Requirements by arborcide serves no useful purpose to anyone (hopefully I have painted a powerful case for that but let us know if not). We need to get people engaged, thinking about the real world, and what really needs to be present in a new system. One way we have managed to make the requirements process more real, more engaging, has been by using personas.
Now before I go any further, let me say that personas need to be written with care. I don’t care about superfluous detail, such as Mary is 42, has 4 kids and a dog and drives a minivan. But I do care about her characteristics that impact how she may use my system.
Personas set me thinking – could we extend this concept, and come up with something that could be engaging and useful for high level requirements. And here’s what I came up with.
I started by reaching the conclusion that personas are like role descriptions for actors in a play. So it’s not a huge leap to suggest that we describe the “to be” system in the format of a script. Keeping this at a high level, and describing a business process as a script, allows us to use tools (script writing tools and a proven approach) to document the new process. It also allows “actors” (i.e. the real business participants) to act out the script as a play, thus validating or testing the new process (especially with an audience present). And the play can be filmed and sent to others for validation and comment.
I already have a script writing tool, and am getting close to having something to publish. Some of the new animation software and services can also be used as a way to illustrate these ideas. Follow us on Twitter at needpoweredchg to hear news of when some of this work is published.