Suzanne Robertson

Suzanne Robertson

Principal and Founder, The Atlantic Systems Guild, United Kingdom

Uncovering the essence of the problem – how to find what your client really needs

We can solve almost any problem using software – the problem is that we don't always know what the problem is. In this talk Suzanne demonstrates how to find the real problem, how to look beyond the current implementation – or indeed any proposed future implementation – and find the real business. There is a difference between a problem and a solution. All too often we implement a brilliant solution, only to find out that we've solved the wrong problem.

Agile processes need to solve the right problem just as more traditional methods do. This talk is about finding the underlying problem regardless of your development methods, and how your requirements activities can include the discovery of the essence – the right problem to solve.

One of the most common complaints from business analysts is that their clients always state their needs in terms of a solution. Instead of developing this proposed solution, we show you how with a little thought, you can uncover what is really needed. Target audience: It is intended for business analysts, software developers, product owners, and any other stakeholders who have an interest in ending up with the right solution.

About Suzanne Robertson

Suzanne is co-author of Mastering the Requirements Process, a guide for practitioners on finding requirements and writing them so that all stakeholders can understand them. Suzanne works with organizations to apply innovative techniques and fresh thinking in all of their systems development activities. Her work also includes research and consulting on the management, sociological and technological aspects of requirements. The product of her research and experience is Volere, a requirements process, template and techniques for assessing requirements quality, and for specifying requirements. Suzanne is author of many papers on systems engineering. She is a member of IEEE and British Computer Society, and on the board of the British Computer Society’s Requ­irements Engineering Specialist Group. Suzanne’s other interests include a passion for the opera, cooking, skiing and finding out about curious things.

Workshop: Getting Requirements right – Volere Technique