Of all the eXtreme project management tools, our favorite and our clients ' favorite is the success sliders.
We developed this tool in the early 1990s as a simple and quick method to understand and model expectations.
When we mention the word expectations to most project managers and business analysts, we are met with groans, wise nodding, and responses such as, "Ah, expectations is such a fuzzy word. If we can give them their requirements, then shouldn't their expectations be met?"
Despite years of research and development into techniques and tools for modeling the requirements of business clients, it is still too common to hear the plaintive cry from frustrated project professionals, "But our clients don't know what they want!!"
There are many reasons why it has been hard to analyze and model the requirements for information systems. The first is that many of the analysis techniques that are suitable for modeling information system behavior are complex and confusing for business and other clients. Put simply, very few administrative people in a branch office of a bank think in terms of objects, types, normalized relationships, and scripts. Second, many business people are too busy to spend the time required by systems analysts for detailed system specification. Third, many systems analysts are too solution focused and lack the appropriate interpersonal and communication skills required to build an open relationship with the key business people.
Most important, as I argue in this chapter, we have been asking the wrong question with the wrong attitude.