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156480Re: [XP] Complex business knowledge and specs

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  • Otto Behrens
    Mar 1, 2011
      Hi George,

      > Is the problem you describe one of explaining how the business rules
      > interact in a particular situation to give a particular answer?

      Yes. And just to explain the business rule itself.

      > The downside of more documentation is that someone needs to keep it in
      > sync with the code, and there's always the worry that it isn't. Can you
      > write this documentation as tests against the business rules?

      Yes, agree. One problem is that business people can't derive the
      business rule from the code. There are just an enormous number of
      scenarios in tests to cover it properly. And then that scenarios don't
      express business rules as well as pictures and formulas do.

      > There are tools to allow you to document examples of the specs in
      > language readable by the business people. In particular, I suggest
      > taking a look at Cucumber, Robot Framework, and Fitnesse to see if any
      > of these fit your needs.

      Thanks, I'll have a look.

      > You can get the same thoroughness by discussing the examples between the
      > Business, the Programmers, and the Testers. This gives three very
      > different points of view. I call this the Three Amigos (though there
      > may be more than three points of view required) and Ken Pugh calls it
      > the Triad. The point is to distill the business requirements down to
      > its essence, and represent that essence in potentially automatable examples.

      Do you have this discussion during planning? We find developers lose
      patience when we do this because the planning takes a long time. Do
      you provide a complete list of example on the table for discussion, or
      do the examples emerge? If the solutions are not thought through even
      with a Three Amigos / Triad kind of discussion, does it simply imply
      that people do not take enough care in such a discussion?

      When you invite the Triad to a discussion, how much preparation do you
      expect from each of the parties? How is the preparation done? (Is
      there stuff written down?)

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