stellman: A good team tool can help a good team be better. But if you’ve got a team that’s deeply flawed, just adding a tool won’t fix the problem. At best, it will help you make mistakes faster.

Also from Dobb’s was “Team Building Goes Viral” by Jerry Tubbs (21 February 2010). It’s another quick read with the biggest piece of the take away pie coming from this list:

7 Key Factors: Effective Development Teams Start Here

1. Common Purpose Get everyone on the same page.
2. Commitment Do what’s necessary to get the job done.
3. Trust Establish trust,because it’s mandatory even when you don’t always agree.
4. Understand The Process Master the tools and processes before coding begins.
5. Communication Share knowledge and information constantly.
6. Resources Have adequate resources at the outset so team can focus on the project, not the tools.
7. Leadership Ensure leaders are in place to make technical or business decisions.

In a word… Brilliant!