Browsing articles in "Software Requirements"

Defining Software Requirements – a quick lesson

Sep 5, 2011   //   by JMoccia   //   Defining Software, Software Requirements  //  No Comments

I started learning how to define software requirements back in 1996. The process back then was relatively straight forward and hasn’t changed much over the years. However, there are some new methodologies and technology on the market that help speed up the process and make it more efficient. One such company has been a pioneer in the software requirements space for the past 6 years.

OneSpring ( has led the way in how to define software requirements through the use of something called software visualization. They also pioneered a new requirements elicitation process called Joint Application Modeling, or JAM Session for short. The JAM Session allows stakeholders and consultants to get together in the same room and rapidly prototype or visualize their software idea/concept in real-time. This process differs drastically from when I first started defining software requirements in that it’s highly visual and textual at the same time.

In the past I would interview stakeholders and simply take notes. These notes would later be worked on and compiled into something called a Vision Document and ultimately a Functional Specification. I believe the new trend behind defining software requirements is going away from textual definition alone and to more of a visual representation of the requirements. If you think about it, it makes sense. Would you rather “see” something before it gets developed, or would you rather “read” about it? Most people would rather see and experience something before they build or buy it, correct? Stakeholders now have that capability through the use of visualization and the JAM Session that OneSpring has pioneered.

The goal of defining requirements remains the same, to develop the best software requirements possible in order to have the best software product produced. You must get the requirements right in order to be successful during development. This holds true for just about anything that gets produced today, have it be automobiles. planes, homes, etc.

Visualize your software idea

Feb 10, 2011   //   by JMoccia   //   Software Requirements  //  No Comments

Software visualization, also referred to as just “visualization,” is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing and most widely talked about technologies within IT today. Visualization is the process by which software applications are defined “visually.” I stress the word “visually” because traditional methods have, until now, dictated that software is defined “textually.” The process of visualization makes use of specialized tools that allow project teams to quickly define user interfaces, as well as user interactions, without writing any programming code.

Visualizing software is a relatively new concept. One of the precursors to visualizing software was prototyping, however prototyping is now going the way of the dinosaurs in terms of its usefulness and cost effectiveness. The primary distinctions between visualizations and prototypes revolve around who creates them and when in the lifecycle they occur. Visualizations are made to be highly collaborative and easy to modify based on changing requirements and project demands. Competition has also driven companies to think about developing software faster and cheaper and finding new ways to do it. The need for enhanced user experience has also been a driving force behind this trend. As consumers demand more from their interactions with software, the need for more user-friendly applications has grown exponentially. Technology has also become so advanced over the past 10 years that just about anyone can develop software. Both large and small companies are now able to compete at the same level in terms of bringing their ideas to market faster than ever before. This dynamic has changed organizational priorities so companies can now focus on how to be more nimble. Also, barriers-to-entry have lessened due to these advancements. The evolution of visualization is playing a key role in these trends because it is equipping companies with the ability to quickly develop concepts and ideas in less time and at lower costs.

Grow your company by forming partnerships.

Feb 4, 2011   //   by JMoccia   //   Software Requirements  //  No Comments

Leveraging partners is a great way to grow your business. I’ve leveraged partners in just about every company I’ve created. Look for partners that share your vision. To make it work successfully, you have to look for partners that are in your space but that do not compete with you. How can you help them and how can they help you? I would always approach the relationship by stating how it benefits the partner first. What’s in it for them? Why should they listen to you? This will allow you to open up a positive dialog. Be patient, and foster the relationship. The key is it has to benefit both parties. If not, the relationship will most likely fail.

Getting started with your idea

Feb 3, 2011   //   by JMoccia   //   Software Requirements  //  No Comments

The biggest challenge with any idea is execution.  Everyone has the next million dollar idea.  It’s those individuals who can execute on an idea that are extremely valuable.  Few pointers on how you can make your idea come to life.

1) Start small.  Don’t try to boil the ocean at one time.  Come up with a list of what needs to be done to start your idea and start slowly getting each item done.  You have to start somewhere, the key is to just start.

2) Solicit feedback from others.  Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off of friends and family.   Ask for their honest feedback, good or bad.

3) Master your pitch.  You have to be able to tell people your idea in a compelling way.  If you can’t do this and make it convincing, then maybe you need to rework your idea.  It should be simple and easy to explain.

4) Prototype your concept.  There are tools on the market that will let you prototype your concept before you spend to much time and money developing it.   Check out a tool called Axure.  it’s affordable and fairly easy to learn.

Welcome to the new Requirements Pro

Feb 2, 2011   //   by rp-admin   //   Software Requirements  //  No Comments

I’m happy to announce the new RequirementsPro. I’m working to keep the content relevant and current.

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Jason Moccia,
Author of Software Requirements Unleashed


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