Current Situation 1: Jeff Dunbar and Kevin Pullen of PPMS are discussing ways to effectively perform the requirements definition process. Kevin tells the group (Reid Lewis, Mark Lewis, and Diana Brooks) that in his experience, the best way to do this is to convene all the key stakeholders in a room and perform a joint requirements planning session. After Kevin explains the nature of a joint requirements planning session, he informs them that sessions of this type can typically last one to three days but have proven to drastically reduce the time required to elicit and define requirements over using traditional methods. Mark Lewis balks at this suggestion, saying there is no way that they can effectively run the business for three days without the key members of the company. Mark says, “For Pete’s sake! We are in the amusement services business, not the systems development business. We have been doing business for 35 years without IT, and we can do 35 more if we have to!”
Discussion: Research the benefits of joint requirements planning sessions (also called joint application design sessions) and then respond to Mark’s comment. How do you convince him it is more cost- and time-effective to do a joint requirements planning session? Is there a way to compromise with Mark in order to minimize the time that the employees would be away from their day-to-day jobs? Also explain to Mark and the others about the importance of getting the requirements as complete and accurate as possible at the beginning of the project as opposed to discovering them later in the process.
Current Situation 2: Jeff and Kevin have finally convinced Mark Lewis that a joint requirements planning session is the best course of action, and now they are planning the event. Jeff asks Diana Brooks if she would contact the local hotel and reserve their conference room for up to three days. In addition, he wants her to ask what the hotel will charge to cater drinks and refreshments for the meeting. Reid Lewis overheard the conversation and asked Jeff why this was necessary. He told Jeff that he would rather hold the meetings here in the office to save cost and that he also wanted himself and his employees to be available if any customers called with questions or if any other business matters arose that required their immediate attention.
Discussion: How should Jeff respond to Reid? Based on your research of joint requirements planning sessions, is it a good idea to hold the meetings at a location where there could be frequent interruptions? What rules or guidelines would you enforce on Reid and his employees during these three days of meetings? Include in your discussion a set of best practices for conducting joint requirements planning sessions.