Define Your Project by Painting the Big Picture First
December 27, 2011

Can’t tell you how often I see people jumping the gun and developing requirements for their software – right from the middle.

If you don’t take time to get (and write down) the big picture first, you are bound to get sidetracked more often than not. Which spells rework, rework, rework. What you need is the bird’s view of what needs to be done and for god’s sake WHY. So you will have the context and crucial guidelines for any later work. As project progresses, you will often have to choose among several legitimate but very different options. In such situations simply ask yourself “Which option brings us closest to original target in the big picture?”.

The caveat is that you as a humble operative can’t do this all by yourself. You need to be precise and to the point in aggressively getting your project manager to obtain what feedback is needed to solve the puzzle. Nothing good will come from “I’m doing my job and other people should do theirs”.

But still you need to know how to moderate interviews and workshops with wildly different personalities. So… the trick here is to be the top communicator! Always improve on this: not only you’ll get meaningful requirements faster but hey – good communication skills are groundwork for more success in almost all areas in life :-)