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Messages - sshearer

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1
General Board / Re: RaQuest: Initial questions from a 1st-time use
« on: April 12, 2005, 11:00:06 am »
Hi, thanks for the latest reply - I just want to clarify a point:

"Regarding defining Work Amount, we will add the ability to define Work Amount per Member of Requirement" - I wasn't asking for a change - I am quite happy with the way it is.  

From my perspective, a BA is assigned to one or more requirements - requirements are not assigned to multiple BAs (if needed, we'd just split the requirement into another layer of detail and assign those).

There may be other customers who would like to see the functionality you're proposing - but for me, the way it is now is just great !   :)


And now it's time for the tough question  ;):  What is your planned release schedule for the rest of this year ?

If there was a way to publish this information (and keep it current) on the web-site(s) (eg. www.raquest.com and/or www.sparxsystems.com/RaQuest.htm )  - that would be great !

Thanks,
Steven.

2
General Board / Re: RaQuest: Initial questions from a 1st-time use
« on: April 08, 2005, 11:03:26 am »
Thank you for taking the time to consider my suggestions - as a newly (registered) user, I look forward to the update !   ;D

Yes, I do like the idea of a 3rd pane to show (all tabs of?) the selected requirement - it might make it a little easier to use (ie. no pop-up window).  Just keep in mind that my laptop screen is only 30cm x 23cm, and I'm already wearing glasses  :D

Regarding specifying a Requirement Type for generating Use Cases, thanks for the reply.  Yes, that needs to be moved, possibly to a new form after clicking on 'Generate Use Cases'.  However, I think that instead of selecting a specific Requirement Type, we should be able to select multiple Requirement Types.

My reasoning is that, at my company anyway, we have a hierarchy of requirement types: concept, business high-level, business low-level, functional high-level, functional low-level - each with one-to-many relationship between each level.  (If the project is small enough, we don't bother with the low-level type.)  Our low-level requirements typically document things like known data elements or screen designs - things we wouldn't want Use Cases for.

I understand that an arguement could be made that the BA can 'just delete the ones (s)he doesn't want' - but that assumes that all the BAs on the team are eager to use the tool (or any tool for that matter).  It's also a bit of a productivity issue.


I've had some time to explore the product further - and continue to be impressed with the functionality available in such a relatively young product - way to go guys !

I started to experiment with assigning Members to requirements.  I couldn't figure out how to define members - I first looked under Tools/Options, but after reading the manual (gasp  ;) ), I was able to define Members and play with the various views - when coupled with the ability to define Work Amount per Requirement, it will make for an excellent project planner !

I know defining a GUI which will please most people is almost impossible, and that you don't want to make functionality available from multiple places (unlike Microsoft products), but maybe you could consider adding the ability to define Divisions and Members
on the Members tab of a Requirement ?

Could you please tell me how to define roles for the Members tab ?

Thanks,
Steven.

3
General Board / Re: RaQuest: Initial questions from a 1st-time use
« on: April 06, 2005, 12:43:09 pm »
Hi again, this is just a continuation of my earlier post ...

I've just tried using the Word Add-in.  It's a really neat feature, but:
- when registering a requirement with RaQuest, it doesn't prompt me to select where to store the requirement - so it just puts them all in the top-level 'bucket'.  It would be great if the requirement could be added 'under' (ie. as a sub-requirement) the currently selected row (regardless of whether it's a package or a requirement.  It also seems to have a problem with text which has been formatted as bullets or numbered lists.

- within RaQuest, there is no automatic refresh of the screen, so I don't see the recently registered requirement(s) unless I do File/Reload (or File/Close & File/Open).

- How can I customize the (Word or HTML) report which generated ?  ie.  I don't (necessarily) care about seeing all the various properties of a requirement in the report (ie. limit - especially when it's undefined, author/date stamps, status, etc.

- On the other hand, when generating a report, I would like to be able to specify:
    selection criteria: ie. type, status, or specific version
    sort order: ie. priority
I suppose that other people would want various other combinations.

For background purposes, I'm part of a team of BAs which support multiple internal software products for our employer.  We each have our areas of responsibility, and multiple BAs can be assigned to projects which (in the end will) require changes to multiple products.

From a reporting perspective, as BAs, we'd like to be able to capture requirements and generate a variety of reports, ie:

    - Master (latest Implemented version of each requirement)
    - Release-specific (latest Approved? version of each requirement)
    - etc.


Also, we'd like to use our existing documentation as a template for formatting and content layout/ordering/etc.  because, as we all know, business users can freak when they're expected to sign-off on something which look unfamiliar.   ::)

Thanks,
Steven.

4
General Board / RaQuest: Initial questions from a 1st-time user
« on: April 04, 2005, 01:08:29 pm »
Hi,

I've downloaded the trial version of v2 of RaQuest and successfully integrated it with my purchased copy of Enterprise Architect, and spent a couple hours (so far) playing with it.

I thought I'd document some questions/issues here in order to generate discussion.

First off, over-all, I like what I've seen so far, but:
- the Help file could use some (English-as-a-first-language) polishing in some places, but it could also use a chapter related to describing the workflow and defining the dividing line between the 2 tools.  I do realize that documentation costs can be a significant percentage of development costs and that a young product may not be fully documented.

- As a mid-sized company with large-company software product documentation requirements, I could really use some recommendations on how to organize my requirements.  At this point, I guess it'll have to be a matter of experimentation.  To start I'm planning on creating packages which mimic our Product Management structure.

- I was able to figure out how to create new Requirements Types (Business & Feature) and can use them.  However, when I did a 'Generate UseCases', it generated Use Cases for EVERY requirement that I entered.  I would like a discuss/recommendation on what should actually be happening here.  My thought is that it would be nice to be able to specify a Requirement Type (eg. Feature) as a filter for generating Use Cases.

- Having created a set of requirements in one (*.EAP) database, I wanted to move (or copy) them to another (learning) database.  How do I do that ?

- Which brings me to a follow-up question: How can I share requirements between projects / products ?  eg. "In the event of ...x..., a record will be written to a centralized logging facility." would be used in MANY places.

- Suggestion to user interface: when looking at the main screen which shows the tree hierarchy of requirements on the left and 'All Requirements' on the right, it would be nice if selecting a row on one side would also automatically select the same row on the other side (and visa versa).

- Also, it would be nice if (in the list of All Requirements), the Type, Priority, Risk, Difficulty, and Stability columns were all modifyable like the Status column is.

As I'm preparing for a demo to my team on 12-Apr-2005, I'm sure I'll have other questions ...   ;D

Thanks,
Steven.

5
General Board / Re: Large Project Structure
« on: January 22, 2005, 08:44:18 am »
Wow - I wasn't expecting such a fast reply !

Regarding some of your comments:

Yes, 1 project usually involves many changes to at least 1 of our products.  For example, in a recent project to create a web-based solution to streamline the act of getting customers' voice recordings approved before publishing:
- our IVR product needed to be updated to:
a) provide a 'web service' for guaranteed file/data delivery between IVR server & web server,
b) transfer the recording and related data to web server,
c) notify web server if the member recorded again before the first one was reviewed,
d) accept notification from the web server indicating whether the recording was approved or not (& why).

- our (new) web product (application) was created to:
a) allow an administrator to define & manage users,
b) provide a login page for users,
c) accept incoming files & data from IVR server,
d) allow users to hear 'the next' recording and document any issues with it,
e) notify the IVR server of the result,
f) accept notifications from IVR server

- our back-end customer mgmt app was updated to:
a) accept notification of repeated disapprovals, resulting in further action (against) a customer.

Now, all of the above was just 1 project which implied changes to 2 existing products and the creation of a new product.

Now, from a business perspective, we have 'master functional specs' for each of our products which documents each products' business requirements, features and business rules.  Each master functional spec documents the product in it's entirety 'as of this date'.  (Hence the title.)  

We have these because as soon as there is a project to be done, we need to know what will be changed and what the impact will be for each change.

So, it sounds to me like this would be 1 DB for each product - possibly each major business feature would be it's own exportable 'package'.

Then for each _project_, we'd create 1 DB and import all the appropriate packages.  When the project is completed, we'd export those packages and re-import them into the product-specific DBs.

If I understand EA correctly, then this picture isn't too bad when you have 1 project at-a-time and maybe 4 projects per year.

We have about a dozen projects per year, with 2 - 4 of them happening concurrently, each of them needing requirements defined, analysis performed, etc.

Now, the above was just for 1 project that started last summer.  This year, we're adding more features to it, meaning changing some things and adding new things - all of which implies more requirements gathering, analysis, impact analysis, etc.

We already know that we definitely need a true Req's Mgmt tool (ie. the new add-in for EA recently released), or Doors or CaliberRM.

Hopefully I've been clear that we not just a few analysts collaborating on a one-off project  ;D

I guess I was just looking for other (large) users' feedback on how they manage situations like ours.

Thanks,
Steven.

6
General Board / Re: Large Project Structure
« on: January 21, 2005, 09:13:53 pm »
Hi, this seems like a good place to add my wrinkle to the problem - maybe someone can comment on how they do it ?

Our organization has implemented it's own flavour of Microsoft's Solution Framework - complete with Brand, Product, and Program Managers, and funnily enough, Business Analysts.  (We also have the development, QA, and implementation teams.)

We've done this in support of 3 main 'product' areas:
- web applications (internal and external),
- back-office applications, and
- (custom) telephony applications.

The Product Managers, Program Managers, and BAs are all responsible for being (or becoming) Subject Matter Experts in various combinations of the above products.

The BAs (7, of which I'm 1) have traditionally been creating their Business & Functional Requirements & Spec documents in Word and Visio.

Until mid-last year, all the products were separate and distinct.  Since then, they've all been integration projects - and it's only going to continue.

The team has been lobbying for a Requirements Management Tool for a while now - and we finally have an agreement-in-principal.  This year's budget is to be approved imminently ...

Feature Requests (FRs) are documented by Product Managers (and clarified by BAs  ::) ). Then the assigned BA(s) get to work creating diagrams and documents.

A FR may result in Change Requests (CRs) to any one or more products.  CRs are assigned to pre-scheduled 'Release Buses' that contain portions of multiple FRs.  (And the list of included CRs is dynamic up to the point of beginning development due to workload, ahhh, negotiation  ;) ) with the Resource Manager(s) for the various development teams.

Have I blown your mind yet ?   ;D

All this means that we have huge traceability requirements between multiple products across multiple releases as a result of multiple projects.

Not only do we have project-level documentation, but we also (try to) maintain 'Master' specs for the various products as reference material for future projects.

I was hoping that EA would be a great tool to recommend for my company - but based on the comments from earlier postings I really can't imagine:
- asking our DBAs to create 1 DB per project plus 1 DB per product,
- linking requirements across the DBs,
- generating the definitive 'Master' spec.

Can someone please confirm this ?

BTW, we've already ruled out the use of Rational.  We are aware of Doors and CaliberRM.

Thanks,
Steven.

7
General Board / Re: Requirements Management Tool for EA is release
« on: November 24, 2004, 10:39:34 am »
I was able to successfully view previously noted page this morning and viewed the pricing & user manual.

Just a couple questions:
1. The download page says that the Trial version will
   work until Nov 15th.  Is that still true ?

2. I have purchased/registered/installed EA 4.5 (ie. a
   real license).  If I install a trial license of RaQuest
   (assuming the expiry date has/will be extended), will
   it over-write (ie. damage) my license for EA ?

Thanks,
Steve.

8
General Board / Re: Requirements Management Tool for EA is release
« on: November 23, 2004, 10:04:15 pm »
Hi, can you please post a current / operational link from which to retrieve RaQuest ?

I just tried to access the (above) provided links, and your domain, none of which were operational.

I'll try again in a day or so in case there are technical difficulties.

Thx,
Steven.

9
Uml Process / How deep do (we) analysts model ?
« on: May 30, 2005, 08:37:15 am »
Hi all,

I was reviewing discussions posted and started to read the one about "Sequence Diagrams and .Net" (http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?board=UMLPRO;action=display;num=1116873337) when a thought occurred to me:

At what point DOES modeling stop and development begin ?

I realize that the answer depends on what your position in an organization is, and the size of the team you are in.  I know the range CAN go from 1 person who will just dive into development through to a team of analysts each doing high-level modeling a portion of a project that will be given to a development team to drive down further.  I know that in order to generate code, you need to drill down to the most detailed levels.

But my question is really more "What is being done in organizations today?"

Is there some way this posting could be converted to a Survey ?  Has a survey like this already been done ?

I'm interested in the answers because I'd like to know what tool-independent lessons (if any) people have learned from trying to generate source code from their models.

Thanks,
Steven.

10
Uml Process / Re: Include or extend?
« on: April 27, 2005, 12:51:10 pm »
Since there seems to be a wide variety of, ah, interpretations (or implementations anyway), and since EA is a design tool which, with enough detail, can generate some level of source code ...

Would it be more helpful to ask:

What source code differences will we see between classes which are based on 'included' use-cases vs. those which are based on 'extended' use-cases ?

Or are we all (including me) still working at an altitude with insufficient oxygen ?   ;D

thanks,
Steven.

11
Can you please describe why you think it's necessary to have a(nother) separate site ?  

I'm not trying to be difficult or negative, but I am concerned about the possibility of dividing users across multiple sites, ie. dilution of content.

I think that this site is an excellent repository of knowledge.  Maybe there features that could be added to make it more valuable ... ?

Thanks,
Steven.

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