This month the Atlanta SPIN (software process improvement network) hosted Kevin Shaan from Borland Software. Kevin talked about requirements development and management. Kevin spent several years as an appraiser for CMM and SEI assessments. He shared his observations about major weaknesses in the organizations that he assessed. Not surprising, poor requirements management was common. He affirmed the importance of having people (whether they are called Business Analysts or Requirements Analysts or developers) trained in requirements elicitation and analysis. He saw the requirements elicitation as a real weakness in many organizations. Problems included participation from the wrong stakeholders, lack of understanding of end users (“user constituency”), and lack of a communication plan. He recommended building the requirements elicitation and management skill set. In addition he walked through the requirements components of CMMI and explained why each is so important.

It is always good to hear more confirmation on the importance of business analysis. Kevin did a great job of explaining why each CMMI component is important and that one of the most effective ways of improving our development process is to have skilled business analysis professionals.

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