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Discovering Real Business Requirements for Software Project Success [Hardcover]

Goldsmith
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 10 2004 1580537707 978-1580537704 1
While a number of books on the market deal with software requirements, this is the first resource to offer you a methodology for discovering and testing the real business requirements that software products must meet in order to provide value. The book provides you with practical techniques that help prevent the main causes of requirements creep, which in turn enhances software development success and satisfaction among the organizations that apply these approaches. Complementing discovery methods, you also learn more than 21 ways to test business requirements from the perspectives of assessing suitability of form, identifying overlooked requirements, and evaluating substance and content.

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About the Author

Robin F. Goldsmith is President of Go Pro Management, Inc., a consultancy in Needham, MA. He has extensive information systems experience, having worked in this capacity for the City of Cleveland, large financial institutions, and a “Big Four” management consulting firm. Mr. Goldsmith presents public and in-house seminars and is a frequent speaker at leading leading software development and quality/testing conferences. He earned his LL.M. in taxation law at Boston University, J.D. at Suffolk University, M.S. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University, and A.B. in psychology from Kenyon College.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any business analyst July 27 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book changed how we approach development projects. It is easy and fun to read and provides deep insights.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Hardcover
As a Software Developer and Consultant, I found this book to be a clear and practical guide that will be a valuable asset to all system development professionals.
I strongly recommend it to all systems professionals, and believe it is a MUST HAVE for systems analysts !
The book presents a step-by-step methodology that contrasts how things are "normally" done with how they should be done to achieve optimum results and satisfied customers.
In addition to analyzing why and how traditional approaches fail, the text provides a comprehensive checklist that can be followed to avoid common mistakes and improve the quality of the most significant aspect of develop: gathering and documenting requirements !
Presented in a easy-to-read format sprinkled with wry humor, you are likely to find it a more enjoyable read than most technical texts.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Testing Requirements is Part of Discovering Requirements Sept. 2 2004
By Johanna Rothman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you ever wanted to know if your requirements were accurate and complete, this book will help. As Robin says on p. 13, "...we're going to intermix discovery methods with techniques for testing the adequacy of requirements." Using his problem pyramid - which includes a way to measure the problem and the solution - Robin discusses several techniques to elicit and define requirements.

Robin defines 64 techniques to test requirements - throughout a project. For example, test method #17, "identify assumptions" is common sense that too few people remember. Test method #53 is "Defining acceptance criteria," a technique useful for any project if you want to know you've built what the customer wanted.

Between the problem pyramid emphasis on measurement and the various tests, the book can help you meet its promise of preventing too much requirements change throughout a project.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will improve the quality of your products ! May 17 2004
By Joe Fisher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As a Software Developer and Consultant, I found this book to be a clear and practical guide that will be a valuable asset to all system development professionals.
I strongly recommend it to all systems professionals, and believe it is a MUST HAVE for systems analysts !
The book presents a step-by-step methodology that contrasts how things are "normally" done with how they should be done to achieve optimum results and satisfied customers.
In addition to analyzing why and how traditional approaches fail, the text provides a comprehensive checklist that can be followed to avoid common mistakes and improve the quality of the most significant aspect of develop: gathering and documenting requirements !
Presented in a easy-to-read format sprinkled with wry humor, you are likely to find it a more enjoyable read than most technical texts.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Differentiates Identification of Business Problems from the Solution Alternatives Dec 19 2007
By Paul L. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The 64 ways to test requirements are good and helpful, and you'll need to determine how many of these techniques (and with what rigor) could/should be applied to your project in your organizational context. The greatest benefit for me from reading this book was understanding the distinction Goldsmith makes between business problems and the solution design alternatives that might address them. I've witnessed problems on projects where this distinction was not understood, and I'm convinced that identifying the business problem(s) and business requirements first is critical before undertaking software requirements and solution alternatives.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Practical Application Feb. 13 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Concise, addressing the essentials of discovering the 'real' business requirements of an organization. Effective and efficient testing methodologies that are readily applicable to requirements analysis. I found the "Problem Pyramid" tool to be particularly useful. Differentiation between the 'business requirements' vs 'system design requirements' was enlightening. Every technologist should be reading this book to ensure that the real business requirements are discovered before any coding begins. Excellent knowledge for account managers and business analysts as well. Strongly recommended.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book by an experienced practicioner Nov. 4 2006
By Alf - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I wanted to find a book that I could recommend to my requirements-challenged clients. This was the first I bought and the last I'll need. The author has a solid command of the subject and obvious real-world experience. Nestled among the chapters are over 60 "tests" to tell if you have real requirements.

I only gave it four stars because I was put off by the author's tilting at windmills in the first few chapters as he tries to stave off imagined criticism.
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