SEM SIG: Agile Requirements
Monthly Meeting of the Software Engineering Mgmt SIG
David Hartford , President & CEO, PipeDream Metasystems
The largest and most expensive cause of failed software development has long been poor understanding of requirements. Even a small misunderstanding can lead to a system which fails to meet the needs of customers and prospective users. This often happens because the business stakeholders may at best have an incomplete notion of what they want. Software developers then deliver what they understand is requested of them. But if the system requirements themselves are fuzzy - that is, not clear, not complete and possibly not consistent what chance do the developers have of satisfying the business? Fuzzy requirements in fuzzy software out; and no one is happy. A number of approaches, including agile programming, attempt to ameliorate this problem, but their success is dependent on continual interaction with the business stakeholder, which is not always a viable option.
What is really needed, long before the requirements arrive at the doorstep of the developers, is for business stakeholders to be precise about what a proposed system is supposed to do.
PipeDream addresses this problem with software which transforms an English description of application requirements into UML use case and activity diagrams. Examination of these diagrams highlights areas where requirements are stated in a way which is incomplete, inconsistent or simply not clear. Through rapid iterations, refining the textual requirements and generating new diagrams, the quality of requirements can be greatly improved. As a result, the probability of building a system which actually meets the needs of its customers and users increases substantially.
About the Presenter
David has over 35 years of experience as a software engineer and manager, high tech attorney, and venture capitalist in both the U.S. and Europe.
Tony Wasserman, Ph.D. - Vice President, PipeDream Metasystems
Tony is an internationally recognized expert in software development methods and tools and has more than 30 years of experience as a software entrepreneur, consultant, and professor. He was founder and CEO of Interactive Development Environments, developer of the innovative Software through Pictures multiuser modeling environment. Dr. Wasserman earned a Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and is a Fellow of both the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the IEEE.
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6:00pm - 6:30pm - Registration
6:30pm - 8:30pm - Discussion
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