Because software attempts to mimic life, the only constant in software development is change…if your software is not continually changing it has met its end of life. As software engineers, we refer to the likelihood of these requests for changes as Requirement Volatility. It is the responsibility of the engineering team leadership to protect not only their software but their team from the negative effects of Requirement Volatility.
The two areas of business software development that experience the most Requirement Volatility involve interactions with people. Check your enhancement backlog, you will see that tickets involving the User Interface make up the majority of enhancement requests. You know that once you put a feature in front of someone and they start using it, they have ideas for how to make it do more or be more efficient to use. This holds true for both Data-In features (User Interfaces/Screens/Pages) as well as Data-Out features (Documents and Reports).
As the principles behind agile software development have taken hold over the last couple decades the business understands that it is not necessary that new features take years to develop. Quarterly software releases are common and more and more software, especially SaaS software, are seeing releases every week, day or hour depending on the maturity of the DevOps tools and practices. The ability for software development teams to deliver value more often to their customers has seen ever increasing numbers of change requests with expected delivery over shorter periods of time. You can try to throw more people at the problem, but rarely is that a long term solution.
The only reliable long term solution to increased Requirement Volatility is to encapsulate that volatility.
Windward Studios’ products help protect development teams from the intense Requirement Volatility that is intrinsic to Reports, Documents and Presentations by encapsulating each as its own Feature or Service as a Windward Template. Not only can each Document and Report Template be maintained independently, but the changes can be made by non-technical users, using tools they already know.
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