Jared Richardson works at Logos Technologies As a recognized expert in the software industry, Jared has worked with both start-ups and software giants. He's been involved with various open source projects, with roles from contributor to founder. Jared co-authored the best selling book Ship It! and Career 2.0, and founded the Agile RTP user group as a local outlet for the agile community in North Carolina. His personal blog is Agile Artisans Jared has posted 52 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile
I'm working on the requirements chapter of Ship It!
That work led to a spirited discussion of the ideal (iterative
requirements) or real life (we're rushed, on a schedule, and
underfunded. Can't be done right. Just has to be done.)
This paragraph (which may or may not be in Ship It!) was inspired. I'm
tired and it's been a long day, so take it for what is. :) I'd love to
hear your thoughts.
This sounds like a lot of work! We're under extremely tight schedule
pressure. We simply don't have the time to revisit requirements. What
can we do?
Consider that by not taking the time to revisit requirements, you're
instead choosing to build similar to, but different from, features than
what your customer wants and needs. How close will you be? That's the
dice you're rolling.
If you're really lucky, you'll be close enough to still get paid. Is the
product what you agreed on? No. Is it what you promised? No. But they
can use it, and your parents are friends of theirs, so, sure. You get
paid. What's that you say? The next contract? No, they won't be using
If you're moderately lucky, you'll be able to spin your entire team back
up for "minor" retooling that changes half of your application's
behavior and introduces a whole new set of bugs. Somehow the "minor
changes" the customer asked for have very little in common with the
"minor changes" to the code base, or the development team's sleeping
If you're entirely unlucky, you'll throw away everything your team spent
the last six months building and start over. Sure, the team will tell
you they reused parts, but that's to make you feel better. They won't
reuse anything that couldn't be rewritten in an afternoon. And by the
way? You now have six weeks or we not only withhold payment, we also sue
you for breach of contract. Sure, it might bankrupt your firm, but
that's your problem not mine.