Thursday, February 25, 2010

Problem to Solution - The Continuum Between Requirements and Design

Christopher Brandt, relatively new blogger from Vancouver, Canada, has an awesome piece about the difference between problem and solution. If he blogs more about problem solving, and in this outstanding quality, he definitely is someone to follow.

While I do not completely agree with the concepts, I believe everybody doing requirements or design should at least have this level of understanding.

Requirements written that imply a problem end up biasing the form of the solution, which in turn kills creativity and innovation by forcing the solution in a particular direction. Once this happens, other possibilities (which may have been better) cannot be investigated. [...] This mistake can be avoided by identifying the root problem (or problems) before considering the nature or requirements of the solution. Each root problem or core need can often be expressed in a single statement. [...] The reason for having a simple unbiased statement of the problem is to allow the design team to find path to the best solution. [...] Creative and innovative solutions can be created through any software development process as long as the underlying mechanics of how to go from problem to solution are understood.

Which brings me to promote again and again the single-most powerful question for finding requirements from a given design: WHY?

Don't forget to have fun ;-)

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Thanks for the shout out Rolf, I appreciate it.

And I could not agree more with your powerful method of requirements solicitation: Just ask WHY?