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Visualization an alternative approach to developing requirements. Bo Lora [email protected] 210-259-3020 February 2008. The Importance of Requirements. Requirements… Communicate the needs of the end user. Assure that business objectives are stated.

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Visualization an alternative approach to developing requirements

Visualizationan alternative approach to developing requirements

Bo [email protected] 2008

The importance of requirements
The Importance of Requirements


  • Communicate the needs of the end user.

  • Assure that business objectives are stated.

  • Provide developers with specifications.

  • Detail validation rules which can be tested.

    Developing solid business requirements is at the heart of any project and it’s success.

The challenges
The Challenges

Requirements development involves multiple stakeholders working together to define and design business solutions through a standard documentation framework.

Today, organizations routinely tap the global talent pool for low-cost, high-quality system and software development. Effectively leveraging these resources requires a robust requirements development process and sound project management oversight.

Technical teams must be clear on the project objectives and development approach. They then must apply templates and code consistently, whether they’re in Boston, Bangalore or Beijing.

Problems with requirements
Problems With Requirements

Often, however, organizations stumble in developing business requirements. The problems can occur in three areas:

  • Poor requirements definition: Incomplete or missed requirements during requirements elicitation and validation by business analysts and end users reduces the quality of system features and often results in new technologies that do not meet business needs.

  • Lack of requirements program management: Misused, unapproved or delayed business requirements can occur due to the lack of a strong program management framework, which increases system development risks.

  • Inadequate requirements knowledge transfer: Technologists design flawed systems because of misconstrued business requirements.

Time or cost overruns are the norm
Time or Cost Overruns are the Norm

The average project cost overrun was 56 percent, and the average time overrun was 84 percent. Source: “Overdue and Over Budget, Over and Over Again,” The Economist, June 9, 2005.

The need for visualization
The Need for Visualization

Leonardo da Vinci understood the power of visualization.

How could he possibly describe many of his innovations without drawings?

An incomplete picture
An Incomplete Picture

Static forms of requirements documentation offered by business analysts, such as word processing documents, screen shots and process flows, often provide an incomplete or foreign view of the system during technology development.

Because static documents are focused on giving technologists a view of business needs, they can be misinterpreted when translated into technology specifications or developer code.

Static formats also may not provide business users with a full or easily understood summary of the system. Moreover, such forms can be long and difficult to maintain as requirements evolve.

The normal requirements process
The “Normal” Requirements Process


Is this really normal?

When you buy a car, would you know that it is right for you just by looking at a list of it’s features or would you want to test drive it first?

A visual approach
A Visual Approach

Visualization stimulates scope and requirements


Scope and requirements drive visualization

The benefits of a visual approach
The Benefits of a Visual Approach

Agility – The team will be able to more easily respond to changes.

Efficiency – More effective requirements communication will reduce post development rework.

Speed – Development teams can get involved sooner and work faster.

Accuracy – A greater level of accuracy reduces overall cost.

Collaboration – Visualization allows everyone to have more input.

Integration of visualization
Integration of Visualization





Technical Design

Test Scripts

Visualization can be the driver of common objectives

The anatomy of a visualized process
The Anatomy of a Visualized Process



Over 50% 0f customers who order service by phone say they started online but could not finish.

Identify Problem

Cause and Effect

Identify Audience

Voice of Customer

The anatomy of a visualized process1
The Anatomy of a Visualized Process


Flow Diagrams

Rapid User Model


Technical Specs

The anatomy of a visualized process2
The Anatomy of a Visualized Process


Access to related documents

Status tracking

Access to all prototype pages

Access to all technical design documents

The anatomy of a visualized process3
The Anatomy of a Visualized Process


Functional requirement reference

Developer notes

The anatomy of a visualized process4
The Anatomy of a Visualized Process


Prototypes are in HTML and 40-60% of code is reusable in development phase


Visualization supports better systems

A strong requirements development process can help mitigate the risks associated with large-scale system implementations.

Visualization is emerging as a powerful tool for increasing the quality and efficiency of a firm’s requirements development program.

Before adopting visualization, organizations must understand the key considerations in using visualization and determine how to best integrate it into their existing requirements program to capitalize on this promising new solution.