September 10, 2006 10:27 AM Subscribe
[SoftwareEngineeringFilter] As an application developer, how do I convince my business users that they don't NEED to see screenshots or a prototype in my design documentation? [more inside]
posted by PWA_BadBoy to computers & internet (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd like some feedback from both sides of the fence (developers and business analyst / business users).
I am on the second release of a small web application with about 8-9 screens in it. In the initial release, we put together a prototype and from that prototype took screenshots that were put into our design documentation.
Our design documentation is the be-all, end-all contract between ourselves and our business users as well as our testers. As a result it has to be 100% accurate (although in reality it never is).
Additionally in the first release of this application, we went through 8 "walkthroughs" with various stakeholders and each time, a reasonably high up executive would comb over the document and focus on the screenshots picking out small label changes here and there without validating any of the business logic or that we had covered off all the requirements.
So instead of getting a lot of development done, I went through too many iterations to count of updating the document to fix things like "oh, we don't like that red text", or "can you relabel this to ...." or "can you move this up and this down.."
I want to avoid this situation as much as possible with this second release but I have little management support from my development manager. He is of the mind that prototypes and screenshots add a huge value to the business and we should continue to do them.
The business even went so far as to take our prototype and use it to tour across the country with it to highlight how the application would be used prior to the application being launched. This led to EVEN MORE work on the prototype. In the end, this prototype ended up matching the production application 100%.
I really want to avoid all these problems and not eat up a lot of time in prototyping/screenshotting and have business users focus on the requirements they had set forth and to validate that the developers' understanding of the requirements is correct. How do I do this while keeping all my stakeholders happy?