Monday, November 16, 2009

The Flattened Requirements Matrix

I have no idea if something like this exists in the project management literature (ick, project management), but it's a hack I'm in the processes of putting together because I'm sick of less organized projects spinning out of control.

Here's the scenario: I have a ton of new features I need to spec out and a developer who will be doing most of the coding. I also need to make sure it gets done "right". Of course we're using my definition of right here because I'm in charge (sorta)... YMMV.

I don't like long spec docs. And saying "make it do this" never works. The outcome is never the correct "this".

Instead, this is what I'm trying.

I have a Google doc and each feature is a heading. Under the heading I have a paragraph describing what the feature should do. Below that I have subsections titled "depends on" and "dependents". Each is a list of links to either more specific features or back to more general ones. I repeat until people stop asking questions with "obvious" answers... assuming they actually read it.

I call it the Flattened Requirements Traceability Matrix