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Telling Stories. A Short Path to Writing Better Software Requirements

  • ID: 2251476
  • Book
  • March 2009
  • 160 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

From systems designers to top management, everyone loves a good story

Once upon a time, it was well understood that stories teach better than plain facts. Why then are most software requirements documents a baffling hodge–podge of diagrams, data dictionaries, and bullet points, held together by little more than a name and a staple? Telling Stories teaches you to combine proven standards of requirements analysis with the most ancient and effective tool for sharing information: the narrative. Telling Stories simplifies and refines the classic methods of Structured Analysis, providing organization, design, and old–fashioned writing advice. Whether you′re just getting started or an experienced requirements writer, Telling Stories can help you turn dull, detailed material into an engaging, logical, and readable story, a story that can make the difference for your project and your career.

  • Learn why readers believe and remember what they learn from stories

  • Work with team members to gather content, tell their stories, and win their support

  • Use stories to find every requirement

  • Create diagrams that almost tell the story on their own (while looking clear and professional)

  • Explain everything important about a process

  • Use precise language to remove the ambiguity from requirements

  • Write a forceful executive summary that stands on its own and sells a project to senior management

  • Summarize often to keep the reader focused on key issues

  • Structure the document so every part has a clear place and purpose

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1. Telling Stories.

2. Why Stories?

3. Drawing Pictures.

4. Explaining Processes and Finding Requirements.

5. Planning the Story.

6. Creating the Body of the Document.

7. And Finally, the Beginning.

8. Reviewing, Reusing, and Maintenance.

Appendix. Software Requirements Document Template.

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Ben Rinzler is a seasoned technical writer, manager, and requirements analyst. He has worked for over twenty years at leading technology and financial services firms, including Apple, Macromedia (now Adobe), and Morgan Stanley. He has taught his requirements approach to writers, analysts, managers, and developers in the U.S. and abroad.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown