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Information Technology In Business
 
    Concepts - Anticipating Development      
   

Anticipating Development is a method to optimize product (or service) quality. The method focuses primarily on the participation, communication and craftsmanship of all stakeholders.

On the highest (company or organization) level the generic structure of AD elements are: 

  • Stakeholders that provide inputs, 
    like requests, requirements, demands, funding, and support; 
  • Input material, 
    e.g. the initial request, e-mail, reference documents, articles, requirements specifications. 
  • A Process
    this may be formal or informal, documented or undocumented.
  • Process Output or Products
    all the artifacts that are produced by the activities in the Process, the added value.
  • Stakeholders that receive the Products, 
    they either pay for it, use it, need it, like or dislike it. In any case, they have a stake in the success of the product. 
 
   

Anticipating Development (1)

 

   

Let's focus on the quality of the output. What determines the quality of the output? In the context of AD the quality is determined by three main factors:

  • Is the Output conform the wishes of the Stakeholders that provided the input? Did we develop what was asked for?
    Note that this completely disregards the development process. It merely compares the result of the process with the initial inputs. This, again could be anything from formal specifications to verbally communicated ideas. 
    The right persons to answer this question would, naturally be the Stakeholders who were responsible for providing the input.

  • Is the created Output true craftsmanship?
    Is the product made conform the "laws of the trade"? Is it free of defects? Is it an elegant piece of work? Is it correct?
    These questions should be answered by persons responsible for the quality of their discipline, working methods responsible persons, chief designers. The intrinsic quality of the product is examined.

  • Do the Stakeholders like what they get?
    Is the product conform the expectations of the customers? Is it useful for them? Does it help them? Is it value for money? 
    End users, customers, buyers or their representatives are very suitable to answer these questions. The delicate issue here is HOW and WHEN to involve them in the development process.

 
   

In terms of reviewing the work-in-progress, this can be done using the following guideline:

During the development process the amount of time and effort spent on reviewing the work-in-progress changes over time from about 50% spent on verifying the input (requirements), about 30% concerns craftsmanship reviews and about 10% on fitness-for-use checks. This means that the first milestone reviews will focus on the understanding and the completeness of requirements as well as on the methods how to achieve a good understanding and completeness. 
Towards the delivery date more focus is needed to assure that the product is evaluated against customers criteria.
This also means that it doesn't make much sense to review the end result with the original specifications: if there is a big difference, it just indicates that the requirements process hasn't worked.

 

Anticipating Development (2)
   
Page updated: 20-Feb-2009