In this book, Leffingwell and Widrig have taken a pragmatic approach to describing the solution to the rock problem. They have organized the book into eight parts . The Introduction provides some of the context, definitions, and background that you'll need to understand what follows . Chapter 1 reviews the systems development "challenge." The data shows that some software project failures are indeed caused by sloppy programming, but a number of studies demonstrate that poor requirements management may be the single largest cause of project failure. And though I've described the basic concept of requirements management in a loose, informal fashion in this foreword, the authors will define it more carefully in Chapter 2, in order to lay the groundwork for the chapters that follow. Chapter 3 provides an overview of some of the software development models in use today and concludes with a recommendation for an iterative process, one that facilitates additional requirements discovery along the way. Chapter 4 provides a brief introduction to some of the characteristics of modern software teams so they can relate the team skills that will be developed to the team context, wherein the skills must be applied.
Each of the next six major parts is intended to help you and your team understand and master one of the six requisite team skills for effective requirements management .
After these descriptions of specific requirements management techniques, the authors briefly review the evolving methods of Extreme Programming and Agile Methods and demonstrate ways of integrating effective requirements management practices into the framework of these software development methods . Finally, in Chapter 31 the authors provide a prescription that you and your team can use to manage requirements in your next project.
I hope that, armed with these newly acquired team skills, you too will be able to build the perfect rock or marble. However, it will never be easy; even with the best techniques and processes, and even with automated tool support for all of this, you'll still find that it's hard work. Moreover, it's still risky; even with these team skills, some projects will fail because we're "pushing the envelope" in many organizations, attempting to build ever more complex systems in ever less time. Nevertheless, the skills defined in this book will go a long way toward reducing the risk and thereby helping you achieve the success you deserve.