Scope definition

It continues to amaze me how many projects proceed against a poorly-written scope document or no scope document at all.

It also makes me wonder on what basis tenders are made. If I am ever asked to provide input input work estimation, I insist on seeing a baselined statement of scope […]

Scary times

When we are involved in producing a piece of software, it’s easy to forget that we are not simply building a product: we are implementing a change in the way a company operates.

Change is unnerving. We all know that. I know it particularly because I started losing my hair when […]

A word on adjusting diagrams

You may have noticed the emphasis I place on visual modelling, which is fancy for “drawing pictures”.

People can relate to pictures better than text in many contexts. Can you imagine an architect trying to document his building design textually?

Flexibility and strength must always […]

Process Exercise: 5/6

In Part 4 we drew both high level and low level versions of the To Be model of our customer’s change control process, based on the information we noted in Part 3.

We are now ready to drive out and document high level system requirements (HLSRs). It is […]

Process Exercise: 4/6

In Part 3, we identified problems with the As Is process by interviewing our fictional customers individually and by having a group workshop. We did this in the light of the strategic objectives of the business.

We need to restructure the As Is model to take into account these problems and […]

Process Exercise: 3/6

In Part 2 we took a moment to remind ourselves that the customer owns the process and that we must be sensitive to that.

Having been presented with a documented As Is change control process, we must investigate what the stakeholders think about that process. There are different techniques available to […]

Process Exercise: 2/6

In Part 1 we took a look at a sample As Is change control business process as presented to us by our fictional customer.

The customer owns the process

Don't go stomping all over the customer's processes like you own them

Our next goal is to produce a To […]

Process Exercise: 1/6

In a previous series of posts we took a look at drawing workflows. However, before you draw a workflow, you really have to understand the underlying business process.

Remember that our definition of a workflow referred specifically to the identified work object. This is because the workflow does not cover the […]

Controlling change

I was between two minds about writing this post. After all, everyone knows that change control is important, don’t they? Then I remembered a couple of interesting cases where people did not seem to know that.

In one case, a junior programmer had developed a very good rapport with one of […]


In this, the year of world-wide recession and the bicentennial year of the birth of Charles Darwin, let us all remember that “survival of the fittest” does not mean “survival of the strongest”.

It means: “survival of the most adaptable”.

By the way, I am aware that it was […]