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108515[XP] Re: New article: "Ideas," not "Requirements"

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  • aacockburn
    Jul 2, 2005
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      I prefer Kent Beck's word: "wishes".
      see http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?RequirementsVsWishes
      <<Requirement: n. that which is required; a thing demanded or

      This is exactly the wrong word for this thing. In my projects, I
      often deliver a quarter of the original "things demanded or
      obligatory", and I still get paid. Either I do a terrible job of
      writing down these things, or they aren't actually "demanded or
      obligatory". If the latter, we should use a different word to denote

      I nominate wishes, as in "What are the wishes for the project so
      far?" "How have the wishes changed in the last week?" This puts us in
      the (perhaps uncomfortable) position of wish fulfillment, a
      ProgramFairy?. -- KentBeck

      I recently found it handy to refer to the use cases we had just
      collected as "the users' wishes" -- this worked well even to the
      users and stakeholders as well as the programming team. I couldn't
      have gotten as much mileage saying "the users' ideas".


      --- In extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com, Jim Standley
      <jimstandley@a...> wrote:
      > We frequently have a "requirement" that is one of five equally
      > acceptable solutions to a business problem. If we find that one of
      > others would be much cheaper to build, it takes an act of Congress
      > change the fool thing. I'd rather see the "requirement" as solving
      > problem with more leeway in implementing it. I sent the article
      > "ideas" to the whole team.
      > Jeff Grigg wrote:
      > > --- Jim Shore <jshore@t...> wrote:
      > >
      > >>"I've been working with a customer to help them define a
      > >>custom agile process. One of the first things I've been
      > >>doing is looking at where software requirements come from
      > >>and how they're prioritized."
      > >>
      > >>Find my new article at
      > >>http://www.jamesshore.com/Blog/Ideas_Not_Requirements.html.
      > >
      > >
      > > I've been challenging the word "requirements" too. "How can you
      > > that this thing is a *REQUIREMENT*, when the business is doing
      > > fine right now without it? In what sense is is objectively
      > > required???"
      > >
      > > "Ideas." Now there's a nice idea. ;-> One possible
      > > however: I'm looking for ideas that people are willing to *pay*
      > > for. "Hey, I have an idea!" I say, "We could paint the house
      > > pink." However, nobody really wants the house to be pink. So
      > > something's missing there.
      > >
      > > I think that the things masquerading as "requirements" today
      > > really requirements. They are (hopefully) things that people
      > > enough to pay for them. If I'm implementing things that no one
      > > wants enough to be willing to pay for them, then I think that
      > > someone is misusing someone else's money. :-[
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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