Monthly Archives: August 2014

FULFILLING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS – Part 3

The implementation plan for a simple transformation consists of three phases: planning, execution and verification. The planning phase organizes, estimates, assigns, and monitors the tasks for putting your transformation project into action. The execution phase comprises the work of the change process, and the verification phase spans the work of the inspection process. Verification normally follows execution, which in turn follows planning. However, in complex projects much of the work can proceed concurrently if it is carefully staged.

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“There is nothing as mysterious as a fact clearly described.” – Garry Winogrand


FULFILLING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS – Part 2

In simplest terms, a transformation project organization consists of a manager, a change agent, and an inspector. The manager plans and directs the work, and ensures that it is performed satisfactorily. The change agent designs the solution and executes the work to implement each requirement. The inspector verifies that the objective of each requirement is met.


Spark Value!

DirodPic2

Literally, Jumping the Spark!

This photo shows an electrostatic charge generator. It was designed by Kevin Dunn, Ph.D. and constructed from a kit supplied by cavemanchemistry.com. It is based on the original Dirod apparatus conceptualized and designed by A.E. Moore. The ball gap and capacitors were added later following Dr. Dunn’s instructions, from materials purchased at Home Depot.

Despite being hand-cranked, this apparatus generates a strong 1″ spark across the ball gap with potentials of up to 120 kV (kilovolts)! The amperage is miniscule, so the electrical shock is not life threatening. But you will definitely know when you get too close to one of the electrodes–there’s quite a lot shock value here! While winding up the machine, the odor of ozone can be detected.

Electrostatic charge generators are among the oldest electrical machines devised. Benjamin Franklin and his contemporaries experimented with several different designs, the Wimshurst machine configuration being the most popular in years since. Operated in reverse, the device becomes an electrostatic motor.

The manual action of winding up the electrostatic potential is reminiscent of operation a Jack-in-the-Box children’s toy… you never quite know just when the spark will jump, so it is a surprise and a delight!


FULFILLING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS

A good business requirement just aches to be fulfilled! Objectives become clear, and volunteers step forth with a variety of good solutions. The shared urge to get the job done unifies team members. So powerful is the motivating force of a clearly stated requirement, however, that the rush to get to work can interfere with and even overwhelm completion of your overall transformation project with scope creep. This is especially true when there are many different requirements to be fulfilled. Organization and implementation plans are needed. An orderly process keeps scope creep in control.


WORKING BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS – Part 3

Hang with me now, there are two more important steps: execution and verification. For the uninitiated that means doing the real work, and then proving you did it. This is why we say that business requirement statements must be both actionable and testable. Track these processes with a scorecard or dashboard that summarizes incremental completions for all your business requirements.

In summary, you should see that defining your business requirements leads to design, execution and verification of the work that will lead to transforming your business. Because the work is carefully specified, it can be finished and tested to the satisfaction of all your stakeholders.

In my next blog post, I’ll go into more detail about planning the execution and verification phases, as well as some pitfalls and pratfalls to avoid.